A local runner had the opportunity to compete on one of the toughest off road cross country courses in the state and excelled as part of the State Games of Misssissippi.
West Union’s Savannah Shirley competed in the 5K last June, finishing first in the race, which earned her the honor as the cross country Athlete of the Year for the event.
“I was trying to get a head start on the year, get some races in, so that when the season started, I wouldn’t be behind,” Shirley said of the compettion.
Improving her overall time by three minutes in the last year, the eighth grader used the State Games as a boost for her summer workouts.
Training earlier in preparation for the new season, Shirley finished her first ever 5K with a time of 23:52.
Looking ahead, Shirley is looking forward to the new cross country season and helping the Lady Eagles defend their 1A state championship.
“It’s a good momentum boost,” she said. “We have a lot of competition this year in defending our state title, so we have to push a lot harder if we want to repeat.”
The State Games of Mississippi began in 1992 with 1200 athletes competing in 12 sports. It is a privately-sponsored, non-profit organization that promotes amateur athletics and healthy lifestyles for Mississippians of all ages and abilities, and Mississippi is one of 35 states that hold State Games competitions each year.
For more information on the State Games, visit their website at www.stategamesofms.org.