SPORTS HEADLINES

Slidell mounts title defense

By Richard Greene | Published Saturday, November 5, 2011

ON THE RUN - Slidell's Dylan Carnes, who won the 14-A title, will try to nail down a state bid Saturday. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

The Slidell Greyhounds stunned many in the Class A field at the Region II cross country meet last November, taking home the title.

Returning to the meet in Arlington Saturday, the Greyhounds don’t expect to have many others gunning for them. The District 14-A champions will hit the course at Vandergriff Park at 12:30 p.m.

The Greyhounds return five of the seven runners from last year’s regional championship team, including their top two finishers – Dylan Carnes and Cord Hankins, who finished first and second at district. Jessie Bowen, Jarrett Tinsman and Daniel McCasland also are making return trips to regionals. Khristian Talamantes and Luis Castillo are the team’s newcomers.

Based on district results, Slidell coach Todd McCormick expects the Greyhounds to be in the hunt for one of the three state bids.

“Priddy, Eula and Poolville have all been running well,” McCormick said. “We’re in the mix. But in cross country, anything can happen.”

McCormick expects the team to improve on its district times.

“We’re starting to get our legs back,” he said. “We want to peak at the right time.”

Carnes and Hankins both posted top-15 finishes last year at regionals. Carnes took 12th and Hankins 15th.

Led by freshmen Kayleigh Miller and Codi Crane, who took first and third at district, the Lady Greyhounds will run at noon Saturday.

The two talented freshmen will be joined by Caitlin Pruett, Brooke Rhodes, Katy Stephens, Ashton Stroope and Lacey Edge.

Slidell coach Cody Vanover said the team will have its work cut out for it Saturday in a talented and deep field.

“Our top girls will need to drop 30 to 40 seconds to have a chance,” he said. “We’re really young. We’re hoping to get some experience. We ran well at district and hope to build on that.”

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