Oxford cross country team begins new season in Memphis


Jack Harper, staff writer

The OHS cross country team started their 2022 season with their first meet in Memphis.

Head coach Christian Patton says that the team will be a lot more prepared as the season progresses but also says there is still plenty of room for improvement. 

“We are a lot younger this year but they work hard,” Patton said. “We don’t have the experience, we don’t have the talent, but those things will come.”

Coach Patton looks forward to working with this young group of athletes in his 14th year of coaching as he enjoys developing new talent. 

“That’s also one thing that I love about coaching cross country, developing those young athletes,” Patton said. “You can see the improvement, or you can see the not improvement, but everything is measured.”

As the team transitions into later meets, they look forward to cleaning up areas they need to improve in. 

“There’s a lot of people that go hard the first mile, slack off the second mile, and pick back up in the third mile,” Patton said. “We just need to work on running even races.”

Senior captain Charlie Ligon is excited and looking forward to this season and the upcoming meets ahead.

“I’m most looking forward to the state meet of course,” Ligon said. “We get to see how we do as a team and who’s going to step up, especially from the younger guys.”

Ella Thompson also spoke on the team’s progression and what it’s meant to be a captain her senior year. 

“I’m definitely very thankful that Coach Patton chose me to be captain,” Thompson said. “I’m really excited and I feel like it’s given me more confidence.”

Thompson looks forward to her senior year and being able to spend time with her teammates. 

“It means a lot to me, especially being a senior because cross country has been something that I’ve just enjoyed doing since I was in 7th grade,” Thompson said. “I’m just really excited about being with the team, finishing my senior year, and getting to spend time with them, because the team is super special to me and it just makes me happy to be here with everyone.”

Senior captain Ross Shows was also able to talk about how the team was going to have to make up for the missing pieces from last year.

“We lost a lot of firepower on our team,” Shows said. “We lost our whole top five except for one, so a lot of guys are having to step up this year.”

The team looks forward to their next meet taking place in Saltillo and improving off their last meet.

“I think everybody’s going to be a lot more prepared, even though the temperatures aren’t as good as they were last week,” Patton said. “We train at probably one of the hottest parts of the day and we race in the evening so we should be prepared.”