Winning his third consecutive race, Elijah Mackey of Melissa High School posted a 5K time of 16:00 at the Lovejoy XC Festival to become the second fastest time of the year in class 4A. Running in the 5A-6A division, Mackey finally had some competition as he and Daniel Cope of St. Marks ran side by side for a little over two miles. It was at this point that Mackey decided to make his move and separate from his competitor, giving himself a 25-second advantage and a gold medal.

Mackey’s time of 16:00 flat currently ranks as the second fastest time in the state behind the 2015 4A state champion Erick Aranbula from San Elizario, who posted a time of 15:55 this week. The cardinal team placed sixth overall, with Zachary Weaver setting a new PR time of 17:37.

The Cardinals remain ranked No. 5 in the state in class 4A. They will travel to Denison this week to defend the championship they won a year ago at the Denison XC Invitational.