Cross Country Look to Turn the Corner with Recruiting Class

JACKSON - In his third year as the Head Coach of Cross Country at Millsaps College, Andy Till believes his squad is ready to take the next step towards a strong contender in the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference. The Majors prepare to welcome in seven female and four male distance runners to this year’s team. Coach Till feels that these young men and women will be able to make an impact of the cross country team immediately. Here is the incoming freshman class for the 2011 season.


Mikaela Thurber, Fountainebleau HS, Mandeville, La.

Lettering four years at Fountainebleau High School, Mikaela Thurber comes to Millsaps set to make an immediate impact on the Majors and on the conference. Named the team captain her junior and senior year, Thurber was also Cross Country MVP in 2008 and earned numerous awards recognized by her school for running as well as leadership. This past year, she was named to the Academic All-State Team.  Thurber also plans to run middle distance for the Track team this upcoming season.


Emma Mitchell, Resurrection Catholic, Pascagoula, Miss.

Emma Mitchell joins the Majors out of Pascagoula, Mississippi where she lettered four years in cross country at Resurrection Catholic School. Mitchell placed in the Top 15 in the state of Mississippi three straight years, including a Top 10 finish her senior year (finish 10th overall). Mitchell was named team captain her junior and senior years.


Maria Vasser, Ridgeland HS, Ridgeland, Miss.

From down the road in Ridgeland, Millsaps welcomes Maria Vasser out of Ridgeland, Mississippi. Vasser lettered four years in cross country for the Titans. She earned All-District honors her junior and senior seasons for her performance.


Melinda Solomon, Oak Grove HS, Hattiesburg, Miss.

Melinda Soloman comes to Millsaps out of Hattiesburg, Mississippi where she was a four year letterman at Oak Grove High School. Soloman shows a solid resume in high school as she earned MVP her freshman and sophomore year, team captain her junior and senior year, and earned All-State all four years in high school, including leading Oak Grove to Runner-Up at the championship her senior year. Soloman also plans to run middle distance and possibly the 3,000 m Steeplechase on the track team. On arriving in Jackson, Soloman said, “I am really looking forward to my college career and running as a Millsaps Major.”


Catherine Pereira, St. Scholastica Academy, Covington, La.

Catherine Pereira of St. Scholastica comes to Jackson this fall where she looks to run Cross Country and Track. A four year letterman in both sports, she was named All-District in both sports for three consecutive years. Pereira was thought highly of by her coaches as she earned the Coach’s Award three times and the Most Improved Award for Cross Country and Track twice. Pereira will also join the track team and compete in the 5,000m.


Jenna Johnson, Brandon HS, Brandon, Miss.

Jenna Johnson comes to Millsaps out of Brandon, Mississippi where she earned a total of six letters in cross country and track. Johnson is a versatile athlete in both middle distance and pole vault. She prepares to suit up for the Majors in both cross country and track and field.


Sara Humbert, White Station HS, Memphis, Tenn.

Out of Memphis, Tennessee, Sara Humbert earned letters in cross country and track at White Station High School where she was also team captain her senior year. Humbert was the women’s overall winner of the Memphis Runner’s Track Club Winter Cross Country Series in 2010 and was nominated for the Best of the Preps for Cross Country. Humbert plans to join the track team as a middle distance runner.


Travis Hebeler, Highland Park HS, Dallas, Texas

Travis Hebeler is a four year letterman in track and cross country out of Highland Park High School in Dallas, Texas. He competed in one of the largest and most competitive states in the nation when it comes to track and cross country. He comments on his commitment to Millsaps by saying, “I am excited to be a part of a growing team and look forward to the season.  I can already tell that this team has some great runners and I aspire to be like them.” Hebeler also plans to run middle distance for the Millsaps track team.


Sam Martin, St. Andrew’s Episcopal, Jackson, Miss.

Head Coach Andy Till went to his old stomping grounds at St. Andrew’s and brings in Sam Martin. Martin was an All-State selection for three consecutive years and was named Most Valuable Runner his sophomore year. He was also the team captain his senior year. Martin will also help the Majors in track as he will compete in the 3000m steeplechase.


Patrick Lacombe, Niceville HS, Niceville, Fla.

Patrick Lacombe of Niceville, Florida comes to Millsaps where he lettered four years in cross country and track at Niceville High School. A Florida State Contender in the FHSAA State Championships, Lacombe earned the Most Valuable Runner Award his junior year and the Horizon Award his freshman season. Lacombe also prepares to run the 5,000m for the track team.


Ben Parva, Kingwood HS, Houston, Texas

Out of Houston Texas, Ben Parva prepares to suit up in the purple and white this upcoming season. Parva was a four year letterman at Kingwood High School where he was his team’s captain his senior year. Parva plans to run track as well in the spring and compete in the 5,000m.


The Majors first event will be September, 1st at the Mississippi College Opener at Choctaw Trails in Clinton.