Starkville's Kate Mattox receives her Pop Star Award in the sport of cross country. (Submitted photo)
Starkville High School's Kate Mattox had a goal in mind going into the State cross country meet last fall.
That goal came true.
"Her overall time across all the districts was the fastest at the state meet cross country," SHS cross country coach Caroline Woomer said. "She had a goal coming into this that she wanted to have the fastest time of the day."
Mattox ran a 15:02.1 in the 4K for the fastest time by any female in the state of Mississippi.
Wednesday night she was honored for that achievement.
Mattox won the Pop Star Award for the top female cross country runner in the state of Mississippi. The award was presented by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Mississippi and the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame.
"One of my friends I went to camp with had the fastest time in the state of Mississippi and I thought that was really cool," said Mattox, a 7th grader. "I figured I had a chance to do so why not try? It's state and it's everything you have. I just wanted to do the best I could and I try and get the fastest time."
The award is named after W.C. Pop Allen, long time high school athletic director for the Jackson Public Schools.
"It's wonderful but I know it's God through me," Mattox said of winning the award. "I know I couldn't do it without Him. I know He was with me throughout the whole race. It's just a good feeling."
There are 22 sanctioned high school sports in the state of Mississippi. Each sport was represented. The honorees were selected by a statewide panel of sports media voters.
The banquet was held at the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame Museum.
"She is not arrogant about it," Woomer said. "She just knew she went out, tried her best and performed well."
This was the icing on the cake for Mattox who took first place in the 3200-meter race and the 1600-meter race at the Class 5A State track meet earlier this month.
"I like running cross country more but I also like track," Mattox said. "I meet a lot of people in track. I enjoy doing that."
Mattox still has five years to compete for Starkville High School so do not be surprised to see her name and this award mentioned in the same sentence again.
"She understands now that she is an elite runner," Woomer said. "Her handwork, her ambition, her drive and her talent really is working together for her benefit and paying off. I think that she felt honored."
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