There is no question; this is going to be FAST. The favorite has to be Spencer Haik. Haik, a three time champion in Missouri, has not lost a mile/1600m race in Missouri in over two years now, dating back to sectionals when he was a sophomore. Since then he has won big race after big race – Kansas Relays two years in a row, state three years in a row, and Festival of Miles last year. His last 100m is always devastating, coming from behind the last 100m to defeat Patrick Perrier last year. Talking about Perrier, he is back for more this year, and he is better than ever. The O’Fallon senior is coming off of a Illinois State Title, winning in a time of 4:10. Earlier in May he ran a PR of 4:07, the fastest of the field. While it is a different distance, Perrier came out on top at the Forest Park XC Festival where he raced many of those in the field.
Coming from Kentucky, Patrick Gregory will join the mix. Gregory ran 3:55 for 1500m, which equates to just over 4:12 for 1600m. He makes the third state champ of the field, winning the Kentucky State Title. After that, every other runner has something to their name. Thomas Pollard had a phenomenal state meet, breaking the Iowa Record for 3200m when he ran 8:50. Chris Korabik of St. Ignatius was second just behind Perrier at the Illinois State Meet, as well as Zach Dale who was fourth.
Some more Missouri Favorites are Stephen Mugeche and Noah Kauppila. It goes to show how deep the field when only three runners from Missouri made the championship section. Mugeche had a great junior year, running sub 9:00 for 3200m back at Arcadia. He had a solid state meet, finishing second behind Haik in the 3200m and fourth in the 1600m. Kauppila, one of the best runners to come through the state of Missouri, is coming off a third place finish in the 1600m.