9/16 Missouri Southern Stampede Joplin, MO
Often heralded as one of the biggest and most popular meets on the western side of the state, the MoSo Stampede is a huge meet this week for a few reasons. For starters, it's held on the nationally renowned Tom Rutledge Cross Country Course which hosts the NCAA Division II National Championship regularly. Second, it's flat as a pancake. The only real thing that tends to slow down competitors is the switchbacks and, sometimes, questionable footing. Otherwise, the Stampede tends to produce the fastest times of the entire season year in and year out. In 2010, Caleb Hoover from College Heights Christian shocked everyone with a 15:00.6. Hannah Long ran 16:51 in 2014. Last year, Callie Logue of Kansas threw down an eye-popping 17:18 and West Plains' Jacob McCrackin put down a 15:16, making him the fastest returner in 2017. Third, with so many college teams in attendance, especially in years in which MoSo hosts the National meet, athletes have a great opportunity to showcase in front of many recruiters and coaches. Typically there are at least 5-10 boys under 16:00 and 5-10 girls under 19:00 which, for an early season meet, is very impressive. This year, we will see West Plains boys and girls and see if McCrackin can use his PR course to regain some of his mojo. Ben Stasney and Ethan Hutchinson will look to break under 16:00 again as well. The biggest name on the boys side will be Webb City's Ryan Riddle as he looks to become the first boy in a very long time to break under 15:00 in Missouri. He will do battle with Fayetteville's Camren Fischer, whose meeting with the other top Missouri boy ended in defeat this past weekend. Unfortunately, we will not be seeing a match-up of Riddle and Stephen Kielhofner as he will be only running Monett this week.
On the girls side, the West Plains trio of Mia Harris, Kaylee Hatley, and McKenzie Bergman will do battle with Carl Junction's squad that looked seriously good at SWCCCA two weeks ago. Lee's Summit West will also be in attendance, but could be short-staffed this week as they may take their A-squad out to the Woodbridge Invitational in California. Lee's Summit West boys will be in attendance, though. Last year, the Titans were the top Missouri girls team in attendance followed by West Plains and then Carl Junction. Mariah Lister of Grain Valley will be looking to be the top Missouri girl again after her 19:17 at Memphis Twilight. MoMileSplit will have coverage of the Stampede this year!
Confirmed Teams: Alton, Aurora, Bartlesville (OK), Baxter Springs (KS), Bentonville (AR), Bentonville West (AR), Blue Springs South, Butler, Carl Junction, Carthage, Catholic For Boys (AR), Columbus (KS), Cor Jesu Academy, Crane, Deer Creek (Edmond, OK), East Newton, El Dorado Springs, Exeter, Farmington, Fayetteville (AR), Frontenac (KS), Galena (KS), Girard (KS), Glendale, Grain Valley, Grove (OK), Har-Ber (AR), Harding Charter Preparatory (OK), Hickman, Holden, Jackson, Jasper, Jenks (OK), Kearney, Lee's Summit, Lee's Summit West, Liberty North, Maize South (KS), Manhattan (KS), McDonald County, Metro Christian (OK), Mill Valley (KS), Monett, Morrilton (AR), Neosho, OKC Storm Homeschool, Olathe East (KS), Osage, Owensville, Ozark, Park Hill, Parkview, Pittsburg (KS), Pleasant Hill, Potosi, Regent Preparatory (OK), Rogers Heritage (AR), Russellville, Salem, Sapulpa (OK), Seneca, Sherwood, Springdale (AR), St. Michael the Archangel, Staley, Stockton, Tahlequah (OK), Van Buren (AR), Webb City, West Plains, Yates Center (KS)
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9/16 Paul Enke Invitational Saint Louis, MO
One of the oldest courses in the state and the hardest courses in the country plays host to yet another Paul Enke/Hazelwood Central Invitational. This year, the mud should be limited, but the hills haven't gotten any easier. A number of hills have received names in Sioux Passage Park and may even be called different names by different teams. The Manmaker is the most popular and infamous hill in all of Missouri (next to Firehouse Hill in Jefferson City) and athletes must run up that behemoth off the start. There is the Confidence Breaker (or, as I call it, I Hate My Life Hill) and then the Roller Coaster (sometimes called the Monster) before athletes come back to the Manmaker and enjoy some flats before a downhill finish. A competitive meet no doubt, the winner of this race seldom breaks 16:45 unless they are truly elite. The fastest winner in recent memory was Francis Howell North's Nick Happe in 2008. He ran the course in 16:30. On the girls side, Taylor Werner ran an absolutely mind-boggling 18:28 in 2012, but other than that anomaly year in which four girls broke 20:00, the girls varsity winner is typically closer to 20:30 or 21:00. On a rain-soaked course in 2016, Tommy Laarman of Lafayette took the tape first in 17:56 and Parkway West's Natalie Butler ran 21:48, the only boy and girl under 18:00 and 22:00 on the day. Parkway West should be the favorite on the girls side with Lafayette being the boys race favorite. Look for Nassim Oufattole and Harrison Brown to lead the way with Chloe Hershenow and Emily Dickson battling it out with Lafayette's Mollie Rogan in 2017. We will have coverage on site for Enke this year!
9/12 Monett Invitational Monett, MO
The big name in attendance this year will be Stephen Kielhofner. Kielhofner will not be debuting at this one this year as it was last year. He cruised a 17:07 last season and will look to turn some heads this season. Lamar will be on the scene as well and Mark Veneable will be good competition for Kielhofner. Further, East Newton boys will be looking to make a big splash and return to the Class 3 rankings. Kinsey Sorrell will also be making her 2017 debut.
Confirmed Teams: Aurora, Carthage, Cassville, Monett, East Newton, Nixa, Springfield Catholic, Seneca, Ash Grove, Blue Eye, College Heights Christian, Chadwick, Clever, Crane, Diamond, Lamar, Galena, McAuley Catholic, Purdy, Southwest (Washburn), Sparta, Stockton, Wheaton
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9/14 Parkway Central Invitational Chesterfield, MO
Parkway Central hosts a preview of the Class 4 Sectional 1 and 2 course this Thursday afternoon. A number of solid teams will be in attendance. Kirkwood's boys will do battle with Ft. Zumwalt West, Francis Howell and Ladue who tied each other in the Gold Division at Forest Park. Francis Howell girls, coming off a bit of a clunker at Forest Park, will get one of the 2 seniors they were missing last week back and do battle with Lindbergh and Ft. Zumwalt West. Individually, Emily Griesenauer is looking stronger than ever and should be the heavy favorite on the girls side with Abigail Juedemann just behind, while the battle in the boys race may come down to Marquette's Nick Warmann, Kirkwood's Christian Baker, and Lindbergh's Connor Kingsland. MoMileSplit will be on-site for this race!
Confirmed Teams: Barat Academy, Ft. Zumwalt West, Francis Howell, Holt, Kirkwood, Ladue, Lindbergh, Marquette, Mehlville, Missouri Military Academy, Nortwest Cedar Hill, Oakville, Parkway Central, Parkway North, Rockwood Summit, St. Louis College Prep, Villa Duchesne
9/16 Fulton Invitational Fulton, MO
Class 2 powerhouse Fatima girls are coming off of a huge win at Forest Park Green Division, but Helias Catholic is looking unstoppable in Class 3 at the moment. Isaac Ashton, Mason Gaines, Jack Crull, Jenson Starr, and Alex Dukes will get together for a good ol' fashioned throw down. They should be joined by Hannibal's Ayden Nichols.
Confirmed Teams: Bowling Green, Battle, Blair Oaks, Brookfield, Camdenton, Centralia, Elsberry, Fatima, Fulton, Hannibal, Harrisburg, Helias Catholic, Hermann, Kirksville, Mark Twain, Mexico, Moberly, North Callaway, Palmyra, Salisbury, Southern Boone, Tipton, Van-Far, Missouri Military Academy, Troy-Buchanan, Northeast (Cairo)
9/14 Platte County Invitational Platte City, MO
Often an afterthought in a week chock full of big meets, Platte County is often big in its own right. Last year, there were 17 boys varsity teams and 9 girls varsity teams. Platte County is always a huge meet and this year should be no different.
9/14 Steelville Invitational Steelville, MO
Allie Gibbs and Alyssa Church (in her high school debut) went off for the Cardinals at the Eagle Invite last week, how will they respond this week? Last year, New Haven was in attendance, as well. Should they be on the scene in 2017, this could be a meet that needs to be on many Class 1 and 2 radars.
9/16 Blue Springs Invitational Lee`s Summit, MO
The Blue Springs Invitational is never a Paul Enke or MoSo Stampede-size meet, but it still should be competitive this season with the success of the Blue Springs Wildcats so far this season. With Victor Mugeche and Oaklee Hauschild on the boys side and Tessa Valdivia and Elaina Hubner on the girls team, even with a smaller showing than some other bigger meets, Blue Springs will still make it an interesting race to watch. Lee's Summit North's Reis brothers and Jefferson City's Cole Biesemeyer and Thomas Nield will also provide a good race for the Blue Springs boys.
9/14 Lutheran North Invitational Florissant, MO
Confirmed Teams: Clayton, Hancock, Lutheran North, Lutheran South, Maplewood Richmond-Heights, MICDS, Normandy, North County Tech, Orchard Farm, Parkway South, Principia, Priory, Rosati-Kain, St. Clair, Whitfield
9/16 Cape Central Invitational Cape Girardeau, MO
9/16 Festus Bowles Invitational Festus, MO
Confirmed Teams: Crystal City, DeSoto, Festus, Fox, Grandview (Hillsboro), Jefferson R-7, Perryville, Raymore-Peculiar, Seckman, Union, Valle Catholic,