The Foot Locker Midwest Regional, held in Kenosha, WI on the campus of the University of Wisconsin-Parkside, officially marked the end of cross country season in Missouri. For those who are unfamiliar with this course, it does involve a number of hills, particularly off the start, but also includes a steep downhill just after the mile and some ups and downs in the second half of the race. A much more challenging course than Terre Haute - especially when the wind is whipping (typical in November) - it still can produce some fast times. We sent a small contingent up to Wisconsin and they fared well against some of the best competition in the Midwest!
Six boys competed in the Boys Seeded Race on Saturday. The top 10 individuals from this race qualified for the National meet in San Diego in two weeks. The closest Missourian on the boys side was, as expected, Blue Springs' Class 4 State Champion Victor Mugeche, who took 14th in 15:28.9. He was 18 seconds off of a Nationals bid as this year's race was rather stacked with talent, led by Illinois's Danny Kilrea in 14:53.3.
Following Mugeche, but not very close behind, was West Plains senior Ben Stasney. After finishing 3rd in Class 4 three weeks ago, Stasney returned to the cross country course for 15:57.4 in Kenosha. Stasney was 46th in this one as the Midwest states continued to pile on in front of the Missourians.
Hickman junior Chandler Gibbens was close behind Stasney in time (16:02.5), but not as close in place as the logjam continued deep into the race. He took 56th, ten spots behind Stasney, after taking 4th, one spot behind him at the Class 4 state meet.
Juniors Clayton Whitehead (Carthage) and Christian Baker (Kirkwood) were 4th and 5th for Team Missouri. Whitehead, 17th in Class 4 this season, took 88th in 16:17.3. Baker, the Suburban Conference Champion and 29th in Class 4 this season, was 100th in 16:25.8 -- probably the fastest time he has ever run to barely sneak into the top 100 in a race. Blue Springs South senior Zachary Grover was the 6th and final runner from Missouri as he finished 140th in 16:43.4. Grover was 35th in Class 4 this season.
Missourians also populated the Freshman/Sophomore race and Junior/Senior race. Blue Springs High School had the most athletes in these races as Brock Wooderson competed in the Freshman/Sophomore race and Oaklee Hauschild, Morgan Cauveren, and Gabe McClain all competed in the Junior/Senior race.
Wooderson, a freshman and the #7 on the Wildcats Class 4 title team, took 11th in the freshman/sophomore race, running 17:06.3. Wooderson was one of the fastest freshmen in the state this year and ran 16:58 at the Nike Cross Nationals Midwest Regional two weeks ago. Blue Springs South sophomore Dillon Grover ran 18:18.1 for 60th in the 9/10 race, as well.
The rest of the Blue Springs boys finished in the top 15 in the Junior/Senior race as Hauschild was 6th in 16:44.6 with Cauveren right behind him in 7th in 16:45.2. McClain was 13th in 17:02.6. Also in this race was Eureka's Zachary Christensen in 17:58.7, taking 63rd.