The Forest Park Cross Country Festival is St. Louis's premiere cross country meet and always attracts the best competition from Missouri and even some great teams from out of state. The meet is always competitive and can see some quick times. Unfortunately with the weather forecast the meet this weekend is in doubt. The St. Louis area is expected to get very high levels of rain over the next few days. Even if the rain lets up for the meet to be held Saturday, I would not expect any super fast times from the Varsity divisions as this course ran very slow when it was muddy back in 2016. Compounding the issue is the Varsity Girls Green Division will be the 8th race of the day, and the Varsity Boys will be the 11th so if its muddy, the course will likely be very torn up by the time the faster divisions get to race. However, in case the weather men get it wrong, I'm going to preview this meet as if it was being ran in normal conditions.
Check out Kane Katubig's 2017 FPXC Festival Highlight Video
Green Division Girls
The Green Division will feature eight, yes EIGHT ranked teams from Class 4. Lindbergh (#5), Francis Howell (#6), Eureka (#7), Blue Springs (#8), Blue Springs South (#11), St. Teresa's (#14), Hickman (#15), and Liberty - Wentzville (#16) all are competing. Not sounding like good enough competition? Well there are also four ranked teams from Class 3, Festus (#2), Herculaneum (#4), Notre Dame - Cape Girardeau (#6), and Helias Catholic (#7). STILL not enough? Well lets add in Class 2 #1 Fatima. On top of all those State Ranked teams, two out of State Teams will likely be duking it out for the team title, O'Fallon (IL) and St. James Academy (KS). So needless to say this meet has the potential to be highly competitive.
Individually State Leader Maddie Hill will match up with two runners from St. James Academy, Sarah Murrow and Mary O'Connor. All three of these ladies come in with low to mid 18:00 PR's, but so far this year Maddie is the only one to have ran a 5K. Abigail Juedemann of Lindbergh will also be making her 5K debut this weekend and very well could factor in along with Tessa Valdivia.
Green Division Boys
The Boys side is also super loaded with ranked teams as seven of the top teams in Class 4 will be attendance, lead by the #11 team in the nation, Rockhurst (#1 in C4). Along with them is SLUH (#3), Liberty (#8), Lafayette (#9), Blue Springs (#11), Jefferson City (#15), and Parkway Central (#16). They are joined by five ranked teams from Class 3, Festus (#1), Norte Dame - Cape Girardeau (#4), Herculaneum (#5), Helias Catholic (#8), and St. Francis Borgia (#9). They will be joined by a few good out of state teams in Neuqua Vally (IL), O'Fallon (IL), and St. James Academy (KS).
Racing for the Individual title will be the Rockhurst duo of Wesley Porter and Tom Seitzer who ran 15:25 and 15:35 respectively last week at the Greg Wilson Classic. Lafayette's Harrison Brown will be making his 5K debut this weekend as well and could factor in for the top spot.
Gold & White Division
On the Girls side in the Gold Division Class 3 #5 Owensville is the only ranked team competing. In the White Division Class 2 #7 Jefferson R-VII will be the only ranked team competing. Both teams should finish well, but they are competing against some larger schools which could provide them some competition.
The Boys Gold Division will feature Class 2 #9 St. Vincent as the lone State ranked team. The White Division will feature Class 3 #10 St. Lutheran (St. Charles), and Class 1 #3 Oak Ridge. Individually Carson Sanders (Orchard Farm) should be the favorite to bring home the title in the White Division.