We had waited to see the new state course in action for sometime now, and in my personal opinion it exceeded expectations. Despite it being a bit muddy and soft from overnight rain, the course ran much more fair than Oak Hills ever did, but also proved that it isn't the race track that some people feared. The rolling hills and sweeping turns provided a sufficient challenge to the runners, and the width of the course gave enough room for athletes to make moves and not have to fear getting "stuck" in the pack. I was especially impressed with the nice wide 600m straight start to get them going. This also one of the best spectator courses I've ever seen, and I felt like I was able to watch most of the race without having to run a near 5K myself. Needless to say, I think this place is going to be special and that we are very blessed to have a state course like this.
Another thing that I think needs mentioned is how well the meet was ran. The boxes were nice and wide, there was an automatic check in where athletes just simply walked over a chip reader, and even tent spaces were assigned. The races were all started promptly, and the finishing tent provided athletes with ample space for water and medical assistance should they need it. This stuff may seem small to most, but for those of us who understand the chaos that the state meet has been at Oak Hills can see this course easily hosting the state meet.
Lamar's Kiersten Potter wins the Varsity Girls White Division race.
Varsity Girls White Division
The first high school race ever at Gans Creek was the white division girls race. The race saw some of the best runners from the smaller classes square off and they set the tone for a good day. Freshman Kiersten Potter of Lamar brought home the individual title with a time of 19:31, which was the second best time of her young career. Isabella Ross (Moberly) had a career day, finishing second with a new PR of 20:05. Delaney Straus (Marion County) also ran a season best of 20:23 to take third. Steelville won the team title in the white division with 149 points, Sullivan was 2nd with 159, and Whitfield was 3rd with 162.
Maplewood-Richmond Heights Malik Stewart leads Knob Noster's Samuel Wilhelm at 1130-meters.
Varsity Boys White Division
Another race showcasing some of the best runners in the smaller classes, the boys white division saw some good results. Malik Stewart (Maplewood-Richmond Hts) was the first boy to claim a victory at Gans Creek as he dominated the competition with a time of 16:27. It was a pretty good race for him, and he'll try to win his next race at Gans Creek which will be for the Class 2 State Championship. Caleb Distler (New Bloomfield) was an All-State finisher a year ago in Class 2, and looks to be in a good spot again this year as he finished 2nd with a 16:49, just a little behind his PR. Fellow Class 2 All-Stater Samuel Wilhelm (Knob Noster) was 3rd with a 16:54 which was just 6 seconds off of his PR from earlier this season. Bowling Green won the team title with 146 points to defeat Whitfield at 181, and Moberly at 205.
Brookfield's Alex Sharp (left) and Lutheran South's Macy Schelp run stride for stride early in the Blue race.
Varsity Girls Blue Division
The Blue Division saw a nice mix between bigger and smaller schools, and provided for a competitive race. Macy Schelp (Lutheran South) continued her strong start to the season with a 19:18 to pick up the individual title. That time was her fastest time of the season so far, and only 8 seconds off of her PR from a year ago. Alex Sharp (Brookfield) who was 5th in Class 2 last year placed second with a time of 19:28 which was less than a second off of her PR and season best. Class 3 All-Stater Isabella Boedefeld ran what was probably the best race of her career with a time of 19:43 to place third, and was her second time below the 20:00 barrier. Northwest (Cedar Hill) won the team title with 82 points, Incarnate Word was second with 116, and Kearney was third with 171.
Varsity Boys Blue Division
Defending Class 2 State Champion Kolin Overstreet (Lamar) notched another win in his storied career Saturday in the blue division. He ran 16:19, which was his second fastest time this year and only a few ticks off of his season best. He'll look to try and pick up another victory in the Class 3 title race later this Fall. Seth Gleason (Ft. Zumwalt North) continued his break out senior campaign with a second place finish in the blue division. He ran the second fastest time of his career with a 16:35, and is a legitimate contender for a State Medal in Class 4 this Fall. Class 3 All-Stater Landon Fatino (Pleasant Hill) ran the second fastest time of his career as well to take third place with a time of 16:41. Fatima reclaimed their number 1 ranking in Class 2 with a victory in the blue division with 172 points, defeating Westminster Christian with 182, and East Newton with 200 points.
Fatima's Lucas Laux (left) and Dawson Woehr led the Comets to the Blue Division title, placing 16th and 17th individually.
Rock Bridge freshman phenom Carolyn Ford put away the field early in the Varsity Gold Division 5k. Here at 3-kilometers, Ford had increased her lead to 20-seconds. Ford's final margin of victory, a whopping 44-seconds.
Varsity Girls Gold Division
This race was LOADED with All-State runners and over 10 State ranked teams across three classes. However, it was a freshman who stole the show. Rock Bridge breakout star Carolyn Ford ran away from the field to claim victory with a shiny new PR of 18:40. She looks to be a real contender for the Class 4 title when she returns to Gans Creek in November. Makayla Clark (Lee's Summit West) picked up the second place finish a time of 19:24 which was only 12 seconds off of her PR from earlier in the season. Elizabeth Stinson (Liberty North) was the third place finisher following up her second place finish from Missouri Southern with a great time of 19:28. Class 3 title contender Olivia Littleton (Smithville) was just behind her at 19:29 to take 4th place. Lee's Summit West ran away with the team title scoring 63 points, followed by Eureka at 138, and Rock Bridge at 155.
Chase pack of Lee's Summit's (left to right) McKenna Butler, Makayla Clark, Haiey Baldwin, and Ray-Pec's Marissa Dick at 1,130-meters.
Varsity Gold Division Runners-up Eureka Wildcats
Varsity Gold Division Champions Lee's Summit West Titans
Varsity Boys Gold Division
This race lived up to all the hype and was a tight race throughout. Wes Porter (Rockhurst) kept his undefeated season alive as he ran 15:44 which was the fastest time of the day. He looks to be in a very good position to win a state title this fall, and I'm excited to see what he can do in a little better conditions. Blake Morris (Notre Dame - Cape Girardeau) had another spectacular day, running 15:51 to place second and seems to be in prime position to win the Class 3 State Title later this season as he's been sub 16 in each of his four races this season. Jack Crull (Helias Catholic) placed third with a time of 15:56 and he'll still likely be a challenger for the Class 4 State Title in November. Liberty won another team title this year which caused them to jump to the 2nd place team ranking in Class 4 as they scored 206 points to defeat Class 3 No. 1 Festus at 216, and a resurgent Kirkwood sqaud who scored 234 points.
Varsity Boys Gold race at 1130-meters.
Varsity Boys Gold Division Champion Wesley Porter, Rockhurst
Blake Morris, Notre Dame (Cape Girardeau)
Jack Crull, Helias Catholic (Jefferson City)
Festus Tigers, Varsity Boys Gold Division Runners-up
Liberty Blue Jays, Varsity Boys Gold Division Champions