Whether you made it to the Gans Creek Classic cross country meet six weeks ago, have seen the new Gans Creek Cross Country course before or since then or not, prepare for this Saturday's MSHSAA State Cross Country Championship by watching a video of the course's 5k route.
The gorgeous new
facility on the south edge of Columbia is a part of the Gans Creek
Recreation Area and is one of many parks maintained by Columbia's Parks
and Recreation Department. It has several soccer fields and was
scheduled to have more added to go along the obstacle race course also
on the property. However Columbia Parks and Recreation and The
University of Missouri worked together to design and build a World-Class
cross country facility capable of hosting the highest level of meets.
With wonderful course path grass, two and three-kilometer loops, power and fiber cable running out to the two archways that can power speakers and hold video scoreboards over two points on the course that are situated at the 1k/3k and 4k spots on the current 5k configuration, along with another at the finish, a finish area timing and announcing tower, irrigation throughout, a 10-meter wide course path with wide, sweeping turns that don't slow runners pace and allow for great sight lines for spectators as well as berms that allow for great viewing for coaches and fans, Gans Creek is a first-class, well thought out facility.
With a permanent finish athletes pavilion recovery area behind the finish line, a race headquarters building, and a champions plaza and awards area all in future plans, along more time for grass to grown and thicken up between the course path, the future of the course has few limits.
The course will hold the Southeastern Conference Championships in a few years, and if the desire and energy is there, there is no reason the facility can't host the NAIA collegiate national meet with a bid by Columbia College and the City of Columbia, as well as the NCAA Division I Midwest Regional and National Championships with a Mizzou/Columbia bid. With nearby Westminster College in Fulton, the NCAA Division III National Championships could also be in the course's future, as well as AAU and USATF Junior Olympic, Club, and USATF Junior and Senior National meets.
out the 5k course, sliced and pasted from a vehicle tour last month.
Distances locations are included in the video. It's audio-free, so hit
the play button on some of your most inspiring music as you watch. Plus,
stay-tuned for the full-audio filled tour with primary course designer
Matt Boehner of Columbia Parks and Recreation, as he gives insights into
the course and it's special design features.