2020 MO Track Previews: Class 3-5 Distance Events

Class 5

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The Girls 800m will see four medalists returning in 2020. Among those medalists will be defending State Champion Audrey Parson (Lee's Summit West). Her winning time of 2:13.19 stands as the second fastest returning time from last year behind only her teammate Madison Hulsey who ran 2:12.63 at Festival of Miles a week after placing 4th at State. I would be shocked to see anyone who isn't a Titan atop the 800m medal stand this year.

Four medalists also return this year in the Boys 800m. State Champion Lazarus Williams (SLUH) is the top returner from a year ago and his winning time of 1:53.29 is the second fastest returning time. 2018 State Champion Martin Strong (Kirkwood) has the fastest returning time with a 1:52.49 which he ran at Festival of Miles. I'd say the race will come down between those two and Joplin's Micah Bruggeman who owns a PR of 1:55.

The Girls 1600m will be an entirely different landscape this season, as all eight medalists from last season graduated. Madison Hulsey (Lee's Summit West) will be the heavy favorite heading into the season as she returns with a season best of 5:01 which is the fastest returning time by over ten seconds.

Last year's runner up, Wes Porter (Rockhurst), leads four returning state medalist in the Boys 1600m. Porter holds the fastest returning time from last year as well, as he ran 4:15 at the Kansas Relays. He'll be chased by Lucas Rackers (SLUH) and Micah Bruggeman (Joplin) who placed 5th and 6th last year and both had season best times of 4:18.

The Girls 3200m race looks to be wide open this year, with six out of eight state medalists from last year having graduated. Gracyn Pietrusinski (Holt) is the top returner from last years race as she placed 4th with a PR of 11:28. The top two returning times however belong to Addie Mathis (Lee's Summit West) at 11:24 who was 8th last year, and Marissa Dick (Raymore-Peculiar) at 11:25. Also very likely to be a factor for the title will be 2019 Class 4 XC Champion Carolyn Ford (Rock Bridge)

The Boys 3200m will see four state medalists returning. Wes Porter (Rockhurst) will be the likely favorite heading in after rolling his way to the Class 4 XC State Title. He placed 6th last year, but has the fastest returning time with a 9:22. Lucas Rackers (SLUH) is the top returning finisher from last year as he placed 4th, and he holds a PR of 9:25. Braden Zaner (Ray-Pec) and Ryan Mata (Liberty) are the remaining returning medalists as they placed 5th and 8th respectively and hold PR's of 9:27 and 9:29.