The Individual Race
Out of the previews we've done so far, the Class 4 girls race is shaping up to be one of the more interesting races. With last year's Class 3 & 4 champions now in Class 5, the window is open for a new champion to emerge.
Olivia Littleton (Smithville) has the fastest returning time in Class 4 this fall with an 18:45, and also had the fastest time at State among the returners. Her 18:46 effort at the state meet placed her third in Class 3, and she'll look to make a run at the individual title this season.
A trio of Class 4 All-Staters from a year ago will also look to make runs at the title. Frances Luna (Cor Jesu) returns with an 18:46 from the state meet last year, which was good enough to earn her a ninth place finish. Her teammate, and younger sister, Adrienne Luna (Cor Jesu) also returns with an 18:56 which earned her an 18th place finish in Class 4. Mia Reed (Washington) dropped over 40 seconds off of her season best at state last year to climb to a 12th place finish with an 18:53 which stands as the third fastest returning time in Class 4. She'll look to become the second one at the Thanksgiving table with a Class 4 XC Title, as her sister Mikayla won in 2016.
The Team Title Chase
Just like the individual race, both Class 3 & 4 Team champions have moved up to Class 5 leaving an opening for a new champion.
West Plains has the edge in the pre-season virtual meet, and returns six out of their top seven that took fifth place in Class 4 last year. West Plains is no stranger to the state podium as they are the most decorated program in state history, and they will look to get back to winning titles starting this year.