Individual Title Hunt
The top returner from the state meet last fall of the boys in Class 4 is Joseph Dawson (Webb City). Dawson's PR of 15:51 from that meet earned him a 15th place finish last year in Class 4 and is the second fastest returning time in Class 4. With everyone that beat him at Gans Creek either having graduated or moved to the new Class 5, he'll certainly be one of the favorites heading into the fall.
Riley Simpson (West Plains) holds the fastest overall returning time in Class 4 with a 15:30 that he ran at Sectionals last year. He placed 19th the following week at the Class 4 state meet with a time of 15:54. He'll look to add his name to the list of West Plain's greats with a win, and hope to lead his team to a title of their own as well.
Cullen Krieg (Festus) is another name to look out for next year, as he returns with the fifth fastest returning time in Class 4. Last year as freshman he placed sixth in the Class 3 state meet with a PR of 15:59, and he should only keep improving from there.
Team Title Chase
Two giants in the Missouri cross country world will be squaring off this season in Class 4 the team title.
On one side you have Festus, who has won six straight Class 3 state titles. Since 2009 the WORST they have ever finished at the state meet is second, which they've done on three occasions. So I'm sure no one is surprised that they will be yet again competing to finish on top of the podium. They are however second in the pre-season virtual meet (see below).
Historic powerhouse West Plains is slotted above Festus in the virtual meet and has plenty of history of their own. The Zizzers have 13 state titles to their name, but haven't won since being moved up to Class 4 in 2009. Now no longer in the largest class, they will look to get back to their winning ways an dethrone Festus.