The Individual Title Race
Realignment to five classes in cross country, as well as the new championship factor for private schools has changed what Class 3 looks like this year, as it consists of a lot of schools that were Class 2 in season's past.
The top returner in Class 3 is in fact that defending Class 2 state champion, Daelen Ackley (El Dorado Springs). Daelen went BIG at state last year, winning the race by 20 seconds with a time of 15:39 which stands as the fastest overall returning time in Class 3 this year. No doubt Daelen will look to keep improving, and add another state championship to his name.
Landon Fatino (Pleasant Hill) will be his closest challenger this season, and has the second fastest returning time in Class 3 with a 15:55. That was good enough last year to earn him a fourth place finish in Class 3. He'll look to drop some more time this year, and possibly challenge Ackley for the title.
The Team Title Chase
Defending Class 2 State Champion Fatima looks to be the early favorite in Class 3, as they return four of their top five, and five of their top seven from last season's championship team. Lutheran (St. Charles) also looks to be very dangerous, as they are second in the virtual meet and return their entire top five from last year, including three rising juniors.