A few months ago we didn't even know if we would have a cross country season. Then there were questions on whether or not we would have the state championships, and if we did who would be allowed to compete. However, in the end the 2020 Missouri Cross Country Championships happened over the course of three days at Gans Creek in Columbia and there were some great results.
The Class 1 Girls race had some great results, and the team race specifically was highly competitive. Individually, Riley Arnold (Blue Eye) was the favorite heading into the weekend and she lead the race from start to finish. She won her third straight State Championship with a time of 18:45 to finish her season undefeated with eleven victories. Riley Bryan (Smithton) had a fantastic race as well, finishing as the runner up in Class 1 with a time of 18:55.
The team race was back and forth all day and was a close finish for the top four spots. College Heights Christian out of Joplin won the team title with a score of 91 points. Valle Catholic placed second with 109 points, Harrisburg was third with 116 points, and Van Buren was fourth with 118 points to wrap up the trophy winners.
The race for the Class 1 Individual title was a tight race throughout until the very end. Tyler Blay (West Nodaway) and Rex Heath (Principia) were neck and neck the whole race, with Blay over taking Heath who ran out of gas right at the end to win the 2020 Class 1 Stater title with a time of 16:30.
The team race was super tight with Calvary Lutheran pulling out the team title win with 90 points, Blue Eye was second with 96 points, Principia was third with 98, and West Nodaway took second place with 132 points.
The Class 2 girls race was also very tight. Alex Sharp (Brookfield) led the whole race through 4000m, but Rita Eimer (St. Pius X - Festus) and Julia Pattison (West Platte) through down massive negative splits in the last 1K to over take her. Eimer pulled out the victory to earn the state title with a time of 19:37 just ahead of Pattison who took second with a 19:39, and Sharp was third at 20:03.
The team race didn't change after the first 3000 meters, as Arcadia Valley brought home the Class 2 Girls title with 86 points, North Platte was second with 106 points, St. Pius X (Festus) took third with 128 points, and West Platte was fourth with 135 points to wrap up the trophy winners.
Sam Shuman (Spokane) took the lead from the very beginning the Class 2 Boys race, and never looked back. He lead after split, and won the Class 2 Boys title with a time of 16:03.
Father Tolton came across the street to Gans Creek brought home the Class 2 Boys team title with 92 points. Steelville took second with 118 points, Lexington was third with 126 points, and Stockton placed fourth with 139 points.
The closest finish of the entire weekend was undoubtedly the Class 3 girls individual race. After 3000m Macy Schelp (Lutheran South) and Kylie Goldfarb (John Burroughs) took off from the field and competed against each other like they have numerous times throughout their careers. The race literally came down to the last few meters where Schelp was able to hold off Goldfarb in a photo finish by a mere tenth of a second to win the Class 3 girls state title.
John Burroughs won the Class 3 girls team title with 59 points, Southern Boone placed second with 90 points, Potosi took third with 137 points, and Aurora took the final trophy placing fourth with 138 points.
The Class 3 Boys race ended up being surprisingly close. Defending Class 2 Champion Daelen Ackley (El Dorado Springs) led most of the race and held off a late surge from Connor Burns (Southern Boone) to capture the Class 3 Boys title with a 15:41.
The Class 3 boys race had some drama at the finish. When the live results came in, it appeared Lutheran (St. Charles) had won the state title. However, in the final 20m a Lutheran runner went down and was aided by a John Burroughs athlete showing good sportsmanship across the line. By rule the Lutheran runner was disqualified. This propelled Fatima to the Class 3 boys team title, Lutheran still took second, Maryville was third, and John Burroughs placed fourth.
West Plains used a strong finish to capture their 13th State Championship in the Class 4 girls race with 53 points. Cor Jesu placed second with 75 points, St. Teresa's placed third with 80 points, and Smithville was fourth with 116 points.
Riley Simpson (West Plains) dominated the Class 4 boys race from the very beginning. He finished first with a time of 15:39 to win the Class 4 boys individual state title after leading by a significant margin throughout the arce.
Festus has done it again. They won their seventh straight state championship on Friday, scoring 45 points in Class 4. Webb City took second with 97 points after a tiebreaker with West Plains who also scored 97 points to take third. Chaminade took fourth with 128 points.
The Class 5 girls race looked to be highly competitive heading in, with two defending state champions matching up. However, it was two underdogs who ended up competing for the state title. Ally Kruger (Liberty - Wentzville) overtook Grace Tyson (Lafayette - Wildwood) in the final stretch to earn the Class 5 state title with a new course record of 18:03.
Lafayette (Wildwood) used a great last 1K to earn the Class 5 State title with 80 points. Parkway West was second with 89 points, Blue Springs South was third with 98 points, and Rock Bridge was fourth with 118 points.
Matthew Hauser (Rock Bridge) captured the boys individual title in Class 5 with a time of 15:34, just holding off Trevor Peimann (Timberland) and Ethan Lee (Liberty North) who both ran 15:40 in a very competitive race.
Rock Bridge caputred the Class 5 Boys team title with 109 points, while St. Louis University High took second with 125 points. Liberty, who was only able to score due to qualifying five individuals after taking third place at districts, managed a third place finish 136 points, and Liberty North took fourth with 142 points.