The athletes of Class 4 will be the first ones to step foot on Gans Creek on championship weekend for the 2021 Missouri Class 4 State Cross Country Championships.
The individual title race on the boys side already has seven athletes who have run sub 15:35 this season. All of those marks came from Gans Creek where Caleb Lind (Lutheran - St. Charles) was the top Class 4 finisher, placing second with a time of 15:09. Lind has won his last four races including the District 3 title and will be a favorite to stand atop the podium Friday morning.
Ladue teammates Andrew Smock and Charles Krasnoff will also look to make a play for the title as well and own season-best of 15:26 and 15:34 respectively. Nathanael Pohlsander (Rolla) and Thomas Roehl (Jefferson City) will also be upfront, both having season bests of 15:30. Festus teammates Cullen Krieg and Ian Schram will also be in the mix as they try to lead their team to yet another title.
COVERAGE: MSHSAA Class 4 XC State Championship
In the team title race, Festus will be looking to bring home its eighth straight state championship. With five runners in the top 15 and all seven in the top 35 amongst qualifying teams, it's hard to see anyone else challenging them. That leaves Hillsboro, Willard, Lutheran (St. Charles), Webb City, and West Plains duking it out for the remaining three trophies.
In the girls race for the individual crown, it's a pair of sisters from West Plains who are the favorites. Brayden Kantola and Jordan Kantola come into the weekend with season bests of 18:32 and 18:33 respectively. They have won six races between them, and it's likely one of them ends up with the title Friday morning.
West Plains enters as the favorite to win the girls team title and with three runners in the top five spots, and 4-7 at 39, 30, 36, and 38 amongst scoring teams they look like they'll be very tough to beat. Rockwood Summit, Farmington, Kearney, Webb City, and Festus look like the remaining teams to be battling for a trophy this weekend.