2021 Missouri Class 4 & 5 State Cross Country Recap

You couldn't have asked for a better venue or better conditions for a cross country meet than what we at Gans Creek for the 2021 Missouri Class 4 State XC Championships and 2021 Missouri Class 5 State XC Championships. The results were phenomenal as we saw some of the best racing we've seen in the history of the state.

The Class 4 Boys lead off the weekend, and boy was that a fun race to watch. The lead pack was nearly 20 runners deep through 2K, and through 4K there were still six runners within one second of each other at the front of the race. Out of those six, it was Caleb Lind (Lutheran - St. Charles) who had the best final 1K to bring home the  Class 4 Boys Individual Title with a time of 15:15. Jacob Meyers (Festus) took second place with a 15:18, Charles Krasnoff (Ladue) was third with a 15:20, Andrew Smock (Ladue) was fourth with a 15:20, and Cullen Krieg (Festus) was fifth with a 15:30.

With all five scoring runners medaling, Festus marched to their eighth straight team title as they secured the Class 4 Team State Championship with a score of 38 points. Willard was second with 148 points, Lutheran (St. Charles) was third with 154 points, and Ladue was fourth with 59 points to round out the trophy winners.

Next up was the Class 4 Girls race which saw a lot of movement upfront, as we had a different leader at each K marker. Through 3K only two seconds separated first from seventh place, and that narrowed down to five within ten seconds at 4K. That last 1000m saw sisters Jordan Kantola (West Plains) and Brayden Kantola (West Plains) up and leave the pack with Jordan winning the State title with a time of 18:28, and Brayden finishing second with an 18:29. Alexandria Kinstler (Kearney) finished third with an 18:36, Julia Donnelly (Washington) finished fourth with an 18:38, and Abigail Street (Webb City) was fifth with an 18:44.

The West Plains girls rolled to the team title scoring 59 points, with three runners in the top 7 finishers, Farmington was second with 97 points, Kearney was third with 122 points, and Rockwood Summit was fourth with 126 points.

The Class 5 Boys race took the course next, and boy did they not disappoint. In one of the (if not in fact the fastest) fastest races in state history, the leaders ran an absolutely blistering pace and traded blows all 5000m. Two pairs of teammates duked it out upfront all race with Andrew Hauser (Rock Bridge) and Ian Kemey (Rock Bridge) trading blows with Ethan Lee (Liberty North) and Sage Wilde (Liberty North).

The sophomores Hauser and Wilde had a little bit of a gap on their upperclassmen teammates heading into the last 1000m, and it was Hauser who was able to pull away to win the Class 5 Individual title with a time of 14:52. That marks the new Gans Creek Course Record, as well as stands as the second-fastest time ever in state history. Ethan Lee had a strong final K to finish second with a time of 14:59, which is the eighth-fastest time in state history, Sage Wilde was third with a 15:06, Ian Kemey was fourth with a 15:12, and Luke Voelker (Raymore-Peculiar) was fifth with a 15:22.

Five Juniors from Kickapoo all had big last 1000m to come from behind to win the Class 5 Boys team title with 77 points. Rock Bridge placed second with 81 points, Liberty North was third with 111 points, and SLUH was fourth with 116 points. 

The Class 5 girls race wrapped up the day at Gans Creek and saw one of the most impressive performances of the weekend. Grace Tyson (Lafayette - Wildwood) did what she does best and took a very aggressive lead early and never looked back. In what looked like an almost identical race to her Class 5 3200m victory on the track in the spring (minus the photo finish), Tyson led from start to finish to win the Class 5 Girls Individual title with a time of 17:42. Leah Kleekamp (Eureka) was second with a 17:56, Amelia Arrieta (St. Teresa's) was third with a 17:57, Julia Ray (MICDS) was fourth with an 18:00, and Mya Trober (Blue Springs South) was fifth with an 18:03.

The Blue Springs South tradition of coming up clutch at the state cross country meet continued in 2021, as they won the Class 5 girls team title with 89 points. St. Teresa's was second with 117 points, Cor Jesu was third with 125 points, and Rock Bridge was fourth with 139 points.

For photo and video coverage from the Class 4 & 5 State Championships please check our 2021 Missouri Cross Country State Championships Hub throughout the next couple of days as we upload all of our content!