2022 MO XC Preview Series: Class 2 Boys and Girls


5 Top Contenders

Charlie Kinslow - West Platte

Based on the top returning times among Class 2 runners, the Class 2 individual race is wide open and ripe for the taking. Charlie Kinslow is probably the most well-rounded of the competitors vying for the crown, but it's still very close. He has the second fastest 5k among returners at 16:34.10, good enough for 7th last November, but he has the fastest 800 and 1600 marks. This summer, he dropped a 1:57.28 a few weeks after taking 3rd place at the Class 2 State Championship. He also placed 7th in 1600 in his personal best of 4:28.24. He has 51.62 speed in the 400, too. Can Kinslow's foot-speed take him all the way across the line first this fall? There's a strong chance.



Conner Diaz - Steelville

Kinslow and Steelville's Conner Diaz may be 1A/1B heading into this season. Diaz has similar range to Kinslow and a faster 5k personal best: 16:17.89 (2019) and a faster 2021 season best - 16:28.90. He is just behind Kinslow in the 800 (1:59.31) and 1600 (4:28.98) and finished just behind him in both events at the state track meet. Diaz was 5th at the state cross country meet last fall and has been all-state all three years so far. He's looking to make medal number 4 gold.


Reed Layton - Woodland

Reed Layton had the kind of 2021 that every coach and athlete hopes for. Entering the season, he sat at 18:23.20 and was able to drop it to 16:43.40 and take 9th place at the state meet. Steady improvements throughout the season are encouraging and personal bests in the 1600 and 3200 over the spring show that there is still plenty more time to drop this fall. Layton has the chops to take the crown this fall, too. Like we said, it's anyone's game. Could Layton steal the show?


Stone Gill - Arcadia Valley

There was a ton of potential surrounding Arcadia Valley's Stone Gill as he started his high school career in 2020. Gill entered his career with some blazing fast middle school personal bests that took some time to translate to the next level. In 2021-22, it seems Gill was able to put it all together en route to a massive personal best of 16:49.40 and 11th place finish at the 2021 Class 2 State Championship. He added personal bests of 4:50.48 and 10:08.63 in the 1600 and 3200, respectively. We know Gill has the chops. He's another year older and wiser so this could be the year we see an even bigger breakout from Stone Gill.


Kyle Hagemeyer - Calvary Lutheran

It wouldn't be shocking to see Kyle Hagemeyer finally take off and win a state cross country title in his own right. The rising senior from Calvary Lutheran currently has 7 state medals to his name including a Class 1 gold in the 1600 and a Class 1 silver in the 3200, both from the 2021 season. He owns personal best of 4:26.26, 9:52.80, and 16:40.22. That 16:40.22 seems to be an outlier. Hagemeyer could absolutely challenge the 16:00 barrier and blow everyone out of the water. 


Next 5 Up

Ronan Hardwicke - Christian

Christian's Ronan Hardwicke returns for his senior campaign after another successful XC season in 2021. He was 12th in the Class 2 race with a personal best of 16:50.20 and followed that up with personal bests of 2:05.30, 4:35.63, and 10:09.23 in the 800, 1600, and 3200. He qualified for state in the 1600 and 3200, finishing the dreaded 9th at state in the 8 lap race. Hardwicke has two all-state medals to his name already, but he has yet to grab a top-5 finish.


Noah Heckman - North Platte

North Platte's Noah Heckman really put it all together when it mattered most last fall. Heckman posted a 25 second personal best of 17:05.90 and grabbed a 16th place medal. It was also 72 second improvement from his freshman campaign, a race in which he placed 57th. This spring, Heckman was unable to improve upon his 10:18.16 personal best in the 3200, but he did snag two new bests in the 800 and 1600 and qualify for state in the 3200. Another successful season should be in the offing for this North Platte harrier. 


Tucker Combs - Alton

Alton's Tucker Combs returns with a similar story to Heckman before him. Combs has steadily improved his placing over the last three years at the state meet, going from 90th in 2019 to 62nd in 2020 and then 20th in 2021. He ran 17:09.70, four seconds off his personal best from Van Buren. Combs had an uneventful track season this spring, but should return as a fairly safe top-10 pick for Class 2 this fall.


Blaine Brodersen - Stover

It was a huge spring for Stover's Blaine Broderson which could actually put him in a position as a sleeper state champion pick. Broderson posted three big personal bests on the track: 2:01.85 in the 800, 4:26.90 in the 1600, and 10:04.20 in the 3200. He was 9th, 5th, and 6th respectively in each race at the state meet, 6 months after running 17:09.10 for 18th at the state cross country meet. Don't be surprised if Broderson breaks through in a big way and challenges for XC gold.


Jadon Weaver - Blue Eye

Jadon Weaver is the next big name to know from Blue Eye. Last fall, the junior was 17th overall in a 17:08.50, 46 seconds better than he had run the year before for 23rd. Coach Thompson-Krug has really made a habit of churning out solid individuals and putting together strong teams over the past few years. Watch for Weaver to be the next Bulldog to make the leap into Class 2 stardom. 


Dark Horse To Watch

Noah Wilt - South Shelby

South Shelby's Noah Wilt returns with a 17:34.90 personal best and 34th place finish at the Class 2 state meet to his name. The rising sophomore is the second fastest Class of 2025 runner in Class 2 (behind Steelville's Vincent Crocker) and is coming off a stellar spring. He ran 4:39.86 for 1600 and 10:26.96 for 3200 and should be considered an athlete to watch as he continues to gain experience, maturity, and strength.


Incoming Freshmen to Watch

Conner Soendker - Lexington

Personal Bests - XC: 8:40.90 (2400m), 9:37.40 (2500m), 11:25.10 (3200m); Track - 2:15.07 (800m), 5:00.00 (1600), 4:56.84 (1Mile)

Jedidiah Heras - Elsberry

Personal Bests - XC: 9:16.23 (2500m), 11:30.00 (3200m); Track - 2:14.72 (800m), 5:18.78 (1600m)

Noah Rees - West Platte

Personal Bests - XC: 11:34.94 (3200m), 12:08.80 (2Mile); Track - 2:21.23 (800m), 5:15.86 (1600m)

5 Team Contenders


Steelville High School (MO)
1) Conner Diaz16:28.90
2) Vincent Crocker17:10.40
3) Wyatt Harris18:03.60
4) Landon Mabe18:27.20
5) Larry Shoemake18:37.30
Average Time: 17:45.48 Total Time: 1:28:47.40 1-5 Split: 2:08.40
6) Jayden Hahn19:01.80
7) Boston Setzer19:34.00

Steelville returns six of their top 7 from a 3rd place finisher at last November's state meet. They have to replace their number 3, Toby Brown, but Larry Shoemake is back after missing the entire second half of cross country and his entire 2022 track season. Conner Diaz and Vincent Crocker are a solid 1-2 punch. After three straight years of 2nd or 3rd place finishes, Steelville has the chance to finally put it all together this year and grab their first state title in school history.



Stockton High School (MO)164
1) Colby Adams17:10.80
2) Braden Postlewait17:12.40
3) Max Brown17:14.80
4) Dakota Duncan17:41.80
5) Koleson Millard19:41.90
Average Time: 17:48.34 Total Time: 1:29:01.70 1-5 Split: 2:31.10
6) Calix Daulton20:31.50
7) Mason Willis20:48.20

Stockton is the returning state champ and will have much to say about our projection for Steelville. They bring back a three-headed monster of Colby Adams, Braden Postlewait, and Max Brown, all within 4 seconds of each other based on personal best. Adams was 25th last year, Brown was 26th, and Postlewait was 52nd a year after finishing 21st. It's a solid crew with 4 strong runners, but the question will be: Can anyone make up the 2:00 gap between 4 and 5? If so, Stockton should repeat.



Alton High School (MO)
1) Tucker Combs17:05.20
2) Zarek Harbin17:14.00
3) Gunnar Kennedy17:53.10
4) Cory Miller17:56.50
5) Trenton Cunningham18:46.70
Average Time: 17:47.10 Total Time: 1:28:55.50 1-5 Split: 1:41.50
6) Trevor Cunningham19:15.20
7) Logan Kennedy19:18.40

Alton may earn a favorable ranking based on their marks from Van Buren, but they also land way up our projections based on average season best from 2021. Led by Tucker Combs and Zarek Harbin, Alton has a great 1-2 punch and will get help from 3-5. It's a solid crew who, with some improvements over the 2022 season, will compete for a team trophy.



Lexington High School (MO)
1) Alex Worthington17:51.60
2) Drake Thompson19:13.50
3) Connor Riker19:20.10
4) Wade Carter19:35.40
5) Brayden Sander19:41.90
Average Time: 19:08.50 Total Time: 1:35:42.50 1-5 Split: 1:50.30
6) James Adkins22:33.90
7) Tristan Wick24:42.12

Lexington finds themselves in our rankings based on the arrival of Connor Soendker. Soendker will elevate a young squad with a lot of potential. He will provide a solid complement who will be hoping to build off the strong finish to his junior campaign. They're another team with some question marks toward the back end of their squad, but they're still one to watch this fall.


West Platte High School (MO)
1) Charlie Kinslow16:34.10
2) Tristan Newkirk18:01.10
3) Jonah McGivern18:18.90
4) Hutch Bartee20:09.50
5) Thomas Deffet20:54.80
Average Time: 18:47.68 Total Time: 1:33:58.40 1-5 Split: 4:20.70
6) Sam Davies20:59.87
7) Antonio Laguna24:23.96

West Platte was 6th in 2021 and returns 5 of their top 7 from that squad. Charlie Kinslow has a good shot at scoring 1 point in this year's Fall Classic, but the biggest keys will, of course, be how much help he will get from Tristan Newkirk and Jonah McGivern. With one or both of them even in the top 30 and two more boys in the top 80, West Platte could sneak their way back on to the podium. 


Dark Horse Team to Watch


Principia High School (MO)
1) Alex Miotke18:04.20
2) Holland Thomas18:11.69
3) Turner Crockett18:32.20
4) Mark Nutwell19:22.44
5) Blake Zeisler22:18.60
Average Time: 19:17.83 Total Time: 1:36:29.13 1-5 Split: 4:14.40

Principia lost quite a few to graduation, but you literally never know who could move in to this boarding school in West St. Louis County. Alex Miotke will continue to carry the torch for the squad that finished 2nd at last year's state meet. As it stands now, they are not in trophy contention with the 5 returners in our database, but according to their MSHSAA roster, they've added at least two new faces. Will it be enough to vault them back to the podium?