Off with a BANG! '22 CC Season in Full Stride

Read the following names and consider what great years these three are likely to have:

Grace Tyson, senior Lafayette (Wildwood)

Can the swimmer who hadn't run organized cross country or track until high school except for P.E. class program, repeat as Class 5 state champion and prove she's one of the best in the Midwest as well as a national class runner?

Julia Ray, senior MICDS

Can Ray return to excellent form after missing almost all of April during the track season?

Can she win a state title in Class 5 after winning the Class 3 title in 2019 as a freshman?

Elyse Wilmes, sophomore Tolton Catholic

Can Wilmes go 2 for 2 at the state cross country meet? The Wilmes family has quite a standout resume and Elyse coulld add a second straight individual and team title to it.

Also consider some of these story lines and what's possible this fall.

Can Herculaneum boys go back-to-back and win state title number 14? Or can the Potosi boys add to the Trojans legacy and take the Class 3 title?

Can the Hermitage boys win a 5th state title in Class 1 for head coach Mark Sabala and new assistant Easton Sabala, Mark's son and former state champion who just wrapped his college career at Iowa's Central College?

Can Riley Blay add another state title to the Blay family running resume? The West Nodaway/Nodaway Valley junior won the Class 1 cross country title last fall, then swept the 800, 1600, and 3200-meter state track races in May.

Big brother Tyler Blay was the state runner-up in cross country in 2019 before Covid knocked out the 2020 track season. At the 2020 state cross country meet, Tyler won his first state title, while brother Riley was 16th, helping West Nodaway to the 4th-place team title. Tyler then won the 2021 state track 3200 title while taking 2nd in the 1600 before moving on to the college ranks.

Can the Van Buren High School ladies improve on their score of 43 points from last year's state meet and win a 2nd straight class 1 state team title?

Can Smithton senior Riley Bryan return to the amazing form she was in a year ago when she won the Class 1 state title? The only runners to beat in her cross country in her two previous and only years are in the sport are Eldon's Zoe Martonfi and 4x state cross country champion Riley Arnold, while she's bested big school stars like Makayla Clark and Kayley Russell.

Two great meets will be held this weekend, providing lots of great competition and performanceas will answer more questions as to where some teams and individuals stand and give some insight into what will happen over the next two and even three months. The Raymore-Peculiar Invitational in the Kansas City area and the Forest Park Cross Country Festival in St. Louis are two of the best run meets in the state.