Parkway Central High School has joined Jefferson Barracks and McNair as one of the most used facilities to host cross country meets in the St. Louis area over the last decade. Saturday Central hosted the Class 4 and 5 District 3 meets on the newest version of the course, which seems like it may be the best. The double-lined layout starts and finishes on a plateau at the top of a hill behind Parkway Central High and Middle school. The course circles a pair of athletic fields while descending and ascending the hill. It also runs on a trail thru the woods while also having plenty of turns and ups and downs.
MICDS senior Julia Ray cruised to victory, winning easily in 18:36. A duel between her and Tolton Catholic sophomore Elyse Wilmes never played out as Wilmes ran controlled while also having to stop to remove a rock from her shoe. Ray finished in 18:36 to help the Lady Rams take 3rd in the team standings and qualify for state.
Julia Donnelly was the 3rd star in the race, among the state's very best no matter what classification. The Washington All-State harrier and wrestler, who finished 4th at state in both sports last year, took 2nd in 19:15. Wilmes crossed the line in 19:34 leading a quartet of Tolton ladies across the line. Fellow sophomore Madison Taylor was 4th in 19:50, while freshman Makaylin Viet was 5th, and senior Olivia Andrews 8th.
The Trailblazers scored just 49 points to win the team title and set them up for a chance at a state team title. Last year's state championship came in Class 3 and with that win came MSHSAA Championship Factor points for the private school, moving them up to Class 4 this year.
Freshman Savannah Amann finished 7th for St. Joseph's Academy, leading the Angels to a 2nd-place finish with 70 points. MICDS was 3rd with 88, while Fort Zumwalt South finished 4th with 154 points to beat John Burroughs (168) and Washington (184) for the 4th and final state qualifying position. Mexico was 7th, Parkway Central 8th, and Hannibal 9th, while Parkway North rounded out the top-10. Wentzville School District's 2nd-year North Point High School was 11th, just ahead of St. Charles.
MICDS senior and Tennessee commit Juila Ray