2023 MSHSAA State Championships Preview: Class 1 Boys

The 2023 MSHSAA State Championships are finally upon us and we are excited for another thrilling and chilly November weekend of racing!

This year's Class 1 Boys State Championship will kick off the weekend with a 9:00am start time on Friday. The race features two reigning champions with a strong chance of three-peating.



BOYS: Class 5 | Class 4 | Class 3 | Class 2 | Class 1
GIRLS: Class 5 | Class 4 | Class 3 | Class 2 | Class 1


Check out our preview of the field, with District champions highlighted and the other major contenders discussed among the strong field of candidates. This year, the Top 4 teams will still continue to be honored with a trophy, but a new development means the Top 30 athletes will be honored with medals. According to MileSplit's rankings, the 30th fastest runner in Class 1 Boys is currently 17:46.81.


The District Champs - Individuals

Cade Nold - Dora

Dora's Cade Nold has lived up to the preseason billing this fall as the Class 1 District 1 champion enters the Class 1 State meet as one of the five best athletes in the field. 

A middle distance stud, Nold has continued to show us his range as his 16:49.98 ranks fifth among Class 1 runners in 2023. He picked up early season wins in the Class 1 race at Steve Waggoner and at the Gainesville Bulldog Classic. He has rattled off four wins in a row heading into Friday's finale, with golds at Conway, Dora White River, the Iron Mountain Run, and the District 1 meet. Expect to see Nold up front with the leaders early and throughout on Friday.


Landon Duchscherer - Marion C. Early

A strong fifth place finisher at the 2022 State meet, Marion C. Early senior Landon Duchscherer has run the table so far in 2023, winning all ten races he has run so far and appears on a crash course to pulling off an epic upset. 

Duchscherer has a massive mountain to climb with the two-time defending state champion standing in his way, but he has shown throughout his senior campaign that he is not afraid to run from the front and push the pace. A 15:53.01 personal best earned him the outright win at the Willard Highline Invitational. Other key victories came at the Hermitage Dam Invitational, Republic Invitational, Buffalo Invitational, Polk County League, and Class 1 District 2, among others. He appears poised for a major breakout this Friday coming off his second sub-16:00 performance of the season, but will need some magic to pull in that gold medal.


Landen Chapman - Paris

Paris sophomore Landen Chapman has flown well under the radar this season in Class 1, but pulled out the win at the Class 1 District 3 meet last Saturday and has planted himself firmly on the radar now. 

The 55th place finisher as a freshman in 2022, Chapman has improved his personal best to 17:28.08 and is among the top 15 best runners heading into Friday's meet. This was not his first victory of the season as he also earned a win at the Robert Kelsay Invitational and, furthermore, was runner-up at North Callaway. Watch for Chapman to race his way into the front pack coming off this big District championship. 


Riley Blay - West Nodaway

One of the state's best runners regardless of classification, West Nodaway's Riley Blay enters the Class 1 meet on Friday as the heavy favorite to win it all for the third straight year.

What else is there for Blay to do to convince us? He has picked up wins at the Spoofhound Invitational, 275 Conference, and Class 1 District 4 meets, while finishing runner-up to Class 4 star Liam Adair at the Tim Nixon Invitational, 5th to Iowa's 3A runner-up among others at the Shenandoah Invitational, and 21st in the Gans Creek Gold division in 16:14.50. His biggest competition will be District 2 champ Duchscherer, who has yet to lose this season so far. Be that as it may, Blay's 15:22.00 personal best and 16:11 season average should be good enough to secure the three-peat.


The District Champs - Teams

Van Buren

Van Buren has been building a solid program out of southern Missouri over the last few years and should be among the trophy contenders after another Class 1 District 1 victory last Saturday.

Jaxson Houf leads the way for the Bulldogs who appear to be seeded second as a team heading into Friday's meet. Houf was a key part of their runner-up finish last November, finishing 12th right behind his since-graduated teammate. A 17:13.10 season best is a ways back of his 16:49.70 lifetime best.

Van Buren picked up wins this year at Class 1 Steve Waggoner, Bismarck, the Van Buren Scenic Run, East Carter, and the Big Spring Conference. It will be an interesting rematch for them against the reigning two-time champions on Friday. They were able to hold off a sneaky, upward-trending East Carter team who had beaten them twice already this season so they are heading into this weekend's finale battle-tested.



Hermitage was a heavy favorite for the repeat heading into the 2023 season and have very little to sever our confidence in them. They were big winners at Class 1 District 2 on Saturday, 39 points ahead of a solid McAuley Catholic squad with their first four boys in the top fifteen and their entire top five in the top twenty-six. They have been solid on the big stage throughout the year. A close third at the Missouri Southern Stampede Gold Division, two points back of Helias Catholic at the Capital City Invitational, and third behind Bolivar and El Dorado Springs at their home meet, they have pulled in victories at Fair Grove, Polk County League, and the Montrose Invitational.

The Hornets are led by Justus Yates, Bennett Mantooth, and Dejuan Chambers, all members of the team that scored 51 points for the win last year. This year may not be as cut and dry after losing a couple of key men and some depth at six and seven, but we feel confident Hermitage will be among the leaders throughout the race on Friday as they seek out state title number three in a row and securing their second Class 1 three-peat under head coach Mark Sabala.



Vienna picked up an impressive victory at the Class 1 District 3 meet, putting 4 in the top 9 and scoring only 39 points. They were 51 points clear of Paris in second. 

Led by Cooper Auten with an 18:18.87 personal best, it is a tight 1-4 pack that carries these Eagles to success. Where they will struggle on Friday is their depth past number four. Expect Vienna to compete for their first ever team trophy on Friday, but may need some of that pack-running magic and a stellar day from a fifth man to pull it off.


Mound City

Mound City emerged from an up-for-grabs Class 1 District 4 meet with the win, benefiting from being the only team with a sub-20:00 1-5 average. They also benefit from front-runner Keaton Zembles, who finished third here, and is seeded sixth with his 17:04.30 personal best. Zembles picked up two all-state medals this spring and was ninth in Class 1 last November. These Panthers have a shot at a team trophy, but, much like Vienna, will need someone from their 5-7 to step up and seal the deal for them.

Keep an eye out for...

McAuley Catholic

McAuley Catholic is enjoying a run of success, no doubt a product of Coach Andy Youngworth taking over the program three years ago. Nevertheless, McAuley is rolling along this year and enters the Class 1 State meet seeded fifth. They were fourth last year - the school's first ever team trophy finish - and could very well secure a second one this year. Michael Parrigon leads the way once again with his 16:20.36 personal best. A contender for a top three finish individually, he will score low for McAuley and should pick up help from a solid supporting cast at 2-5. They took a shot at Hermitage last Saturday and fell short, but will get a chance at redemption very quickly on Friday, hoping for a team title of their own.


Oak Ridge

Oak Ridge has become a mainstay in the Class 1 ranks over the last decade and should be right there in the mix for a team trophy once again at this year's meet. 

Seeded fourth, the Blue Jays are led by a dynamic 1-2 punch of Brock Hobeck and Ty Wilson who come in with a mere 0.02 seconds of separation among their personal bests - 17:28.36 and 17:28.38. They have earned four trophies in the last five years, including a team championship in 2019, and have sought out competition with the best of the best in Eastern Missouri regardless of size. Oak Ridge is a major contender to play spoiler for Hermitage's three-peat effort.


Calen Faucett - Crane

Behind the big three of Blay, Duchscherer, and Parrigon is a slew of boys led by Crane's Calen Faucett. 

Faucett owns a personal best of 16:43.44, a mark which earned him a silver medal at the Clever Invitational. He earned victories this year at Monett, Texidor School of the Ozarks, and the SWCL Conference. Coming off of a 13th place finish in 2022, Faucett should be among the top five individuals on Friday.  


Jonathan Eckstein - Bishop LeBlond

The Class 1 District 4 runner-up on Saturday, Bishop LeBlond's Jonathan Eckstein has emerged as a quiet contender for a top five finish on Friday. 

Eckstein heads into the Class 1 State meet with a 16:55.15 personal best on the Gans course at the Brian T. Simpson Invite and has picked up victories at Tarkio and Rock Port. Consistently between 17:00 and 18:00, do not be surprised to find Eckstein among the front group early and finish well ahead of his 16th place performance from 2022's Class 2 meet.