2023 MSHSAA State Championships Preview: Class 1 Girls

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 Girls State Championship will be the second race of the day on Friday with a 9:45am start time. The race features several freshmen and sophomore girls hoping to take down the reigning individual champion.



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 Girls is currently 21:56.65.


The District Champs - Individuals

Isabelle Martin - Dora

Another standout from a Dora program on the rise, freshman Isabelle Martin brought home the individual Class 1 District 1 win on Saturday by 12 seconds over East Carter sophomore Katelyn Nichols. Martin has been rolling at the right time, dropping a 20:57.23 personal best at the District 1 meet and fifth win of the season in the process. Martin could surprise some folks on Friday as she appears to be a candidate for an upset in the Class 1 race.


Ally Barton - Liberal

After an impressive eight grade track season, there was a lot of hype surrounding the arrival of Liberal's Ally Barton and, so far, she has certainly lived up to it. Barton enters the Class 1 finale ranked fifth based on her personal best time of 20:11.42 from Saturday's Class 1 District 2 meet. It was her third win in a row after she picked up wins at the Montrose Invitational and Polk County League meet. We have seen freshmen have major breakthroughs to upset the prohibitive favorites at State and Barton is certainly a candidate for that feat this year.


Sonya Brunner - Calvary Lutheran

The Class 1 District 3 champion was Calvary Lutheran's Sonya Brunner by 30 seconds over Glasgow two-time top 10 finisher Addison Barringhaus. The big victory was Brunner's third of the year to go along with wins at the Vienna Autumn Classic and the Calvary Lutheran Invitational. Brunner's 20:52.91 season best came against some Class 4 and 5 foes at Bowling Green, but is still a few seconds off her 20:25.00 personal best mark from last year. After a 7th place finish in the 2022, expect Brunner to push into the top five and challenge the front group this Friday.


Mya Wray - South Nodaway

South Nodaway's Mya Wray picked up her second career District 4 victory on Saturday as her winning ways continued, this time by 1 minute and 16 seconds. Wray has won seven times in nine tries this season and boasts a personal best of 19:03.70, tops among all Class 1 runners so far. 

After finishing 3rd at last year's State meet, Wray was undefeated in the spring in the 3200 and lost only her first 1600 of the track season before winning the rest. Her 5:18 and 11:43 marks were good enough for state golds in Class 1 and have her as a heavy favorite to bring home the State cross country title in her sophomore year, continuing the tradition of success for Platte Valley.


The District Champs - Teams


By the thinnest of margins, the Dora Lady Falcons took the win over East Carter on the sixth runner tie-breaker. Junior Chloe Barton made the difference as she came across four places ahead of East Carter's Heather Nichols.

Isabelle Martin leads the way for the team seeded second heading into the Class 1 Championship. She is supported by older sister Emma Martin and fellow freshman Kara Anderson at numbers 2 and 3, with Kinley Luna coming in as their solid number 4. It will be a battle for Dora between several teams, but they have shown this year that they have the chops to hang with the best of the best all year. They should make this Class 1 race very interesting. 



The top-seeded team heading into the Class 1 finale is Chadwick, led by the freshman duo of Emily and Macy Landry. Both girls come in among the top eight best runners in the state with their 20:08.50 and 20:14.26 personal bests. Following them is Raeleigh Little at number three, whose 21:38.75 best is far and away tops among number three runners in Class 1. Returning all-stater Gretchen House currently sits as their number four, but if she is able to come even within a minute of her 20:28.16 lifetime best, Friday's race should be no contest for the Cardinals.



It was a solid day at the office for the Paris Coyotes as their girls team was able to secure a Class 1 District 3 team title on Saturday. Paris has the minimum five girls on their team and is led by a solid 1-2-3 punch of Mairyn Kinnaman, Alexandria Tullius, and Ava Crain. They finished third, fourth, and fifth in the District 3 race. Kinnaman has a personal best of 20:51.17 to her name and appears to be a top 10 contender heading into the finale. Paris is seeded fifth and could find themselves in trophy contention on Friday if all five girls run as well as they did this past weekend. 


South Nodaway

South Nodaway were the Class 1 District 4 champions and will be looking to defend their 2022 title on Friday. Last Saturday, they held off the three other teams even with only five runners on the squad and their number five coming across in last place. Nevertheless, their strong 1-4 led by Mya Wray, Emalee Langford, and Allison Riley will push the Longhorns into trophy contention. They will need all five girls to be on their A-game, though, if they hope to bring home the team win this year.


Keep an eye out for...

East Carter

East Carter moved down to Class 1 this year and is in position to pick up their first ever team trophy on Friday. 

Second on a sixth runner tiebreaker last Saturday, the Cardinals are seeded fourth based on our virtual meets heading into the Class 1 finale. Katelyn Nichols was the District runner-up and owns a season best of 21:09.57. They are in the same boat as three other teams with nearly identical 1-5 averages and team compositions, so it will be anyone's guess where this team lands. On the day, they could be second or they could be sixth. With only 13 teams in the race on Friday, it is anyone's guess how the points will fall.


Mallory Shaw - Stoutland

The reigning Class 1 State Champion will have her hands full on Friday as Class 1 has been flooded with talented freshmen once again this fall. 

Shaw pulled off one of the most impressive come-from-behind victories we have ever seen at the State meet last fall as she went from seventh to first in the final 1000 meters to storm to victory with what has now become the famous flowing locks flying behind her. 

Fourth on Saturday to three of those freshmen we whom we have already mentioned, Shaw has had a solid sophomore campaign nonetheless. She has victories at Plato, Conway, Dixon, the Frisco League, and the Tiger Trail Invitational all to her name, to go along with a 19:30.58 personal best. Though she comes in seeded second, if she taught us anything last season, do not count out Mallory Shaw, no matter how late in the race.


Norah Watkins - Rock Port

Rock Port's Norah Watkins did not get to enjoy much of a freshman cross country campaign, but has certainly made the most of her sophomore season after a strong spring on the track. She heads into the Class 1 finale on Friday with a 20:06.06 personal best to her name, third among the field, behind only Wray and Shaw. Watch for Watkins to make a major splash in the solid freshman and sophomore dominated field in her first go-around on the Gans Creek course.