- With the season officially started, we wanted to write about some athletes who have yet to claim a medal during the fall. Watch for these new faces this season, as they should be among the best in the state.
Webster Groves, SR
Last Year: 143rd
Webster Groves senior ran a 16:20 at his conference meet which remains his official PR. He was constantly in the top 15 during last fall. He suffered a stress fracture in February and din't start running to mid April. After having some time back, he ran a 16:14 this weekend at the XC Kickoff, beating solid competitors and showing he is ready for a breakout season.
Last Year: 56th
The Marquette rising senior had a great track season which brought a 1600m PR of 4:19.36. He just missed all-state, finishing ninth at State. His 5K PR comes from a fast Forest Park race where he ran 16:01 to finish 21st. He consistently ran in around 16:30-16:40 outside of that. Training with one of the best runners in the state in Noah Kauppila, watch for Marquette to have two stars this cross country season.
Blue Springs, SO
Last year: 45th
Mugeche brings some great comparassions to another Missouri runner just a year older that him. As a freshman, Mugeche finished 7th at the State meet with a time of 9:26. A year before, Noah Kauppila finished 7th in a time of 9:25. If this next year for Mugeche is anything like Kauppila's, he has great races headed his way. He comes in with a PR of 16:32 set on a difficult Rim Rock course.
Last year: Did not compete
Rockhold turned some heads this past spring when he won the competitive sectional 4 3200m. He ran a PR for that event at the Kansas Relays where he ran 9:22.31to beat the likes of Simon Belete, Jordan Cook, and Kolton Sheldon. He was a soccer player his freshman year and suffered injuries his sophomore season. This weekend he showed he is ready to run the 5K, running a 16:08 at the Kick-Off. With a strong summer under his belt, this should be a breakout season for Rockhold.
Rockwood Summit, FR
Last year: Was not in HS
If the name sounds familiar you're not crazy. Her older sister, Krista, was tenth at the state XC meet her senior year. She just ran 19:29 for 5K at the St. Louis Track Club XC Kickoff. She will have a great training partner in Alyssa Jones which should help the adjustment to high school easier.
Francis Howell HS, SR
Last Year: 98th
Halamicek stepped up for her team to win the 800m which was key in their team victory at state this spring. For the past two years she ran 21:27 at state. She is yet to break 20 for the 5K but I have no doubt that it won't be long for the Francis Howell senior. Not only did she show improvement in the shorter races, but also the longer distances. Her 1600m time dropped from 5:27 to 5:08. If she can keep it up she should play a key factor for a talented Francis Howell team.
Lee's Summit West, JR
Last Year: 26th
Nolke made a big jump from freshman year to sophomore year. Her 5K dropped over a minute. She had a solid track season running 2:20 for the 800 and was the leadoff leg for the Titans at state. 26th is a tough spot to finish in, but Nolke should be up further this season.
Last Year: Did not compete
In her healthy first season of track Sumner made the most of it with a 1600m PR of 5:10. She also was a leg on Eureka's second place 4x800 this spring. Her XC PR comes from freshman year when she ran 19:01 in the Missouri Southern Stampede. This past weekend she ran 19:05 on the Forest Park course showing she is ready to have a good season and contribute to a Eureka team that should be contending for a team trophy.
Last year: 70th
Marie collected an All-State finish in the 1600m this spring when she ran 5:06 to finish sixth. She also ran 2:18 in the 800. Her XC PR of 19:47 comes from sectionals last year but watch for her to make a jump to becoming elite in cross country this fall.
Ste. Genevieve, FR
Last year: Was not in HS
Missouri saw one great freshman last year in Hannah Long. This year will be no different as Taylor Werner begins her high school career. I first noticed her when she finished fifth at the high school championship ahead of All-State runner Hannah Richardson. She had a great track season getting close to 5:00 for the 1600 all year and finishing it off with a fantastic performance at the Festival of MIles. She will join her sister, Shelby, who finished sixth in Class 3 last year.