Big River Rankings #1 2012
For those of you who have followed our rankings over the past few years you know that these are just for fun and hopefully serve to give athletes a little extra motivation as the season rolls along. We will come out with the rankings every few weeks. For those of you who are new and checking out the rankings for the first time we hope you enjoy them and if you have anyone or any team that we missed let us know by emailing Kyle Cameron at email@example.com
**Thanks so much to all of you who came out to the 2012 Forest Park Cross Country Festival. It was the biggest year in the history of the event and a historic day for high school cross country in the State of Missouri.
ALSO: We are already looking forward to the USA Cross Country Championships in Forest Park on February 2nd, 2013. This will be the second year in a row that Saint Louis hosts the event and we expect an amazing field of America’s best distance runners to compete for a spot on Team USA at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships, including many 2012 Olympians! We encourage all of you to come out and compete in either the High School or the Junior Division and then stick around to watch your favorite runners later in the day. Like the meet on Facebook, follow it on Twitter and check out the Championship Website.
TOP 10 GIRLS TEAMS
#1) LEE'S SUMMIT WEST – These ladies are just amazing. They came all the way over to the Forest Park Cross Country Festival with the pressure of being the favorites and after a week where many of their top runners were out with a virus. All they did was go out and do what they always do; win.
#2) EUREKA– The Wildcats are really good this year and they are not going anywhere. With an amazing one-two punch of Hannah Long and Angie Sumner they look to be better than anyone through two. They were only seven points back of LSW at the Festival, which means things could really have gone either way.
#3) ROCK BRIDGE– Rock Bridge has reloaded with the addition of freshman Marilise Stamps and the emergence of sophomore Sam Farmer. They joined Kayla Funkenbusch to put three in the top 17 at Forest Park, making them the best squad through three. Just one point back of Eureka they are serious contenders to win it all in November.
#4) ST. TERESA’S ACADEMY – It was extremely hard to rank the girls this week with the amazing performances at Forest Park and the dominating showing by St. Teresa’s at Ray-Pec. Ultimately the two through five squads could be ranked in absolutely any order. STA took five of the top eight spots at Ray-Pec with a spread of just over a minute.
#5) FRANCIS HOWELL– We try not to play the “what if” game too much with the rankings but there is no question Francis Howell was hit hard with three girls taking the ACT this past Saturday. In week one they were the clear winners at the Fleet Feet West meet with just 28 points and a 1:09 spread. Our suspicion is that they may have won the whole darn thing at Forest Park with Whitney Adams and Valeska Halamicek but you just never know. We’ll just have to wait until next time.
#6) STE GENEVIEVE– Perhaps lost in the awe-inspiring performance by Ste Gen freshman Taylor Werner at Forest Park was that she and her teammates finished fourth overall. They are now the favorites in Class 3 and with a very good possibility that they’ll score just one point up front they have a head start on everyone else.
#7) KEARNEY– Kearney was seventh at Forest Park, beating lots of really great squads in the process. They appear to have a second star now in freshman Ashley Coonfield who joins Olivia Franklin to give the Lady Bulldogs a dynamite one-two punch.
#8) NERINX HALL– The Markers move up two spots after an eighth place finish at Forest Park led by fourth-placer Sophia Racette.They were also the runners-up at the Fleet Feet South meet in week one.
#9) MARQUETTE – The Lady Mustangs are the only team in this set of rankings that were not ranked in the pre-season. They earned it with a ninth place finish at Forest Park led by freshman Hannah Pierson.
#10) LAFAYETTE– The ladies of Lafayette were tenth at the Festival and they are tenth here. A group known for their tight pack a year ago now appear to have a front-runner in freshman Sarah Nicholson who was a very impressive 11th individually at Forest Park.
TOP 10 BOYS TEAMS
#1) BLUE SPRINGS- The Blue Springs boys keep their hold on number one by using simple math. They were fourth at Forest Park without their number one man Simon Belete. With him you can take at least 95 points off their score, which puts them in second with room to spare.
#2) ROCK BRIDGE- The Bruins looked fantastic at Forest Park in getting second behind Illinois powerhouse O’Fallon. We have Blue Springs ranked number one but this Rock Bridge group is not far behind.
#3) SLUH- The Junior Billikens missed out on the podium at State a year ago but as of right now they appear to be headed back to the promised land. A solid third place finish at Forest Park showed they are back where they expect to be.
#4) FESTUS- We were very impressed with Festus at Forest Park where they finished fifth and vaulted into the rankings at #4. Losing longtime stars Drew White and Shane Brown to graduation, one would have thought the Tigers would have been down in 2012 but that is clearly not the case.
#5) SAINT JOSEPH’S CENTRAL- St. Joe’s Central is another team that turned some heads at Forest Park after their sixth place showing. This program has had some very good squads over the years and the 2012 group may be another one.
#6) WEST PLAINS- The Zizzers are back. Despite returning only one from last year’s top seven the Joe Bill Dixon-coached group finished second at the Brooks Memphis Twilight Meet with a 35-second spread.
#7) PARKWAY WEST- The Longhorns went 1-2-3 at the Stan Nelson Invite and all three were within two seconds. Not many teams have a top three that can stick that close together.
#8) WARRENSBURG – Warrensburg stayed home to compete at the University of Central Missouri Mule Run this past weekend and they were mighty impressive. Their 20-point victory was decisive and they looked very capable of defending their Class 3 crown later this year.
#9) LAFAYETTE- It was the Lady Lancers we thought were a top ten squad coming into the season. We were right on that but wrong to not put the boys in there as well. They put two in the top 25 at Forest Park, which is no easy task, and they ended up seventh overall.
#10) ROCKHURST- The Hawklets have begun the post Zach Herriott era in fine fashion and their eighth place finish at Forest Park showed that they are going to stay in the State’s upper echelon.
All season long we will try to keep an eye out for the top 15 runners in the State. Again, these are the top 15 regardless of Class. Occasionally we miss a runner or two so we apologize if we shorted you or your teammate. Feel free to email Kyle at firstname.lastname@example.org if you know someone who should be on the Big River Top 15. Enjoy!!
TOP 15 GIRLS
#1) Taylor Werner, FR, Ste Genevieve- After producing arguably the best single performance, boys or girls, in the State of Missouri since we began the Big River Rankings in 2006, the number one spot almost seems insufficient. Is there a number one to the 100th power? For all of you Missouri running fans who were disappointed Werner wasn’t ranked in the MileSplit National top 25 don’t worry; we all know what we saw.
#2) Hannah Long, SO, Eureka- Long deserves just as much credit as Werner for giving the thousands of fans on hand at the Forest Park Cross Country Festival the best show in meet history. Her move with 800 meters to go to try and pull away was nothing short of courageous. Moving that hard that far into a race had to be extremely painful and that ability to dig down deep has been a staple of Long’s young career thus far.
#3) Kaitlyn Fischer, SR, Herculaneum- Fisher was fearless at Forest Park, hammering from the gun with Werner and Long through an opening mile of 5:22 on her way to an outstanding 17:51, nine seconds under the old meet record. Could we see as many as four Foot Locker Finalists from Missouri this year?
#4) Nicole Mello, SR, Hickman- Mello was absent at Forest Park but we have not heard why. Hopefully she was taking the ACT as that was the case for quite a few seniors this past weekend. Assuming she’s healthy she certainly belongs in the top four.
#5) Saga Barzowski, SR, Arcadia Valley- The highly-decorated Arcadia Valley star won her home meet in 19:46. We could be in for another big showdown when she meets up with longtime rival and friend Kaitlyn Fischer here soon.
#6) Sophia Racette, SO, Nerinx Hall- Proving that strength often trumps speed when it comes to cross country, the long distance ace Racette topped several girls who had bested her on the track last spring with a fourth place showing at Forest Park in a new PR of 18:24.
#7) Jill Whitman, JR, Cor Jesu- Whitman holds her spot at #7 after a fifth place effort at Forest Park in 18:28. The depth on the girl’s side in Missouri is unprecedented right now.
#8) Kristen Adams, JR, Francis Howell- Adams vaults six spots to #8 this week after an outstanding run at Forest Park that saw her nab sixth place in an absolutely loaded field.
#9) Angie Sumner, SR, Eureka- Sumner jumps into the rankings after a runner-up finish at the Fleet Feet meet over two miles and a seventh place finish at Forest Park in 18:32.
#10) Nicole Lee, JR, Clinton- Lee scored a big win at the Ray-Pec Invite in an impressive 18:49. She could just as easily be ranked fifth. That’s how close all these girls are right now.
#11) Brigette Caruthers, SR, Branson- Caruthers had another great race at Forest Park, where she was fifth last year. This time she crossed the line in eighth but ran almost an identical time. She’ll be a big factor again come November.
#12) Ellyn Atkinson, SR, Glendale- The Glendale senior opened with an eye-popping 18:48 for the win at the SWCCCA meet and followed up with an 18:40 at Forest Park for ninth there. It’s always great to see seniors going out with a bang and she appears to be doing just that.
#13) Sarah Jacobsen, SR, Potosi- Jacobsen won the Lutheran South Invite and the Stan Nelson in the same week, scorching the latter course in 18:56 to win by well over a minute.
#14) Melissa Brown, JR, Oakville- Brown was 10th at Forest Park in a solid 18:45, proving that she is back as a top contender in the State.
#15) Sammy Laurenzo, JR, Liberty North- Laurenzo was runner-up to #10 Lee at Ray-Pec after winning the Liberty Invite to kick off the year.
Honorable Mention: Savannah Beaver (College Heights Christian), Maddy Brown (Parkway West), Courtney Coppinger (St. Teresa's Academy), Ashley Coonfield (Kearney), Sam Farmer (Rock Bridge), Kayla Funkenbusch (Rock Bridge), Alyssa Jones (Rockwood Summit), Lane Maguire (St. Teresa's Academy) , Elise Marker (Villa Duchesne), Sarah Nicholson (Lafayette (Wildwood), Samantha Phillips (Lee' s Summit West), Kaley Ruff (Jefferson City), Marilise Stamps (Rock Bridge), Katie Tuck (Smithville), Kiersten West (Lee's Summit West), Kennadee Williams (Lee's Summit West), Arnica Zitting (Francis Howell)
TOP 15 BOYS
#1) Noah Kauppila, JR, Marquette- Kauppila looked like a pro in winning the Forest Park Cross Country Festival over the weekend. The Marquette junior sat patiently in the pack before making a decisive move with 400 to go that eventually led to a six-second victory over two of the best runners in Illinois in Patrick Perrier and Alex Riba of O’Fallon.
#2) Simon Belete, SR, Blue Springs– Belete missed the Forest Park meet to take the ACT but it would have been very interesting to have him in there. The Blue Springs senior dominated the Greg Wilson Classic with a 15:53 runaway victory in week one, proving that he will be a major factor in any race he enters this fall.
#3) Chris Mooneyham, SR, Glendale– Mooneyham was mighty impressive at Forest Park, finishing less than a second behind Illinois’ top returner Riba in 15:26.
#4) Cole Rockhold, JR, Truman- Rockhold was the champ at the Solsberg Invite in week one and scored another victory in week two at the Ray-Pec Invite.
#5) Stephen Mugeche, SO, Blue Springs– Watch this kid run and there is no question he is a huge star. The top sophomore by nearly 30 seconds at Forest Park, Mugeche was fifth overall in 15:34.
#6) Adam Roderique, SR, Marquette- Roderique jumps up to #6 in the rankings after his sixth place showing at Forest Park. The senior looked strong coming in and, teamed with Kauppila, gives Marquette an incredible one-two punch.
#7) Nathan Keown, SR, Rock Bridge- It certainly appears Keown has taken over where Caleb Wilfong and Jordan Cook left off, as a top contender in Missouri. The Rock Bridge senior was an impressive seventh at Forest Park in 15:45.
#8) Ian Frazier, SR, Kickapoo- Frazier was the early pacesetter at Forest Park, unafraid to jump right out to the lead in such a big race. The leaders can thank Frazier for their quick times and the Kickapoo senior was rewarded with a fast mark of his own; 15:52 for eighth overall.
#9) Nicholas Stewart, SR, McCluer North- Stewart remains at #9 after a second-straight year of dipping under the 16 minute barrier at Forest Park. His 15:57 netted him ninth there.
#10) Andrew Moore, JR, Ste Genevieve- Moore is one of our favorite stories this week. In this day and age of the Internet it’s very difficult to “come out of nowhere” but Moore did that by surprising everyone but himself and his coaches when he ran 16:02 for tenth place at Forest Park. There is only one way to go from 4:43 and 10:06 to 16:02 and that’s with a ton of work over the summer. Andrew Moore; we salute you.
#11) Amos Bartelsmeyer, SR, MICDS– Bartelsmeyer was a very respectable 11th place at Forest Park in 16:03. The fact that a 4:11 miler would finish 11th there speaks more to the quality of the meet than anything. Bartelsmeyer is still going to be a major factor this fall and it now looks like he’ll have company at the front of Class 3 in the form of #10 Moore.
#12) Evan Schulte, JR, Rock Bridge- Proving that Rock Bridge has a serious chance to repeat as Class 4 Champions, Schulte was 14th at Forest Park in 16:04. Amazingly, Schulte and #7 Keown may score just as low as State Champs Caleb Wilfong and Jordan Cook did in 2011.
#13) Derek Legenzoff, SR, Lafayette- Legenzoff was impressive at Forest Park, finishing 15th in 16:04. He is the leader of a very good Lafayette squad and looks to be a possible top ten contender this fall in Class 4.
#14) Spencer Haik, JR, Glendale- The reigning Class 4 State 1600 champ got a big win at the SWCCCAA meet in 16:00 where he bested his teammate Chris Mooneyham. He was 16th at Forest Park but could easily vault right back up the rankings next time out.
#15) Matt Nicholson, SR, Sluh- The number one man for the Jr. Bills was 17th at Forest Park in 16:08. A 9:40 man on the track last spring, Nicholson is certainly a top ten contender in Class 4.
Honorable Mention: Jeff Bachman (St. Joseph Central), James Barnett (Blue Springs), Austin Del Rosso (DeSmet), Jason Fambrough (Raymore-Peculiar) , Brian Hernan (Parkway South), Ryan Jackson (Herculaneum), Sheldon Keence (St. Charles West), Billy Leighton, Matt Nicholson, Tyler Rush, Kirk Smith, Dillon Williams (Webster)
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