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2011 Missouri State Boy's Cross Country Rankings (Oct. 31st)

November 6, 2011
Get In The Game Saint Louis Magazine


#1) ROCK BRIDGE- Some of our favorite years at State are when the Class 4 boys team title is up-for-grabs. Unfortunately, thanks to the fellas from Rock Bridge this does not 
appear to be one of those yearsThe bright side is that the very best thing to watch at State is true excellence and we will almost assuredly see that from these guys.

#2) ROCKHURST- No surprises at the Kansas City Sectional where Rockhurst took home top honors. They will look to finish off their stellar season at State with as high a podium finish as possible.

#3) WEST PLAINS- The Zizzers were runners-up at a very fast Sectional 3 where they averaged 16:07 and more importantly produced a 1:09 spread. When your top guy is likely to finish in the top five and your fifth is just a minute or so back you're in good shape at State.

#4) LEE'S SUMMIT NORTH -The defending champs jump all the way from #9 to #4 after a strong third place showing at Sectionals. They still need a little boost from their five man but their 4 is solid and their 1-3 are as good or better than everyone outside of Rock Bridge.

#5) SLUH- You have to go all the way back to 2004 to find the last time SLUH did not win a trophy at State. That really is an amazing stat and though we have them ranked #5 here they are certainly capable of a top four finish. Keep an eye out for an apparently healthy Nathan Rubbelke at their number one spot. That could be what keeps the trophy streak alive for the Junior Bills.

#6) LIBERTY - 
Liberty was third at the Kansas City Sectional and they are yet another team that has every right to believe a trophy is possible in Jeff City. Their 54 second spread makes them mighty dangerous in a battle for those third and fourth spots.

The boys from Marquette were Sectional champs and along with their rivals from Eureka make up the last two squads we think could challenge for Class 4 trophies. They'll score very low up front with super sophomore Noah Kaupilla and then it's just a matter of shoring up what was a nearly 90 second spread at Sectionals.

#8) EUREKA- Each team has gaps between runners that they would like to fill. One place where the Wildcats all of a sudden appear to have filled such a gap is between 1 and 2 where senior Cade Netscher finished just five seconds behind longtime number one Ethan Lambert at Sectionals. Tight 1-2 punches are huge at State and that could vault the boys with the E on their chests up into the top four in Jeff City.

#9) FESTUS- Festus dominated at Districts and with individual #2 Drew White leading the way they appear to be a heavy favorite for the Class 3 title on Saturday. 

The Longhorns were third at a very competitive District and then again at Sectionals. We say this every year but it always seem to come true. Look out for Parkway West as they always run well at State.


#1) Zach Herriott, SR, Rockhurst- Herriott scored convincing wins at Districts and Sectionals and has run well under 16 minutes every time out in 2011. The question seems to be just how fast can he go at State? The Rockhurst senior already owns the second-fastest time ever and with ideal temps predicted for Saturday Matt Tegenkamp’s record looks to be in serious jeopardy.

#2) Drew White, SR, Festus- White enters the State Meet as the clear favorite in Class 3. If Herriott does indeed break the meet record it could be short-lived with White running immediately afterward. The course set-up in Jefferson City seems tailor-made for the strength-oriented White and we expect him to put on quite a show.

#3) Caleb Wilfong, SR, Rock Bridge- Wilfong appears to be at full strength after a one-second victory at Sectionals over Drew Cargill from West Plains. He comes in to State as the only contender from Class 4 that has beaten #1 Zach Herriott in cross country during the last two seasons. We would not be shocked if he won on Saturday.

#4) Drew Cargill, SR, West Plains– Cargill was runner-up to #3 Wilfong at Sectionals where he crossed the line in 15:22. We realize the course in Camdenton is pretty fast but for a point-of-reference former Kickapoo star Danny Thater ran 15:47 and 16:03 there during his junior and senior years. It’s definitely looking like we could see a record number of boys under 16 minutes at State.

#5) Noah Kauppila, SO, Marquette- Kauppila is very simply one of the best sophomores in the country. He has consistently run in the 15:45 range on some very legitimate courses over the last few weeks including a 15:50 at Sectionals. We expect more of the same on Saturday and though he may not win this year you may never see him lose in Missouri again.

#6) Jordan Cook, SR, Rock Bridge– Cook was third at Sectionals in 15:34. Rock Bridge is the clear favorite in Class 4 to take home top team honors and putting two in the top five overall, which Wilfong and Cook could definitely do, would be a nice start.

#7) Kolton Sheldon, SR, Lee's Summit North– We told you Sheldon was back after his conference race but now he's darn near back to where he was last year when he finished fifth at State. A runner-up showing at the Kansas City Sectional where he beat some really talented runners tells us he is fully capable of his third top five performance in a row.

#8) Brandon Shemonia, SR, Scott City– Shemonia knocked out a 45-second win at Districts and at least on paper appears to be the heavy favorite in Class 2 going into Saturday. The Scott City star will run the second race of the day and may be the first under 16 minutes.

#9) Devin Sander, SR, Hickman– Sander has been on the rise down the stretch and ran perhaps his best race of the year in finising fourth in Sectional 3. Hard to believe he won't continue his run for one more week and if he does he will finish very high.

#10) Nathan Keown, JR, Rock Bridge- Keown got a win at Districts after cruising through with teammates Caleb Wilfong and Jordan Cook. He was fifth at Sectionals and looks poised to be the third Rock Bridge athlete in top ten in Class 4.

#11) Billy Leighton, JR, Cape Girardeau Central– Leighton was the District 1 champ and then finished runner-up to #5 Kauppila at Sectionals. He has been in and out of the rankings this year but was always right there. He is now firmly in as we look forward to State.

#12) Shannon Hall, SR, Liberty– Third at Sectionals Hall is a guy who could be a top five finisher if things go his way. Don't forget what his former teammate C.T. Smith did a year ago when he was fourth at Sectionals and third at State.

#13) Ethan Lambert, SR, Eureka– Lambert was third at Sectionals and will look to improve upon his seventh place finish from the 2010 State meet.

#14) Simon Belete, JR, Blue Springs– Belete has remained strong down the stretch and was fourth in the Kansas City Sectional.

#15) Nicolas Stewart, JR, McCluer North- Stewart was the champ at the Class 4 Sectional 2 meet and has been very solid all year long. We have no reason to believe that will not continue on Saturday.

Honorable Mention: Chris Carter, Max Jobson, Nathan Rubbelke, Kaleb Wilson

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