Missouri state cross country Saturday in Jefferson city and Missouri state volleyball today and Saturday in Cape Girardeau
** 1 Five … and counting?
While many predicted the Lee’s Summit West girls cross country team would have to endure a rebuilding year, the Titans scoffed at that idea, and they enter Saturday’s Class 4 title meet at Oak Hills Golf Course in Jefferson City on the heels of district and sectional championships. The late-season emergence of junior Kennadee Williams has helped put Lee’s Summit West in line as the favorite for its sixth straight state championship. Williams out-kicked opponents at the finish line to win tight races in the district and sectional meets. The Titans have relied on depth during their dynasty, and with Kourtney West, Samantha Phillips, Kiersten West and Elizabeth Nolke joining Williams in the lineup, they have that luxury again. One of the Titans’ biggest threats will come from St. Teresa’s Academy, led by senior Courtney Coppinger.
** 2 Three down, one to go
The Blue Springs boys cross country group laid out some pretty lofty goals for its 2012 season. Suddenly, though, they look quite realistic. The Wildcats hope to become the first team to win conference, district, sectional and state meets. They’ve notched team victories in the first three. Simon Belete and Stephen Mugeche are making a habit of finishing first and second, respectively, but with a lot of talent in St. Louis this fall — specifically at Marquette High School — that will be difficult Saturday. And it’s no given they can again hold off local runners Cole Rockhold of Truman and Jason Fambrough from Raymore-Peculiar — a pair of juniors who continue to cross the finish line in less than 16 minutes.
** 3 Liberty North sneaks into title discussion
A year ago, the Liberty North boys cross country team didn’t qualify for state. Its only two individual qualifiers were both seniors. Yet twelve months later, the Eagles are in the discussion as a possible championship contender. While most project Warrensburg and Festus as favorites, Liberty North has a plethora of depth this year. Seven runners placed in the top 20 at last week’s district meet, led by Hughes, a junior, who is looking to make a run at the Class 3 individual title.
** 4 A busy week for Smithville’s Tuck
On Tuesday, Smithville senior Katie Tuck learned she was a state finalist for the Wendy’s High School Heisman Award. Four days later, she will race as one of the popular choices to compete for the Class 3 girls title. Smithville and Ste. Genevieve are seen as the top two girls teams in Class 3.
** 5 St. Pius X volleyball back in the mix
The Warriors lost one of their most valuable players — all-state selection Lexie Oak — from last year’s Class 3 state runner-up squad. Still, they are back at the Show Me Center in Cape Girardeau for another shot at a state title. St. Pius X, 25-6-3, is led by all-conference selections Danielle Kaullen and Katie Cahill.
| Sam McDowell, email@example.com
Sam McDowell, <a href="mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org">email@example.com</a>