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 Ben at firstname.lastname@example.org
TOP 10 GIRLS TEAMS
#1) LEE'S SUMMIT WEST – The LSW girls traveled to what very well may be the best meet in the country this year; the Woodbridge Classic in California on September 18th. The meet featured eight teams (inlcuding LSW) ranked in the ESPN Rise top 50 and our Missouri girls fared quite well placing eighth overall if you combine all the divisions. .
#2) LEE'S SUMMIT NORTH– LSN continues climbing this week after an impressive fourth place showing at Rim Rock where they were bested by three very good out-of-state teams. The week before the Lady Broncos took home top honors at the Missouri Southern Stampede over good squads from Kearney and Eureka.
#3) ROCKWOOD SUMMIT – Sorry guys but it is always more fun to do the girls team rankings each week than the boys. Take Summit for example. In just three weeks they have gone from seventh at Forest Park to winning Hancock over West Plains, Eureka, Kirkwood, St. Joe's, Francis Howell and Lafayette. All those teams were ranked ahead of them but it's hard to argue that Summit doesn't now deserve the three spot. They also won at Paul Enke over a very good St. Teresa's bunch.
#4) KEARNEY– The shuffling of the girls teams continues with Kearney jumping up five places to #4 after a solid runner-up finish at the Stampede.
#5) WEST PLAINS– The Zizzers were a strong second at Hancock to #3 Summit and beat some very good teams in the process.
#6) ST. TERESA'S ACADEMY – The ladies from St. Teresa's spent the last set of rankings just barely outside the top ten but they are back this time around after a runner-up finish at the Paul Enke Invite and a sixth place at Rim Rock.
#7) EUREKA– This Eureka squad has a lot of talent and we're not quite sure if we've really seen them at full strength yet. They were third at the Stampede and at Hancock so they end up seventh here.
#8) JEFFERSON CITY – The Lady Jays come in at #8 after an eighth place finish at a very strong Rim Rock meet.
#9) KIRKWOOD – We were very high on this group from Kirkwood pre-season and they jump back into the rankings here on the heels of a fourth place finish at what was a very competitive Hancock meet.
#10) HERCULANEUM – Herky dominated the Class 1-2 race at Hancock even with their #1, Kaitlyn Fischer, running in the large schools race. Plug in their times and they likely would have been just behind #9 Kirkwood had their entire team run in the more competitive division.
.............................................................TOP 10 BOYS TEAMS
#1) LEE'S SUMMIT NORTH – LSN looked very strong at the Stanford Invite in California last weekend. Their 4th place finish looks great for the State of Missouri. In terms of what it means for their Show-Me State rivals we would just say good luck. When your #2 man was third at State last year you are going to be very tough to beat.
#2) SLUH – The Jr. Bills made the trip up to suburban Chicago to take on some of the country's best teams at the Palatine Invitational. SLUH finished a respectable sixth led by Tim Rackers' third place finish.
#3) ROCK BRIDGE– Rock Bridge cleaned house down in Tennessee at the Brooks Memphis Twilight Classic scoring only 65 points.
#4) ROCKHURST - Rockhurst served notice that their steady rise toward becoming an elite team in Missouri is just about complete with their victory at Rim Rock.
#5) WEST PLAINS – The Zizzers came up to Saint Louis for the Hancock Invitational and they didn't come all that way for nothing. They got the win in the large schools race over Parkway West and looked good doing it.
#6) PARWAY WEST - Parkway West got nipped by #5 West Plains at Hancock but it was a close one. Only three points separated the Longhorns from the Zizzers.
#7) LIBERTY - Liberty ran very well at Rim Rock placing two in the top ten and finishing third overall with 177 points. Their 1-2 punch of Troy Smith and Matt Armstrong will help them later in the season.
#8) EUREKA - If it wasn't for the fact that all of the teams above them ran so well over the last two weeks then the Wildcats would surely be moving up. They made their presence known in Joplin at the Southern Stampede with a forty-point win over a solid Ray-Pec squad.
#9) KICKAPOO – Kickapoo made their annual trip to the Cowboy Jamboree in Stillwater, Okla. and like they always do...they ran well. The Chiefs finished second ahead of some very good teams and lost the overall title by only one point.
#10) FRANCIS HOWELL - The Howell squad looked good at Hancock placing third behind only West Plains and Parkway West. Their numbers and their spread looked a little better than Herculaneum who won the Class 1-2 race there. Thus Howell gets the nod for now with Herky a very close 11th.
All season long (though maybe not as often as the team rankings) 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. It is a lot easier to miss a runner or two so we apologize if we shorted you or your teammate. Feel free to email Ben at email@example.com if you know someone who should be on the Big River Top 15. Enjoy!!
TOP 15 GIRLS
#1) Colleen Quigley, SR, Nerinx Hall– Quigley took a trip over the river and rolled out an 18:13 on the SIUE course at the Edwardsville Invite.
#2) Chelsey Phoebus, SR, Lee's Summit West – Phoebus finished second at the Woodbridge Classic in California running a phenomenal 17:08 over three miles.
#3) Jessica Jackson, SR, Neosho - Jackson won at the Stampede in 17:34 and showed that she is a legitimate contender to win the Class 4 State Title. The Missouri girls scene is as deep as it has ever been.
#4) Courtney Wood, SR, Neosho - In the last set of rankings we were excited to see Courtney Wood back racing again and claiming her rightful spot near the top. This time around she backed up her #4 ranking with a runner-up finish to her teammate Jackson at the Stampede.
#5) Samantha Nightingale, JR, Blue Springs South- Nightingale was tested over the last fortnight running in the two most competitive meets during that time. She fared well, finishing third at the Stampede behind the Neosho dynamic duo and winning at Rim Rock over some solid out-of-state competition.
#6) Jenny Govero, SR, Rockwood Summit- Govero jumps up to #6 this week after wins at Paul Enke and Hancock. You can't do much better than that.
#7) Kiersten West, FR, Lee's Summit West - Apparently not intimidated by running in a huge meet in California the LSW super frosh ran 17:46 over 3 miles at the Woodbridge Classic for an 11th place finish.
#8) Jocelyn Todd, SR, Ladue - Todd was the second Missouri finisher and sixth overall at Rim Rock.
#9) Krista Menghini, SR, St. Joseph's Academy- Menghini looked dominant winning the Parkway Central Invite in 19:30 by over a minute. She didn't race up to her own standards at Hancock but grabs the #9 spot here.
#10) Aubrey Hirsch, FR, Lee's Summit- It looks like we'll have a challenger for freshman of the year honors. Hirsch join LSW's Kiersten West as this season's top newcomers after a fifth place finish at the Stampede and a big win at Prairie View.
#11) Taylor Hynes, SR, Lee's Summit North - Hynes broke 19 minutes at the Stampede and then ran even better at Rim Rock where she was LSN's top finisher and eighth place overall. This girl was an absolute stud a couple years ago and looks to be rounding back into form.
#12) Saga Barzowski, SO, Arcadia Valley- Barzowski ran in the large schools race at Hancock and grabbed runner-up honors behind #6 Govero.
#13) Kaitlyn Fischer, SO, Herculaneum - Fischer won handily at the Fulton Invite and follwed up with a third place finish in the large schools division at Hancock in 19:32.
#14) Alyssa Jones, SO, Rockwood Summit- Jones was runner-up on the tough Sioux Passage Park course at the Paul Enke Invite and then finished sixth at Hancock the following week. The latter was not her best performance of the year but she's had several really good ones.
#15) Courtney Frerichs, SR, Nixa- Frerichs makes her first appearance in the top 15 after a big-time performance at her home Invite where she won in 18:39 over Branson's Brigette Caruthers. Caruthers narrowly missed out on this set of rankings as did North Kansas City's Hannah DeVries, Potosi's Sarah Jacobsen, LSW's Alex Moase, Eureka's Alyssa Rebecca, Kickapoo's Liz Reida and Cass Midway's Mackenze Weis.
TOP 15 BOYS
#1) Caleb Wilfong, JR, Rock Bridge– Wilfong remains at #1 after his trip down south for the Brooks Memphis Twilight Meet. He nabbed runner-up honors at the meet with a 15:32 under the lights.
#2) Zach Herriott, JR, Rockhurst– Herriott was third on the tough Rim Rock course in 15:41.
#3) Caleb Hoover, SR, College Heights Christian- Hoover looked like his classic super-fast self with a 15:00 win at the Stampede and a 15:40 at the Nixa Invite.
#4) Drew White, JR, Festus- White took care of business with a win at his home Invite and followed up with a Class 3 race win and the fastest time of the day at Hancock.
#5) Tim Rackers, SR, SLUH– Rackers was very impressive at the Palatine Invite in suburban Chicago where he finished third in a very deep field. His 14:55 over three miles was mighty fast.
#6) Collin Hubert, SR, Lee's Summit North– Hubert jumps a spot to #6 this week after a fantastic showing at the prestigious Stanford Invite. Hubert was ninth there in 15:33.
#7) Daniel Everett, SR, Westminster Christian Academy– Everett looked to be very much on his game at Rim Rock where he was fourth and just three ticks back of #2 Herriott.
#8) Tony Crowder, SR, Lebanon– Crowder makes a big jump back into the rankings after his 15:29 runner-up performance at the Stampede.
#9) Devon Young, SR, Ray-Pec– Young was third at the Stampede but then had his best outing of the year so far in Minnesota at the Roy Griak Invite where he was fourth overall in 15:47.
#10) Kolton Sheldon, JR, Lee's Summit Noth– Sheldon was 15th at Stanford in 15:45. Before you say 15th sounds kind of low it's important to understand how deep the field was in Palo Alto. This is a well-measured course where 90 boys broke 17 minutes. That is some serious competition.
#11) David Lambus, SR, University City– Lambus looked good running 16:07 to win handily at Lutheran North. He was third in the Class 3 race at Hancock but every other time out he has been very solid.
#12) Brandon Shemonia, JR, Scott City– Shemonia ran away with the Class 1-2 race at Hancock. His 16:47 was topped in the bigger races but it's tough to imagine he wouldn't have gotten dragged along against a deeper field.
#13) Kenny Cushing, SR, Holt- Cushing is making a habit of crossing the line first this year and he notched two more victories over the last couple of weeks at Parkway Central and Hazelwood West. Winning close races is a sign of toughness and Cushing won those two races by a total of three seconds. He's tough.
#14) Michael McCullough, JR, Staley - The Staley junior went sub 16 at Rim Rock en route to a seventh place finish to earn his spot in the rankings.
#15) Nicholas Stewart, SO, McCluer North - Stewart, who impressed us with his win in the White Division at Forest Park, stepped up a whole bunch of levels with his 16:13 runner-up finish to #13 Cushing at Hazelwood West. These were among the hardest last few picks we've ever had with so many great performances to choose between from all over the State and even across the country! Just a few of the names that narrowly missed out included DeSmet's Kevin Abernathy, Oakville's Jake Bast, Branson's Brandon Brott, West Plains' Drew Cargill, Moberly's Sam Dickerson, Westminster's David Everett, Fox's Tyler Holmes, Ladue's Drew Padgett, Kickapoo's Adrian Todd and the Liberty duo of Matt Armstrong and Troy Smith.
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