Missouri state high school meets are scheduled on Saturday in cross country and boys swimming and diving. Here are some storylines to watch regarding 816 North area teams:
Boys cross country
1. Kearney sophomore Clayton Adams is making an impressive late-season surge. He has steadily improved his performances throughout the season, and he defeated Mugeche for the first time in his career Saturday when he won the Class 4, Sectional 4 race on his home course. Mugeche took second.
That sets up an intriguing storyline Saturday. The top competitors for the Class 4 title could reside in Kansas City. Adams has certainly thrown his name into the mix as a darkhorse candidate to win the race. He placed 24th as a freshman last season.
Festus has a pair of runners — seniors Michael Karls and Tyler Gilliam — who could challenge for the Class 4 title. Gilliam won the Class 3 race last season.
2. If any team brings back hardware from the Class 4 race, it will likely be either Rockhurst or Liberty.
Rockhurst won the Class 4, Sectional 4 race last week by two points over second-place Liberty, which took fourth as a team last season.
Both teams rely on depth for quality showings.
Rockhurst runners William Thompson and John Luder figure to be favorites to compete for all-state honors.
Liberty senior Matt Alvey, who missed all-state by one place last season, is a candidate for a top-10 finish.
Park Hill South’s team will compete in the Class 4 meet, and Smithville takes its full team to the Class 3 meet.
3. West Platte took third at the Class 1 state meet last season, and the Blue Jays appear primed for another strong showing after winning their district race Saturday. Junior Daniel Cicha and senior Braxton Hill were the pacesetters in that victory. Lawson qualified its full team for the Class 2 meet.
Girls cross country
1. There's little doubt that Eureka senior Hannah Long is the runner to beat in Missouri Class 4. She has won back-to-back titles already, including a 34-second victory last fall.
But there is a strong contingent of area runners who will be in the mix for spots among the top-five.
St. Teresa's senior Ann Campbell, the reigning All-Metro runner of the year, headlines that list. She won the Class 4, Sectional 4 race last week and placed fifth at the state meet last year.
Winnetonka sophomore Emma Evans, Kearney senior Olivia Franklin and Liberty senior Madison Nasteff are also capable of finishing high up on the leaderboard Saturday.
Blue Springs South and Raymore-Peculiar hope to compete for the Class 4 team title, with Kearney not lagging far behind.
2. There wasn't much noise made from Kansas City runners in the Missouri Class 3 race last year.
That could change this year.
St. Pius X senior Katie Lofland captured the Class 3, District 8 title on Saturday. She won the race by 46 seconds, though second-place finisher Mira Bannwarth from Smithville could charge up the leaders, too.
Pembroke Hill, Smithville and Grain Valley qualified their full teams for the Class 3 state race.
3. Lawson freshman Libby Weller will take some much-desired momentum into the Class 2 race after she won the Class 2, District 8 meet Saturday in Kearney. Weller finished in 22 minutes, 1.3 seconds.
The victory also propelled Lawson to a team title, and the Cardinals could throw themselves into the mix for a top-five finish this weekend.
Lawson sophomore Mackenzi Stephan, Barstow freshman Lauren Hendrickson and Barstow junior Michelle Martin are three more runners who are capable of competing for Class 2 all-state honors, given to the top 25 places.
4. West Platte freshman Rachel Heili is a name to watch in the Class 1 race.
Boys swimming and diving
1. A freestyle swimmer to keep an eye on is Park Hill junior Marcin Glebocki. He has won back-to-back Suburban Red Conference championships in the 50 freestyle, an event in which he placed second at the state meet last fall.
He was also third in the 100 freestyle, and he was crowned the conference champion in that event last week, as well.
Glebocki could lead the Trojans into the top-10 after they finished 11th as a team last season. Park Hill won the conference title on Oct. 25.
2. Liberty North is looking to improve on last season’s 24th-place showing at state after it won the Suburban White Conference title on Oct. 25 for the first time in school history.
Platte County will also take some momentum into the state meet after the Pirates won the Suburban Blue Conference championship.
3. Staley senior Daniel Maynard will contend in the 100 breaststroke.