Blue Valley West's Stuart McNutt really wanted to finish his junior season with a bang and let his accomplishments do the talking when it came to recruiting.
Well, McNutt couldn’t have made much more of a statement than winning the Kansas Class 6A boys cross country state championship by nearly 23 seconds and finishing with a time of 15 minutes, 33 seconds at Rim Rock Farm in Lawrence at the end of the season. McNutt, a two-time All-Metro first-team selection led the Jaguars to a fifth-place team finish.
That title and his accomplishments this season make McNutt The Star’s All-Metro boys cross country runner of the year.
“Winning state was way up there because I’d thought about it for so long,” McNutt said. “I’d put so much pressure on myself to win, and it was very stressful, so the moment at that finish line I felt like there was a 1,000-pound weight lifted off my shoulders. That was the hardest and definitely the best win for me this season.”
Along the way, McNutt placed second at the Rim Rock Invitational and won the Chile Pepper Invite in Fayetteville, Ark., the Southern Stampede in Joplin, Mo., and the Eastern Kansas League meet. He also finished first at his Kansas regional meet.
“Coming into this season, I really didn’t know what to expect,” McNutt said. “I thought that if I could really get some good summer training in, if I could put in the miles and the time, and focus on my form, that I had a really good chance to do something great this season. That is what I tried to keep in mind.”