Bishop LeBlond’s Stephen Modlin is going back to state one more time.
After watching the Golden Eagles succeed as a team his freshman and sophomore year, the senior took it upon himself to carry on the tradition the past two years.
Modlin made it to state as a junior alongside then-senior Max Schieber and is headed back for today’s race at Oak Hills Golf Course in Jefferson City.
“Last year when I went to state, I ran pretty well,” said Modlin, who placed sixth in last weekend’s district race at Missouri Western with a time of 18 minutes, 53.9 seconds. “I’m hoping to break 100, sort of in that top half. I’m excited for the course and to get down there and be able to run.”
Going with Modlin, who placed 134th at state last year, is junior Owen Scott.
Today’s race will be Scott’s first time at state. He made it after a 12th-place finish last weekend with a time of 19:10.10.
“The amount of kids that are going to be there running with us, it’s going to be super fun, super competitive,” Scott said. “I’m going to try my best and hope it works out.”
Coach Gregg Mrkvicka will be leading the two boys.
He nearly sent the boys team, but they missed the cut after placing third at districts. The top two teams advanced.
“We’ve been lucky enough to either send some kids or a whole team for six or seven years now, so it’s pretty exciting,” he said. “It’s a big deal for the kids. It’s not easy to get there, it takes a lot of work. You can’t just be like, ‘Oh well, I’m going to run cross country and go to state.’
“It takes a lot of work to get there and it’s the only sport where every kid who lines up, can be the state champion. So you know, pretty excited. I’m pretty sure these guys are going to run their fastest times of the year. They’re ready to do that and we’ll just see where they end up.”
Also attending individually from St. Joseph will be Benton’s Baylie Williams.
The senior, known as “Benton’s Bruiser”, is battling back from an injuring she suffered her junior season.
Williams went to state in 2016 and ran a time of 22:08.15.
She placed eighth last weekend in the Class 3 race in Maryville with a time of 22:16.74.