1A, 2A, 3A Arkansas State XC Meet Preview and Picks 2022

1A Boys

Team:  Ozark Catholic has their top 7 all in the top 16 runners in the state 1A race. There shouldn't be any reason that Ozark Catholic doesn't take the1A title. The race for 2nd place is a different story. Rural Special and Founders Classical Academy are just 3 points apart on paper. Founders is strong up front with two runners in front of Rural Special's 1st runner but, Rural Special has all 7 runners in front of Founder's 5th. This race for the runner up trophy will come down to the 4th and 5th runners from Founders. If they have a good day then they can finish second, but it will be tough!  Team Rankings

Individual:  Isaac Pohlmeier from Ozark Catholic is the class of the field in this race. I would be surprised if Isaac didn't win this race by over a minute. He just missed breaking 17 minutes on the NWACC course which is flat and fast, similar to the Oaklawn course.

ArMileSplit's Team Pick: Ozark Catholic

ArMileSplit's Individual Pick: Isaac Pohlmeier

1A Girls

Team: The ladies from Kingston are the top girls 1A team in the state by far. All of their top 7 runners are in the top 13. If it wasn't for just a couple of runners, you may have seen a perfect score at the state meet. Team Rankings

Individual: The one individual who will keep the Kingston girls from scoring a perfect score is Clare Pohlmeier. Clare has the 3rd fastest time going into the state meet just two tenths of a second behind Peyton Macejewski of Mount Ida and ten seconds behind Hannah McGuire from Trinity Christian. Peyton and Hannah don't have full teams, so they wont factor into the team scoring.

ArMileSplit's Team Pick: Kingston

ArMileSplit's Individual Pick: Clare Pohlmeier

2A Boys

Team: The 2A boys race should be between Quitman and Acorn. Only 3 points separate these two teams on paper. The top 5 runners from both of these teams should all be in the top 16 at the finish. This race may come down to which ever team is feeling it on Friday! Team Rankings

Individual: When you look at the individual rankings for the boys 2A, you will see Tate Stacks from Quitman with an almost 20 second advantage over Jacen Heiner of Haas Hall Bentonville. But if you take a deeper dive into those rankings you will see that they both ran 16:43 at the chile Pepper Festival this year with Jacen winning by .10. Tate's faster time of 16:25 came on his home course at Quitman were everyone PR's by 20 seconds or more! Cant wait to watch this race!

ArMileSplit's Team Pick: Acorn with the upset

ArMileSplit's Individual Pick: Tate Stacks

2A Girls

Team: The Quitman girls are the class of the 2A. With all 7 runners in the top 13, this should be a cake walk to the state title. The runner up trophy could be a little closer. Greenland and Mansfield are just a few points apart. If everyone runs to form, Greenland should edge out Mansfield but if just one runner from either team falters, the runner up trophy could go to Mansfield! Team Rankings

Individual: Elizabeth Merritt of Magazine is the only girl to have run under 21 minutes this year in the girls 2A. She has done it twice. The next closest time is Bella Tedder of Acorn. Look for these girls to go 1-2

ArMileSplit's Team Pick: Quitman (Lock of the Day)

ArMileSplit's Individual Pick: Elizabeth Merritt

3A Boys

Team: The top 3 teams in the boys 3A are Melbourne, Jessieville, and Green Forest. Jessieville and Melbourne are both very strong in their top 4, with a big jump to their 5th runner. Green Forest on the other hand has a solid top 5 and a 6th and 7th runner in front of the other two's 5th runner. Green Forest wins this race on depth. Team Standings

Individual: This race may be the race of the day on Friday morning. The top 3 runners are Arauny Reyes from Green Forest, Owen Shafer from Bald Knob, and Kaleb Eskew from Jessieville. These three are less than 10 seconds apart on their 2022 season PR's. Arauny has been getting stronger each race that he has run with a best time of 17:17, but  Kaleb just ran 17:25 on the state meet course which he ran 17:01 last year. This one is a toss up!

ArMileSplit's Team Pick: Green Forest

ArMileSplit's Individual Pick: Kaleb Eskew

3A Girls

Team: The 3A girls top team is Episcopal Collegiate. They have the best 1-5 split of the top teams and should win easily. The race is for 2nd place. Harding Academy and Haas Hall Academy are just a few points apart. If Haas Halls 5th runner moves up just a few spots then they will take home the runner up trophy but Harding may put 7 in front of Haas Halls 5th. A close one for sure!  Team Rankings

Individual: There are very few runners in state meet history that win multiple XC state meet individual titles. Juliah Rodgers of Jessieville is about to win 4! Juliah came from off the radar in 9th grade to win in 20:29, to a 19:48 win in her sophomore season and a 19:01 win last year. Don't be surprised when she breaks 19 and takes the win on Friday. 

Side Note: Arkansas MileSplit can only think of four runners who've  won the state XC meet all 4 years of HS in their classification. Kelly Bryson of Bentonville in the 90's, Samantha Mohler of Mountain Home who graduated in 2012, and most recently Josie Carson of Lake Hamilton and Noah Eskew of Jessieville, both graduated in 2018.

ArMileSplit's Team Pick: Episcopal Collegiate

ArMileSplit's Individual Pick: Juliah Rodgers