North Platte sent a team to the Class 1 Missouri State Cross Country Championships each of the past two seasons. Now, the challenge for the young program becomes making that a habit and possibly sending the boys and girls together.
In 2015, the North Platte boys finished second in Class 1 District 8 to grab the second of two qualifying spots.
The Panthers finished 14th out of 16 teams at state with a pair of seniors leading the historic run. Dylan Stockman (43rd) and Eric Brown (76th) were the top two finishers, while junior Caleb Crumley and sophomores Tyler Meadows and Joseph DeMarcus rounded out the top five.
With Stockman and Brown gone, those three plus senior Mark Fisher and sophomore Zach Lee — the other two to run at state last year — will provide the experience in hoping to make another state run.
After reaching state as a group in 2014, the North Platte girls missed a return trip last season. However, junior McKenna Fulton and senior Shelby Fisher earned individual berths and ran at state for a second straight season. Fulton finished 40th at state last year, while Fisher came in 101st.
In addition, senior Katie Parkhurst and junior Bailee Romaker also boast previous state experience. Romaker placed 54th at state as a freshman.