First To The Finish Kick Off Classic Kicks Off Weekend Opener

Charlie Parrish of Freeburg is the defending champion at FTTF (Tracy Burmester photo)

Event Date: August 26, 2017

Location: SIU-Edwardsville Cross Country Facility

Race times:

8:30 am                Junior high race (1.8 miles, all grade school runners run together, awards separate)

9:30 am                High school girls race (all girl runners)

10:15 am             High school boys race (all boy runners)

Key Boys teams: [Class A] #7 Freeburg, #15 Pinckneyville, #22 Breese (Mater Dei), #25 Steeleville

Key Girls teams: [Class A] #10 Breese (Mater Dei), #14 Freeburg, #21 Effingham (St. Anthony), #25 Springfield (Lutheran)

The 9th Annual First To The Finish Kick Off Invitational has a new host name. The meet will be co-hosted by Trinity Lutheran grade school in Edwardsville and First Baptist Academy of O'Fallon, IL and assisted by SIUE Charter HS of E. St. Louis. The SIUE course is a beautiful NCAA D1 venue and is a difficult full 5k.  It will certainly be a benchmark race for the rest of your season.  We are anticipating a field of approximately 55 high school and 40 grade school teams in the field for 2017. We consider this meet one of the premier races of the cross country season statewide. 

The majority of the teams are of Class A variety and from the south which should be a good opening test for coaches to evaluate personnel. The boys will feature defending champion #7 Freeburg who were easy winners behind Charlie Parrish. Now a senior, Parrish should be ready to defend his title on the rugged SIU-E course. The girls will have a new winner for the first time in four seasons. That's because the great Anna Sophia Keller (St. Anthony) has graduated and taken her talents to Notre Dame. Freeburg won by a point over Missouri small class power Notre Dame Cape Giradeau 89-90. #10 Breese Mater Dei could factor into the plans this time around. It will be the season opener for virtually all of the squads entered.