Winners of six straight Class 3 state cross country championships, the Festus boys opened their 2020 season by winning the Fort Zumwalt North Twilight Invitational.
The Tigers finished with 60 points Saturday at the Pheasant Run Golf Course in O’Fallon, 23 points below Fort Zumwalt West’s second-place finish. Many of the schools from the Gateway Athletic Conference in St. Charles County competed, but they were no match for Festus, which has won eight state titles under head coach Bryan Wright since 2009.
The first runner from the Tigers to finish was sophomore Cullen Krieg, who was third in 15:56.60. Krieg finished sixth at state last fall in 15:59. He was the only freshman in Class 3 to win a medal at the Gans Creek course in Columbia.
Junior Nathan Wolk (ninth, 16:10), junior Jacob Meyers (11th, 16:31.30), junior Anthony Pittman (13th, 16:48.30) and senior Josh Thornborrow (24th, 17:10.40) were the Tigers other top runners.
After finishing 58th in the state in Class 4 last season, Northwest senior Firaol Ahmed was seventh in 16:07.70 at the Twilight. The Lions were seventh with 223 points.
De Soto junior William Kaempfe, 22nd at state in Class 3 last fall, was the Dragons’ top finisher at Pheasant Run with an eighth-place time of 16:08.10.
Herculaneum senior Cody Glisson was 18th in 16:58.90 and was the Blackcats’ top finisher Saturday. Herky finished 10th with 230 points.