With the COVID-19 pandemic emerging in the US in March of 2020 and the cancelation of spring high school sports, uncertainty existed around the fall cross country season. By September, some counties were allowing events to be held while others like St. Louis City and County were not. The Forest Park Cross Country Festival made a move to McNair Park in St. Charles County for its 15th edition. In addition to a full schedule of races on Saturday, September 12 for teams from counties allowed to compete in a MSHSSA event, the organizing committee put on the Gateway XC Challenge on Friday, September 11 to allow for unattached runners to compete in six open races.
Although the fields were slightly smaller on Saturday, the athletes were hungry for competition. In the Varsity Girls Green Race, Ally Kruger, a junior from Liberty (Wentzvillle), took and early lead and extended it over the course of 5k to win in 19:26, a 30 second margin over Mia Reed, a senior from Washington. In the team battle, it was Timberland who held their position throughout the race and came out on top with 64 points over second place Washington (75 points) and third place Fort Zumwalt West (81 points).
On the boys side, a competitive pack of Cullen Krieg (sophomore, Festus), Caleb Lind (junior, Lutheran St. Charles) and Trevor Peimann (senior, Timberland) led through the mile. Krieg and Peimann put a small gap on Lind at the 2 mile and then battled each other the rest of the way with Krieg pulling away slightly for the win in 16:07 to Peimann’s 16:08.
Led by Krieg’s win, Festus was the dominant team putting all 5 scorers in the top 12 for 33 points over Timberland (48 points) and Lutheran St. Charles (56 points).