Caleb at Coach Phillips on the Medal Stand at State

Senior Caleb Phillips returned to the MSHSAA Cross Country Championships for the fourth time in his high school career this morning. Caleb earned All-State, finishing in the top 25 his sophomore and junior years. After districts on Saturday, Caleb was seeded 8th in the State. He was looking forward to the best finish of his career when the gun sounded and over 175 of Missouri's best began to race. When he crossed the finish line completing his final run, he threw up his hands up in joy because he ran well and captured 10th place! 

During his high school running career he has enjoyed the challenge, competition and camaraderie of the sport. Through the years he has become friends with countless runners from many schools. As the lone runner for the Macks Creek Pirates boys team this school year, he hopes other Pirates join next year to keep the sport alive at Macks Creek for years to come.

Caleb shared one of the best memories of his XC career was when the boys team of Vaughn, Kyler, Jose, Dakota and Nick took 4th place at Districts and the entire team advanced to State along with Lady Pirates Molly and Adriana who both qualified. He is looking forward to Track season and hopes other MCHS students who haven't tried out the sport of running will take their first strides this spring. He is grateful to Lady Pirates Addie and Bailey, who made up the gals team this year, as well as his coaches for a great season together. Congratulations and well done Caleb! 

Below are several photos from the last Cross Country meet of his high school career:

This photo was on the "Ozarks Ozone" and was taken about 10 meters before the finish line.

In this photo, with a little over a mile left to race, Caleb began pulling away from the pack. At this point he is in 11th place. In a little over a half-mile he will move into 10th place and hold that position through the finish line. Great racing Caleb! 

Caleb and junior Addie Ratliff, who also qualified for State, took a photo in front of the finish line the day before the meet. The two of them performed a pre-meet workout on the course just before taking this photo. 

Warming up before the race...

A quick photo with Coach Ratliff before heading to the starting line...

Coach Phillips, Caleb's Dad had the honor of presenting the All-State Medal during the awards ceremony. 

Caleb took 10th place overall in the Class 1 State Championships.

The top 30 finishers at State are awared All-State Honors each year in Missouri. 

This is the opening stretch at Gans Creek. The course starts of flat and before a gradual uphill incline and the runners jockey for position over the next 1/4 mile before the course narrows and turns sharply to the left. Caleb is visible near the center of this photo.

A view of tent city next to the starting line at Gans Creek. This is the home course of the University of Missouri Tigers Cross Country team and was designed exclusively for cross country racing. 

Caleb gets a congratulatory hug from his big sister, Molly, an alumnus who also raced in the cross country state championships.