Zach Staples, Bearcat cross country and track

By Jacki Wood

This is the third in a series on former Spoofhound athletes who are now Bearcats.

Frequently called townies, a number of former Maryville High School athletes decided to stay in town and continue their academic and athletic careers at Northwest Missouri State University.

Zach Staples, son of Devin and Jen Staples, graduated from MHS in 2018 and was an All-State runner for the Spoofhounds on the 4×800 track team, placing 4th at the Class 3 State Championship in 2017 and 5th in 2018.

For the Bearcats, Staples runs on both the cross country and track and field teams.

“I (was given) a chance to run and it was the best fit for me,” Staples said about why he chose Northwest.

Last fall, he ran the men’s 8K and 10K for the cross country team. At the NCAA Central Region Championship in November, he placed 133rd with a time of 33:46.9 which was fourth best on the team.

During track season, he ran the 800 and the mile.

“I enjoy the team atmosphere,” he said. “Everyone that is out there wants the same thing as you. There is a lot higher level of commitment (than in high school).”

Former Spoofhound now Bearcat Zach Staples competes at a cross country meet last fall.

Staples said a normal day during the season includes class, practice, homework and sleep.

His goals for this year include staying healthy and cutting his time.

He is studying exercise science and wants to eventually become an athletic trainer.

Staples and the Bearcat cross country team begin the season on September 6 at home with the Bearcat Open.