116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
The remainder of the Iowa high school state cross country field will be determined Thursday, with state-qualifying meets in Class 2A and Class 1A.
All meets are scheduled for 4 p.m.
In 2A, the top three teams and the top 15 individuals from each site advance to the state meet Saturday, Oct. 29 at Lakeside Golf Course, Fort Dodge. In 1A, it’s the top two teams and top 10 runners from each meet.
Thursday’s forecast for Eastern Iowa calls for warmer conditions, with a high of 62 degrees, mostly sunny skies with the wind out of the northwest at 10 miles per hour.
Here is a primer on Thursday’s races that include area teams:
Top-ranked and balanced, Monticello tops a strong field that features five teams in the top 20. Tipton is projected as the second-best team, with Dyersville Beckman, Sumner-Fredericksburg and Jesup battling for the final slot. Jesup has a pair of individual contenders in Mackenzie Wilson and Clare Wright. Hillary Trainor of Sumner-Fredericksburg and Emma Althoff of Monticello are other notables.
Defending state champion Tipton (ranked No. 4) is expected to duel with No. 2 Waukon for the title. Host Monticello figures to grab the final state slot, though Mediapolis could challenge. Tipton’s Clay Bohlmann and Mediapolis’ Solomon Zaugg are the top individuals.
Barring disaster, Denver and Williamsburg appear to be locks to advance, with Crestwood, New Hampton and Osage battling for the final spot. The individual field is stacked with four top-10 runners — Katelyn Johnson of Osage, Kinze Shea of Crestwood, Campbelle Colbet of New Hampton and Avery Trunkhill of Denver
Denver and Oelwein are co-favorites for the title. Anamosa appears to have a slight edge over New Hampton for the third state berth. Charlie Sieck of Starmont-West Central is ranked No. 2 among 2A boys and will be chased by Oelwein’s Conall Sauser.
It’s all about Mid-Prairie here. The Golden Hawks are five-time defending state champions and ranked No. 2 this season. They are favorites to rule this regional. Albia is a good bet for second, with Pella Christian and Union Community battling for third. Mid-Prairie junior Danielle Hostetler is a two-time state champion, and the Hostetler sisters have won six in a row.
The only sure thing appears to be Danville-New London, which should breeze to the title. Grundy Center/Gladbrook-Reinbeck, Pella Christian and Mid-Prairie are top candidates to snag the final two spots. Kaden Lynch of GC-GR and A.J. Bonneson of Danville-New London are the leading individuals.
Led by veteran Billie Wagner, reigning champion South Winneshiek is ranked No. 3 and a heavy favorite to earn regional-champion honors. Cascade has the inside track to second place. Calamus-Wheatland sophomore Noelle Steines won a state title last year, but has battled injury this season. Still, she is the individual favorite in a field that also includes Wagner and Maquoketa Valley freshman Taryn Burbridge.
Cascade and Clayton Ridge are co-favorites, with Maquoketa Valley lurking. Individual contenders include Jacob Schellhorn of MFL MarMac, Marcus Blount of Clinton Prince of Peace, Keaton Reimer of Clayton Ridge and Adam Knepper of Cascade.
The sixth-place state finisher last year, North Linn junior Meghan Wheatley has vaulted to No. 1 on the IATC list of 1A girls, and she is an overwhelming favorite to win at Eldora. The Lynx are projected as the team champion, with Wapsie Valley the likely runner-up.
East Marshall and North Linn are the favorites to advance to Fort Dodge. Individual contenders include Noah Valenzuela of East Buchanan and Adric Schmitz of Valley Lutheran.
AT IOWA CITY
Led by freshman ace Desi Lang, Hudson is the favorite. Iowa City Regina has the inside track for the second spot, but keep an eye on Danville. Regina’s Mya Whitaker could be a factor in the individual race.
Is this a return to the glory days for Iowa City Regina? Led by junior Aidan O’Neil, the Regals are ranked No. 1 in 1A. They’ll face a stiff district challenge from Bellevue, which also has a star in junior Payton Griebel.