116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
Berths for the Iowa high school state cross country meet are on the line Wednesday for teams and runners in Class 4A and Class 3A, with all qualifying meets scheduled for 4 p.m.
The top three teams and the top 15 individuals from each site advance to the state meet Friday, Oct. 28 at Lakeside Golf Course, Fort Dodge.
Wednesday’s forecast for Eastern Iowa calls for partly sunny skies and a high of 48 degrees with the wind out of the northwest at 15 miles per hour.
Here is a primer on Wednesday’s races that have a heavy area presence:
Defending state champion Dubuque Hempstead is No. 1, and Dubuque Senior is No. 3. The Mustangs and the Rams are locks to advance, with Cedar Falls a slight favorite over Iowa City West to earn the third ticket. Hempstead’s Julia Gehl and Keelee Leitzen figure to run 1-2 individually.
No. 5 Cedar Falls is the favorite, with No. 9 Cedar Rapids Kennedy and No. 11 Hempstead projected to join the Tigers in Fort Dodge, though Iowa City West is a threat. Miles Wilson is the individual favorite, with West’s Tiea Moustafa the chief challenger.
AT PLEASANT VALLEY
Led by the Grace Boleyn (ranked as the No. 3 4A individual), host Pleasant Valley is the overwhelming favorite. The Spartans are ranked No. 2. Linn-Mar, Cedar Rapids Prairie and Iowa City High are the three likely candidates to fight for the final two spots. City’s Ani Wedemeyer and Linn-Mar’s Rachel Adamson could be the top non-PV competitors.
Fourth-ranked Iowa City High is the clear favorite. The Little Hawks have an ace in Ford Washburn, who has run under 15 minutes on more than one occasion. Pleasant Valley’s Jacob Murray probably will run second to Washburn, and the Spartans probably will finish second to the Little Hawks, with Prairie and Linn-Mar battling for the final spot.
Defending state champion Solon is a cinch to reign in this field. Spartans veteran Kayla Young is the individual favorite, with Clear Creek Amana’s Haidyn Barker the prime challenger. CCA is one of three teams — Clear Lake and Marion are the others — as the best bets to snag the final two berths.
Marion senior Jedidiah Osgood is the overwhelming favorite, and probably the guy to beat at Fort Dodge next week. Teammate Cooper Cook probably will battle Vinton-Shellsburg’s Eli Pape and Solon’s Brick Kabela for second. Marion is a near-lock for the team title, with Solon, CCA, Vinton-Shellsburg and Decorah fighting for the other two spots.
Vastly underrated at No. 12 last week, Mount Vernon-Lisbon bounced back with a championship performance at the Wamac Conference meet and enters as the favorite Wednesday. Washington and Center Point-Urbana are the other likely qualifiers. MVL’s Lourdes Mason is the top individual, with freshmen Avery Rump of Fort Madison and Iris Dahl of Washington next in line.
No. 5 Western Dubuque will make a lengthy trek to southeast Iowa, and the Bobcats are likely to return to Epworth with the title behind individual favorite Isaiah Hammerand. Mount Vernon-Lisbon is projected as the runner-up, with the final slot going to CPU, Washington or South Tama. Micah Rees of Washington and Tommy Tyynismaa of South Tama will be Hammerand’s top challengers.