FORT DODGE — For the first time, the Iowa high school state cross country championships will be a two-day venture.
The Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union and the Iowa High School Athletic Association announced jointly Wednesday that both the state-qualifying meets and the state championships will take place over two days each.
“Our joint championship in Fort Dodge has long been a special event for our participants and fans,” IHGSAU executive director Jean Berger said Wednesday in a statement. “Changes to any successful championship are never easy, but holding a two-day meet is our best option this year.
“Our new plan really focuses on a safe and rewarding experience, something we all agree is our top priority.”
The state meet will remain at Lakeside Golf Course, north of Fort Dodge, where it has been held since 1993.
Class 4A and Class 3A state competition will be held Friday, Oct. 30, with 2A and 1A competition Saturday, Oct. 31.
State-qualifying meets will be Wednesday, Oct. 21 for 4A and 3A, Thursday, Oct. 22 for 2A and 1A.
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“The IHSAA is grateful to the Fort Dodge community, particularly the Parks and Recreation Department and Lakeside Municipal Golf Course for their efforts to make a two-day state event possible,” IHSAA executive director Tom Keating said. “By allowing us to run each class individually, the Fort Dodge community is contributing to our commitment to safety for participants, coaches, workers, media and spectators.
Qualification procedures will be altered for Class 1A. The small-school class will go from five qualifying sites to eight, with two teams and 10 individuals advancing from each site. Class 2A, 3A, 4A will remain unchanged on qualifying — five sites, with three teams and 15 individuals advancing from each.
Parking will be available inside Kennedy Park. Admission for spectators will be $10 each upon arrival to Kennedy Park; there will be no shuttle bus system this year.
State cross country schedule
Friday, Oct. 30
10:30 a.m. — Class 4A girls
11 a.m. — Class 4A boys
3:30 p.m. — Class 3A girls
4 p.m. — Class 3A boys
Saturday, Oct. 31
10:30 a.m. — Class 2A girls
11 a.m. — Class 2A boys
3:30 p.m. — Class 1A girls
4 p.m. — Class 1A boys
State-qualifying cross country sites
Class 4A (Wednesday, Oct. 21) — At Council Bluffs, Dubuque, Marshalltown, Pleasant Valley and Southeast Polk
Class 3A (Wednesday, Oct. 21) — At Monticello, Pella, Spencer, Waverly and Winterset
Class 2A (Thursday, Oct. 22) — At Eagle Grove, Jesup, Panora, Orange City and Williamsburg
Class 1A (Thursday, Oct. 22) — At Guthrie Center, Audubon, Cascade, Manly, Guttenberg, Mount Ayr, Ottumwa and Holstein
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