Prep Sports

Decision on Iowa state cross country format expected by the end of the week

Options include status quo, a 2-day event or possibly a 2-weekend event

Varsity girls take off from the start at the Solon Invitational cross country meet at the Solon Recreation and Nature Ar
Varsity girls take off from the start at the Solon Invitational cross country meet at the Solon Recreation and Nature Area on Monday. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)

A decision is expected by the end of the week on what the postseason will look like for Iowa high school cross country.

“We’re still in communication with the city of Fort Dodge and the Fort Dodge Community School District, considering options and deciding what it’s going to look like,” said Jared Chizek, assistant director for the Iowa High School Athletic Association.

“We’ll have one more round of discussions, then by the end of the week, we should have something out (to the public).”

Currently, the state-qualifying meets — five in each class — are scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 22, and the state championships are slated for Saturday, Oct. 31 at Lakeside Golf Course, north of Fort Dodge.

The traditional format remains a possibility, but is only one of several options.

The state meet draws thousands of fans, the majority of which run from point to point to watch the race from several angles. In an effort to decrease COVID-19 risk, there is discussion of making it two-day, Friday/Saturday event, with two classes Oct. 30 and the other two Oct. 31.

If that happens, it’s possible that the state qualifiers for the Oct. 30 races will be contested Wednesday, Oct. 21.

Other options, Chizek said, are making the state meet a two-weekend event, and/or to restrict the number of fans in attendance. He also said that the number of qualifiers might be altered.

Currently, three teams and 15 individuals from each state-qualifying site advance to Fort Dodge.

Comments: (319) 368-8857; jeff.linder@thegazette.com

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