Prep Sports

Cross country: 2019 MVC Super Meet is stacked, but it's also iffy

Thursday's forecast calls for rain; Hempstead boys, Linn-Mar girls are favored

Linn-Mar’s Micah Poellet crosses the finish line, winning the Class 4A race at the 2018 state cross country meet at Fort Dodge. Poellet and Iowa City Liberty’s Ashlyn Keeney are expected to vie for the girls’ title at the Mississippi Valley Conference Super meet Thursday at Iowa City. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)
Linn-Mar’s Micah Poellet crosses the finish line, winning the Class 4A race at the 2018 state cross country meet at Fort Dodge. Poellet and Iowa City Liberty’s Ashlyn Keeney are expected to vie for the girls’ title at the Mississippi Valley Conference Super meet Thursday at Iowa City. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)

As the forecast for Thursday has worsened, so has Mike Morrison’s sleep pattern.

“I haven’t slept well this week at all,” said Morrison, the athletics director at Iowa City Liberty, who is set to host his first Mississippi Valley Conference event Thursday.

Or maybe Friday. Or perhaps not at all.

The MVC cross country “Super Meet” is scheduled for Thursday afternoon at Kickers Soccer Park, Iowa City. The meet schedule was changed Wednesday, moving the varsity races up to 3:30 p.m. (girls) and 4 p.m. (boys).

A chance of rain is forecast throughout the day.

“The plan is, the only thing that we’ll call it off for is lightning,” Morrison said.

If the meet is postponed, it will go Friday. If it’s called off Friday, it’s off for good. If teams get to Kickers on Thursday and the meet is called, they won’t return Friday.

The field is stacked, with nine boys’ teams listed in the current Iowa Association of Track Coaches rankings, along with eight girls’ teams.

Dubuque Hempstead’s boys are ranked No. 1, followed by Cedar Falls (fifth), Cedar Rapids Prairie (seventh), Iowa City West (eighth) and Linn-Mar (ninth). Jacob Green of Cedar Rapids Kennedy is the highest-ranked individual, at No. 3. He will be challenged by Jack Pendergast of Prairie and Dylan Dolezal of Linn-Mar.

The girls’ race will be headlined by Liberty’s Ashlyn Keeney (ranked second in 4A) and defending state champion Micah Poellet of Linn-Mar (rated third).

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Linn-Mar is ranked No. 4 in the 4A girls’ team rankings, followed by Prairie (sixth), Hempstead (seventh), Iowa City High (eighth) and West (10th). Dubuque Wahlert is No. 2 in 3A.

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

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