Photo by Jeff Yoder
Your Prep Sports
Monday signaled the official opening of the cross country season as teams across the state held their first practices of the 2018 seasonn.
The end of the season comes on October 27 at the state meet at Lakeside Golf Course in Fort Dodge.
That leaves just two months to watch the top runners in the state compete as teams and individuals chase a spot at the state meet.
With limited opportunities to catch area talent here are six area runners to make sure to watch race before the season ends in October.'
Greiner was a state title contender last season before injuries played a role in a disappointing 29th place finish at the state meet.
A medalist as a sophomore when he finished 11th at state Greiner enters his final prep season seeking a return to the form that made him one of the best in the state.
A healthy Greiner should contend for a state title as West High attempts to improve on a 10th place team finish from last season.
A state qualifier as a freshman in 2016 Turnbough will seek to help City High return to the state meet as a team this season.
The junior is a two-year letterwinner and placed 113th at the state meet as a freshman.
Clear Creek Amana cross country has made giant strides the past several seasons and O’Connor has been a big part of the surge.
O’Connor placed 27th at the state meet a year ago while helping the Clippers to the best state finish in school history with a 10th place performance in Class 3A.
With its top seven runners from last season returning including two-time state qualifiers in O’Connor and senior Cole Liebe the Clippers expect to make another big jump this fall.
Woodward capped an impressive debut season at Liberty High by becoming the first state qualifier in program history.
In his first trip to the state meet Woodward just missed a medal, placing 17th in a time of 16:40.8.
The junior will attempt to improve on that performance this season as he leads the Lightning in year two of varsity cross country.
Knepper had a strong freshman season capped by an appearance at the state meet.
Knepper placed 103rd at the Class 2A meet last season and will be a key component of a Regina squad that attempts to return to the state meet as a team in Class 1A.
Conrad returns with state meet experience after placing 64th at the state meet a year ago and returns with fellow senior Greiner as a leader on a West High squad seeking to improve on its 10th place team finish from a season ago.