Breaking Down the Area Boys State Qualifying Cross Country Meets


Photo by Jeff Yoder

Ryan Murken

Your Prep Sports

The cross country season concludes on October 27 with the state meet at Lakeside Golf Course in Fort Dodge.

On Thursday we will find out who will be making up the state meet fields.

State qualifying meets in all four classes will take place on Thursday afternoon with the top three teams and top 15 individual finishers from each meet advancing to the state meet.

Here is a quick breakdown of each of the state qualifying meets featuring area teams.

Class 4A Meet (Cedar Rapids Kennedy)

When: Thursday, 4:30 p.m.

Where: Noelridge Park in Cedar Rapids

Teams: City High, Cedar Falls, Cedar Rapids Jefferson, Cedar Rapids Washington, Cedar Rapids Kennedy, Clinton, Dubuque Senior, Western Dubuque, Linn-Mar, Muscatine

Ranked Teams: No. 7 Cedar Falls; No. 8 Cedar Rapids Washington; No. 11 Cedar Rapids Kennedy

Ranked Individuals: No. 5 Jacob Green, Jr., Cedar Rapids Kennedy; No. 13 Dylan Dolezal, Jr., Linn-Mar; No. 18 Brandon Conrad, Sr., Cedar Falls; No. 26 Isaiah Schaetzel, Jr., Dubuque Senior; No. 28 Paul Schneidermann, Sr., Cedar Rapids Washington; 30. Max Locher, Jr., Cedar Rapids Washington

Team title chase: One of the more intriguing team races in all the 4A districts features a wide open field with half of the 10-team field capable of earning a top-three finish and a trip to the state meet.

Cedar Falls, Cedar Rapids Washington and Cedar Rapids Kennedy are expected to battle for the top spot.

Washington and Cedar Falls tied for the Mississippi Valley Divisional title last Thursday a week after Cedar Rapids Washington finished 16 points in front of Cedar Falls at the MVC Super Meet. 

Athlete to watch: Cedar Rapids Kennedy junior Jacob Green was second at the MVC Super meet on the same course two weeks ago finishing more than 13 seconds in front of Linn-Mar junior Dylan Dolezal who expects to be his top competitor on Thursday.

Breakdown: Run on the same course as the MVC Super Meet two weeks ago this will have a distinct MVC flavor with nine of the 10 teams coming from the conference.

City High finished behind five of the nine MVC teams at Thursday’s state qualifier at the MVC Super Meet and will need a strong showing to work its way into the state meet conversation.

Class 4A Meet (Marshalltown)

When: Thursday, 4:30 p.m.

Where: Marshalltown Community College in Marshalltown

Teams: West High, Ames, Ankeny Centennial, Fort Dodge, Marshalltown, Mason City, Newton, Waterloo, Waukee

Ranked Teams: No. 5 Waukee; No. 12 Ames

Ranked Individuals: No. 4 Kolby Greiner, Sr., West High; No. 9 Moe Smith, Sr., Waukee; No. 14 Aniey Akok, Soph., Ames; No. 23 Travis Loecke, Sr., Waukee;

Team title chase: Fifth-ranked Waukee appears to be the favorite to win the team title but the other two spots at the state meet are up for grabs.

No. 12 Ames will be in the mix as well as West High and Ankeny Centennial.

Athlete to watch: An injury kept Kolby Greiner from finishing at the Mississippi Valley Conference super meet but the West High senior came back a week later to claim the title at the MVC Valley Divisional meet in 15:54.95.

Greiner is the favorite to claim the individual title on Thursday in his second meet since the Super Meet.

Breakdown: Greiner is a state title contender if he is healthy and will attempt to prove that against a field that includes a top-10 challenger in Moe Smith of Waukee.

With a healthy Greiner leading the way West High is capable of returning to the state meet with a top three finish.

Class 4A Meet (Pleasant Valley)

When: Thursday, 4:30 p.m.

Where: Crow Creek Park in Bettendorf

Teams: Liberty High, Bettendorf, Burlington, Davenport Central, Davenport North, Davenport West, Dubuque Hempstead, North Scott, Pleasant Valley, Cedar Rapids Prairie

Ranked Teams: No. 2 Dubuque Hempstead; No. 3 Pleasant Valley; No. 9 Cedar Rapids Prairie

Ranked Individuals: No. 2 Jack Pendergast, Jr., Cedar Rapids Prairie; No. 6 Max Murphy, Jr., Pleasant Valley; No. 8 Ben Hermiston, Sr., Dubuque Hempstead; No. 11 Ian Kaffenberger, Jr., Pleasant Valley; No. 12 Kent Nichols, Jr., Pleasant Valley; No. 17 Kameron Morgan, Sr., Davenport West; No. 20 David Holesinger, Sr., Dubuque Hempstead; No. 25 Ryan Winger, Soph., Dubuque Hempstead; No. 27 Parker Huhn, Sr., Pleasant Valley

Team title chase: This state qualifier is top heavy with two of the top three teams in the final rankings as No. 2 Dubuque Hempstead and third-ranked Pleasant Valley figure to battle for the team title.

Athlete to watch: Liberty High junior Peter Woodward was an individual state qualifier last season in Class 3A and will try to repeat that feat this season in Class 4A.

Woodward is coming off a 14th place finish at the Mississippi Valley Conference Valley Divisional meet last week.

Breakdown: Dubuque Hempstead has won the MVC Super Meet and Valley Division meets the past two Thursday and has the depth to add a district title to that winning streak on Thursday.

Competing on its home course Pleasant Valley expects to push the Mustangs for the top spot while Cedar Rapids Prairie is a heavy favorite to claim the other state meet spot.

After reaching the 3A state meet a year ago Woodward will attempt to become the first two-time qualifier in Liberty High history with a top-15 individual finish.

Class 3A Meet (Fairfield)

When: Thursday, 4:30 p.m.

Where: Waterworks Park in Fairfield

Teams: Clear Creek Amana, Solon, Davenport Assumption, Central DeWitt, Fairfield, Fort Madison, Grinnell, Keokuk, Marion, Mount Pleasant, North Polk, West Burlington/Notre Dame, Washington

Ranked Teams: No. 3 Marion; No. 4 Clear Creek Amana; No. 10 Grinnell

Ranked Individuals: No. 2 Cody Mertens, Sr., Mount Pleasant; No. 11 Harrison Vanderlinden, Sr., Marion; No. 15 Cole Hemann, Jr., Marion; No. 17 Mathew Cunningham, Sr., Grinnell; No. 18. Jack Sexton, Jr., Clear Creek Amana; No. 19 Chris Guise, Jr., Davenport Assumption; No. 20 Nick O’Connor, Jr., Clear Creek Amana;

Team title chase: Marion and Clear Creek Amana get a rematch one week after the Indians won the WAMAC Conference meet by a single point of the Clippers.

Expect another tight race on Thursday between Clear Creek Amana and Marion for the team title with tenth-ranked Grinnell battling for the third state meet spot.

Athlete to watch: Junior Jack Sexton spent much of the season leading the Clear Creek Amana pack and was the top Clipper finisher at the WAMAC meet last week.

Sexton gets a shot a personal redemption this week after finishing fourth behind both individual champion Harrison Vanderlinden and Cole Hemann of Marion at the WAMAC meet.

Breakdown: Clear Creek Amana should easily secure another trip to the state meet but this season the Clippers expect more and would like to head to Fort Dodge next week coming off a win at a state qualifier.

Marion and Clear Creek Amana each put four runners in the top 10 at last week’s WAMAC meet but the difference was the two runners Marion had in the top three.

The battle between Sexton and Nick O’Connor and Landerlinden and Hemann will again be key in determining a team champion.

Mount Pleasant senior Cody Mertens is the favorite to win the individual title.

Class 1A Meet (Regina)

When: Thursday, 4:30 p.m.

Where: Kickers Soccer Park in Iowa City

Teams: Regina, BGM, Calamus-Wheatland, Cardinal, Columbus, Durant, Easton Valley, English Valleys, Highland, Fort Madison Holy Trinity, Iowa Mennonite, Keota, Lone Tree, Maquoketa Valley, Montezuma, Moravia, Moulton-Udell, North Mahaska, Pekin, Clinton Prince of Peace, Rivermont Collegiate, Sigourney, Starmont, Twin Cedars, WACO, Wapello, Wilton, Winfield-Mount Union

Ranked Teams: No. 3 Calamus-Wheatland; No. 7 Pekin; No. 12 Maquoketa Valley

Ranked Individuals: No. 4 Hunter Rickels, Sr., Calamus-Wheatland; No. 17 Chase Knoche, Soph., Calamus-Wheatland; No. 26 Brady Millikin, Soph., Pekin; No. 23 Colten Glosser, Jr. Pekin

Team title chase: Calamus-Wheatland is the team to beat with Pekin and Maquoketa Valley the top challengers.

Athlete to watch: Fourth-ranked Calamus-Wheatland senior Hunter Rickels is the favorite to win the individual race with teammate Chase Knoche and the Pekin duo of Brady Millikin and Colten Glosser expected to push toward the front of the pack.

Breakdown: Regina gets a chance to host a postseason meet after last week’s River Valley Conference meet was cancelled due to wet conditions.