Class 4A at Council Bluffs
PARTICIPATING TEAMS: Ankeny Centennial, Council Bluffs Abraham Lincoln, Council Bluffs Thomas Jefferson, Dowling Catholic, Lewis Central, Sioux City East, Sioux City North, Sioux City West, Waukee.
GIRLS: Third-ranked Waukee, sxith-ranked Dowling Catholic and 10th ranked Ankeny Centennial headline the field as all three are returning state team qualifiers. Waukee's CIML Central Conference Champs, have three runners back from last year's seventh-place state team. The Warriors are paced by freshman Peyton Kelderman, who is the highest ranked individual in the race at No. 12. Dowling Catholic, sixth last fall, has a pair of ranked runners in the race with senior Elzerie VanDyk (#18) and senior Kelsey Schweizer (#23). Other ranked runners in the field include Waukee sophomore Sydney Schaeffer (#24) and Ankeny Centennial senior Emma Gordon (#28). Sioux City East, the MRAC runner-up, seeks its first state meet berth since 2009. Black Raiders sophomore Olivia Barnes is a returning state qualifier.
BOYS: Top-ranked Dowling Catholic, the two-time defending state champions, are led by senior Matthew Carmody, who was third at state as a junior and was the Roy Griak Gold Division runner-up earlier this fall. Carmody enters the race ranked third behind second ranked Ankeny Centennial senior Camden Cox, who was fourth at state last fall, while Sioux City North senior Merga Gemeda, the MRAC champ, is ranked sixth as he seeks a second straight state berth. Seventh-ranked Waukee, 11th at state last fall, is paced by 17th-ranked Moe Smith, a junior, while Dowling Catholic sophomore Will Ode (#26) is the only other ranked runner in the boys race. Ankeny Centennial, ranked 15th, is the third ranked team in the field. Sioux City North, the City Champs, are seeking to end a 12-year state meet drought for the City's 4A squads.
Class 3A at Spencer
PARTICIPATING TEAMS: Algona, Boyden-Hull/Rock Valley, Bishop Heelan, Clear Lake, Gilbert, Humboldt, Le Mars, MOC-Floyd Valley, Sergeant Bluff-Luton, Spencer, Spirit Lake, Storm Lake, Webster City
GIRLS: Bishop Heelan, the MRAC Champs, seek an 11th straight state meet berth against a field that includes third-ranked Humboldt, seventh-ranked Gilbert and the 10th-ranked Crusaders. Heelan sophomore Amber Aesoph, a returning state medalist, has won four meets this season and won both the City Meet and the MRAC. Humboldt sophomore Bryce Gidel (#3), the North Central Conference champ, is the highest ranked individual runner in the race while teammate Gabbie Kent is ranked 18th. Aesoph is ranked eighth and teammate Annie Jensen, the lone senior for the Crusaders, is 16th. Spencer, the Lakes Conference champs, were 12th at last year's state meet and are paced by Lakes Conference individual champ Elisa Fisher (#14). Spirit Lake junior Kourtney Delperdang (#20) is a two-time state meet medalist while Gilbert senior Maggie Pollard (#30) is another ranked runner in the field. MOC-Floyd Valley's Emma DeGroot is a returning state qualifier. Le Mars, led by state meet veterans Madeline Hurt, Kara Albrecht and Chloe Calhoun, will make a challenge for a state team berth for the first time in the four-class era. Boyden-Hull/Rock Valley sophomore Lizzy Blum, a three-time winner this fall, was a 2A state qualifier last year.
BOYS: Second-ranked Gilbert headlines a strong field that includes four conference champions. The Tigers have all seven runners back from last year's fourth place state team including this year's Heart of Iowa Conference champ Tyler Rees, who is ranked third individually. Clear Lake, ranked 15th, was eighth in 2A last fall behind Eric Faught a returning state medalist while Sam Pedelty (#22) is the North Central Conference individual champ for the league champs. Sergeant Bluff-Luton, fresh off capturing its first-ever MRAC title, will seek a second straight state team berth. Senior Miles Scott, third last fall, leads the Warriors as the MRAC individual runner-up has had a strong final high school season with all nine races running in the top four. Scott, ranked fourth, is looking to become the first four-time state qualifier in school history. Le Mars, the Lakes Conference champs and Humboldt, 11th last fall at state, will also be in the battle for a team berth. The Bulldogs are paced by Landen Parmelee, Ethan Hulinsky and Andrew Tonner, a qualifier two years ago. Spirit Lake teammates Aidan Bauermeister and Mason McCaffery were state qualifiers last fall as was MOC-Floyd Valley's Jakob Vander Werff. Gilbert sophomore Nathan Patel (#14) is the only other ranked runner in the field.
NOTE: Denison-Schleswig, edged out for the Hawkeye 10 Conference girls title by a tie-breaker, will be competing in Atlantic along with conference rival Glenwood. Fifth-ranked Ballard joins 11th-ranked Glenwood and the 14th-ranked Monarchs. Denison-Schleswig junior Raegan Andersen, the Hawkeye 10 Champ, and Ballard sophomore Ellie Twedt, are the lone ranked runners in the race.
Class 2A at Orange City
PARTICIPATING TEAMS: Cherokee, Emmetsburg, Estherville-Lincoln Central, Forest City, George-Little Rock/Central Lyon, Missouri Valley, MVAOCOU, OA-BCIG, Sioux Center, Underwood, Unity Christian, Woodbury Central/Kingsley-Pierson, West Lyon, Western Christian.
GIRLS: Second-ranked Woodbury Central/Kingsley-Pierson looks to continue its best season in school history by securing a state meet berth for the first time since 2014. The senior trio of Suzanne Putze, Rylee Wright and KayLynne Bechen have led WC/KP to eight meet titles in nine meets this season, including its first Western Valley Conference title since 2014. Putze (#8), is a two-time state meet medalist, has six individual wins and three runner-up finishes in nine races this season. Wright (#9) has a pair of individual wins this season and seeks her first state berth since 2015 while Bechen goes after a fourth state berth. Seventh-ranked Emmetsburg, 12th last year at state, is paced by sophomore Raven Brown (#25). Unity Christian, ranked 11th, has qualified 11 straight seasons. Underwood, 13th last year, is led by senior Karley Larson, the Western Iowa Conference champ, who was third at state last year. OA-BCIG junior Madison Schiernbeck (#19) is a two-time state qualifier. Unity Christian sophomore Darby Schuiteman (#27) is the War Eagle Conference champ while teammate Sarah Timmer (#28) is one of seven ranked runners in the race.
BOYS: There will be at least one ranked team from this race that won't advance to Fort Dodge as top-ranked George-Little Rock/Central Lyon headlines a field that includes fourth-ranked Sioux Center, 10th-ranked Forest City and 12th-ranked Unity Christian, last year's state runners-up. The Mustangs, fourth at state a year ago, are led by the strong 1-2 duo of senior Gable Sieperda and junior Joe Anderson. Sieperda, the top-ranked individual, hasn't lost a race to an Iowan this season as the three-time state medalist seeks a fourth state meet berth. Anderson, ranked third, a state medalist a year ago is one of 13 ranked runners in a race where the top 15 advance to state. Two more state meet medalists from last fall include Woodbury Central/Kingsley-Pierson junior Eric Hoffman (#7), the Western Valley Conference champ, and Unity Christian junior Joseph Schoonhoven (#6). Sioux Center, seeking its first state berth since 2014, is paced by ranked runners Sam Harrison (#17) and Peter Shippy (#28). Western Christian, third last fall, has two ranked runners in Zach Elbers (#11) and Jon Veldman (#19). Other ranked runners in the race include Missouri Valley teammates Jordan Hustak (#24) and Gage Graeve (#30) along with Cherokee sophomore Bryce Kremer (#22), Emmetsburg junior Cruz Bowman (#27) and Estherville-Lincoln Central sophomore Taylor Myers (#25), the Lakes Conference Champ.
Class 2A at South Central Calhoun
PARTICIPATING TEAMS: Aplington-Parkersburg, Clarinda, Clarion-Goldfield-Dows, East Sac County, Greene County, Okoboji, Pocahontas, Red Oak, Sheldon, Shenandoah, South Central Calhoun, Southeast Valley, Southwest Iowa, Van Meter
GIRLS: Siouxland Conference champion Okoboji, ranked ninth, goes after a second consecutive state meet berth after snapping a 10-year drought a year ago. The Pioneers are paced by sophomore Magan Christopherson (#23), the Siouxland Conference champ and senior Mari Stein (#29). Returning state team qualifiers Aplington-Parkersburg (#13), 11th last year, Shenandoah (#15), eighth, and Pocahontas, sixth, will battle for team berths. Aplington-Parkersburg sophomore Sophia Jungling is ranked fourth after finishing sixth at state a year ago. Pocahontas senior Jill Vonnahme, a state medalist last fall, is ranked seventh while Sheldon junior Anessa Schoo is going after a third state meet berth.
BOYS: Siouxland Conference schools Okoboji (#9) and Sheldon (#11) look to end state meet team droughts in a race that has seventh-ranked Aplington-Parkersburg as the highest ranked team. AP is led by Mason Tyler, who was fifth at state last fall and enters the meet ranked fourth. Okoboji, led by returning state qualifier Ethan Albright, has not reached state since 2011 while Sheldon's drought goes back to 2004. South Central Calhoun junior Spencer Moon (#2), the Twin Lakes Conference champ, is the highest ranked individual in the field. Aplington-Parkersburg teammates Tyler (#4) and Grant Truax (#26) are ranked as are Southeast Valley senior Patrick Breitsprecher (#10), Southwest Iowa junior Adam Thompson (#12) and Sheldon junior Eric Heibult (#18).
Class 1A at Holstein
PARTICIPATING TEAMS: ACGC, Alta-Aurelia, Boyer Valley, Gehlen Catholic, Harris-Lake Park, Hartley-Melvin-Sanborn, Hinton, Lawton-Bronson, Logan-Magnolia, MMCRU, Paton-Churdan, Ridge View, Sibley-Ocheyedan, Sioux Central, Siouxland Christian, South O'Brien, St. Albert, Fort Dodge St. Edmond, Remsen St. Mary's, Tri-Center, Trinity Christian, West Bend-Mallard, West Harrison, West Monona, West Sioux, Westwood, Whiting, Woodbine.
GIRLS: The three-ranked teams in this qualifier inclue ninth-ranked Fort Dodge St. Edmond, 10th-ranked Alta-Aurelia and 11th-ranked ACGC, all three were state team qualifiers a year ago. Alta-Aurelia, the Twin Lakes Conference champs, have six runners back from last year's state team, led by Alicia Turnquist, Alexa Fredricksen and Lily Peterson. ACGC, 11th last year, is paced by defending state champ Katie Crawford, the sophomore who enters the race ranked fourth. A pair of Western Iowa Conference schools in Tri-Center and Logan-Magnolia will also be in the hunt for a state team berth. Logan-Magnolia, the WIC champs, are led by sophomore Taylor Sporrer (#20) who was fourth in the WIC race. Tri-Center freshman Peyton Pogge (#16) was second in the WIC race. Ridge View sophomore Katlyn Wiese (#27) is a returning state qualifier.
BOYS: There are only two ranked teams, #12 Tri-Center and #14 ACGC, in this field meaning an unranked team will qualify for the state meet. Tri-Center is the Western Iowa Conference champs while ACGC was third at state last fall. In the running for the third team berth will be Trinity Christian, the War Eagle Conference champs who were team qualifiers a year ago along with Boyer Valley, seventh at state last fall, Remsen St. Mary's, 12th at state last fall and Sioux Central, the Twin Lakes Conference champs. South O'Brien senior Peyton Brasser (#13), the War Eagle Conference champ, is the highest ranked runner in the field. ACGC is led by junior Noah Nelson (#14) while other ranked runners include returning state qualifiers in Sibley-Ocheyedan junior Grant Brouwer (#15), Remsen St. Mary's senior David Grady (#21) and Boyer Valley senior Justin Ambrose (#28). Other returning state qualifiers in the race include Sibley-Ocheyedan's Dustin DeRuyter, MVAO/COU sophomore Dylan Blake and Sioux Central junior Dawson Hatch.