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State XC meet shifts to 2-day event next month

Webster City’s Jacob Willson heads down the course at the Ballard Invite in Huxley earlier this month. On Wednesday, the IHSAA and IGHSAU announced changes to the upcoming cross country postseason, expanding the state meet to a two-day event in late October. DFJ photo/Troy Banning

WEBSTER CITY — For the first time, the Iowa high school state cross country meet will become a two-day event this fall.

In an attempt to avoid overflowing crowds due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Iowa High School Athletic Association and Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union jointly announced on Wednesday the decision to split the meet up next month.

Classes 3A and 4A will run their meets one day earlier than initially planned. Their state qualifier meets will be held on Wednesday, Oct. 21, with the state meet set for Friday, Oct. 30.

Classes 1A and 2A will remain on the previously announced schedule with state qualifiers on Thursday, Oct. 22, and the state meet on Saturday, Oct. 31.

On both days of the state meet, the classes will be broken up. Classes 4A and 2A will run in the morning, while 3A and 1A will run in the afternoon.

Lakeside Golf Course, which sits on the outskirts of Fort Dodge, will continue to be the host of the state meet.

“Our joint championship in Fort Dodge has long been a special event for our participants and fans,” IGHSAU Executive Director Jean Berger said. “Changes to any successful championship are never easy, but holding a two-day meet is our best option this year. Our new plan really focuses on a safe and rewarding experience, something we all agree is our top priority.”

Parking will be available for spectators inside Kennedy Park at a cost of $10 per car. There will not be a shuttle bus available to the course.

As an additional precautionary measure, 1A will expand its state-qualifying meets from five to eight sites. The top two teams and top 10 individuals from each of the eight sites will advance to state. Both associations anticipate this to be a one-year change to qualifying procedures.

In the other three classes, no changes will be made to the state qualifiers. The top three teams and top 15 individuals from each site will advance to state.

State-qualifying meet assignments have not been released. Webster City will likely be shipped to Spencer for a 3A meet, while South Hamilton could be bound for Eagle Grove or Panorama in 2A.

State XC Meet Schedule

Friday, Oct. 30

10:30 a.m. — Class 4A girls race.

11:00 a.m. — Class 4A boys race.

3:30 — Class 3A girls race.

4:00 — Class 3A boys race.

Saturday, Oct. 31

10:30 a.m. — Class 2A girls race.

11:00 a.m. — Class 2A boys race.

3:30 — Class 1A girls race.

4:00 — Class 1A boys race.

State Qualifying Meet Host Schools

Wednesday, Oct. 21

Class 4A — Council Bluffs Abraham Lincoln, Dubuque Senior, Marshalltown, Pleasant Valley, Southeast Polk.

Class 3A — Monticello, Pella, Spencer, Waverly-Shell Rock, Winterset.

Thursday, Oct. 22

Class 2A — Eagle Grove, Jesup, Panorama, Unity Christian, Williamsburg.

Class 1A — ACGC, Audubon, Cascade, Central Springs, Clayton Ridge, Mount Ayr, Pekin, Ridge View.

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