City High senior Mary ArchBy Ryan Murken Your Prep Sports
IOWA CITY – Like every other cross country across the state City High head coach Jayme Skay has to wait another three weeks to see how the state cross country meet will play out.
Skay and the rest of the Mississippi Valley Conference coaches will get a window into how things will go down later this month in Fort Dodge on Thursday at the conference's annual Super Meet at Noelridge Park in Cedar Rapids.
The 14-team MVC Super Meet will open with the varsity girls race at 4:10 p.m. with the boys varsity to follow at 4:40 p.m.
“The Mississippi Valley Conference is one of the strongest in the state so this meet is always tough, it’s full of good teams,” Skay said. “It’s a good way to judge how state will go.”
The Super Meet has often provided a preview of how teams will fare in state qualifying meets and the state meet itself.
With 10 of the 14 teams in the boys’ field appearing in the latest Iowa Association of Track Coaches rankings Skay expects that to be the case again on Thursday.
West High senior Gabby Skopec
Five MVC teams enter Thursday ranked in the top 10 in Class 4A including both West High and City High.
Third-ranked Cedar Rapids Prairie headlines the list of ranked teams that includes Dubuque Hempstead, Linn-Mar, City High and West High which are ranked sixth through ninth respectively.
“When you go to the divisional and the super meet you have some of the best teams in the state every year, year in and year out,” Skay said. “This is a state meet for everyone and it will tell us really how well we fare up against them.”
A year ago Cedar Falls edged Prairie for the boys title.
Less than a month later at the state meet the Super Meet order of finish stayed true to form.
The top five finishers at last year’s Super Meet finished in that same order at state as Cedar Falls finished as the 4A state runner-up and Cedar Rapids Prairie was third.
West High was fourth and City High was seventh at last year’s Super Meet and both have plans of improving those performances on Saturday.
“This is really where they are going to have all the previous eight weeks of training and all summer long training coming together,” Skay said. “On Thursday our racing starts to come together and we will just fine tune it for the next four meets.”
The boys field features four of the top 10 individuals in the latest rankings led by Cedar Falls second-ranked senior Sam Schillinger.
West High senior Ali Ali is ranked 10th in Class 4A.
The girls field is just as loaded with five of the top teams in the Class 4A rankings.
Top-ranked West High and third-ranked City High join No. 5 Cedar Falls, No. 6 Linn-Mar and No. 7 Dubuque Hempstead in an impressive girls field.
You can also throw in Class 3A third-ranked Dubuque Wahlert in 14-team field that is half ranked teams.
West High will try to win its second Super Meet title in the past three years after City High earned the title last year behind an individual title by Mary Arch.
West High and third-ranked City High have gone head to head three times this season with West High finishing in front of the Little Hawks all three times.
The most recent meeting was at the 28-team Heartland Classic in Ames on Sept. 17 where West High was third and City High was sixth.
Arch will have plenty of competition as she attempts to defend her Super Meet title as five runners enter Thursday ranked in the top nine in Class 4A.
West High senior Gabby Skopec is top-ranked in 4A while Cedar Rapids Washington sophomore Reagan Gorman is fourth.
Arch is ranked eighth, one spot behind teammate Anna Lindower and a spot in front of West High junior Bailey Nock.