Your Prep Sports
Coach: Mike Parker (27th season)
Assistant coach: Peggy McGuire
Last season: 5th at Class 4A State Qualifying Meet
Returning letterwinners: Cindy Wang, Jr.; Gabby Moniza, Jr.; Erinn Varga, Jr.; Violet Clark, Jr.
Newcomers to watch: Minou Emmad, Sr.; Annie Dickens, Soph.; Lily McConnell, Soph.
Headliner: Junior Cindy Wang was among the best stories in the state last season going from a junior varsity runner as a freshman to a state qualifier as a sophomore. Wang will look to take another step forward this fall after finishing 34th in a time of 19:44.58 in her state meet debut.
Keep an eye on: Junior Gabby Moniza is a two-year varsity runner that will look to take major strides this season after placing 18th at the Mississippi Valley Conference Super Meet and 27th at the Class 4A state qualifier last season.
Ready for a breakthrough: A talented track athlete that excels in the 400 hurdles junior Erinn Varga showed last season she can be a factor on the cross country course as well. Varga will look to build on a strong finish from a year ago when she finished 25th at the 4A state qualifying meet.
Circle the date: October 19 at 4A state qualifier. The sites for state qualifying races have been announced but who is going where won’t be released until later this fall. It doesn’t matter much, this is still the date the Trojans are focused on as they attempt to return to the state meet for the first time since 2018.
Breakdown: One of the top programs in the state, West High missed the state meet for the third consecutive season last fall with a fifth-place finish at the 4A state qualifier.
With four of its top six runners returning this season led by an individual state qualifier in Wang the Trojans should be poised to stop their string of state meet misses this fall.
Junior Violet Clark joins Wang, Moniza and Varga as returning varsity runners from a squad that was 15 points away from the final state meet spot at last year’s state qualifier.
Coach: Ryan Ahlers (6th season)
Assistant coaches: Chris Welu-Reynolds, Hanna Collins, Katie Priske, Monica Mims
Last season: 12th at Class 4A State Meet
Returning letterwinners: Iris Wedemeyer, Sr.; Erin Anderson, Sr.; Sydney Wilkes, Sr.; Sophia Van Daele, Sr.; Sophie Stumbo, Sr.; Natalie Kuhlmann, Sr.; Sophia Romero, Jr.; Avery Schultes, Jr.; Ani Wedemeyer, Soph.; Nina Kuhlmann, Soph.; Nicole Peterson, Soph.; Nina Peterson, Soph.
Newcomers to watch: Anastacia Laux, Sr.; Claire Locher, Fr.; Abigail Burns, Fr.; Elizabeth Asklof, Fr.
Headliner: Senior Iris Wedemeyer has emerged as a leader for the Little Hawks after a strong junior season in which she finished eighth at the Mississippi Valley Conference Super Meet and seventh at the Class 4A state qualifier before placing 36th at the 4A state meet.
Keep an eye on: Sophomore Nina Kuhlmann gained valuable varsity experience last season as a freshman and will look to build on that this season. Kuhlmann was 48th at the MVC Super Meet and finished 115th in her first trip to the Class 4A state meet last fall.
Ready for a breakthrough: The breakthrough for Ani Wedemeyer came last spring at the state track meet and now the talented sophomore will look to continue that success on the cross country course. Ani Wedemeyer was 16th at the MVC Super Meet last season and was the second finisher for the Little Hawks at the 4A state meet placing 31st in 19:42.59.
Circle the date: September 29 Bud Williams Invitational. The Little Hawks welcome a strong field that features four teams that finished in the top 10 at the 4A state meet last season to their home meet at Ashton Cross Country Course.
Breakdown: City High returned to the Class 4A state meet last season after a year away finishing 12th in the 15-team field.
The Little Hawks have several spots to fill in their lineup this season but return a solid nucleus that should have them battling for a return trip to Fort Dodge once again.
The Wedmeyer sisters lead the way giving City High two of its top three state meet performers returning.
Kuhlmann gained valuable experience last season as did sophomore Nina Petersen who competed at the MVC Super Meet.
Head coach: Tonya McDonough (6th season)
Assistant coaches: Camille Mac, Deb Carlson
Last season: 4th at Class 4A State Qualifying Meet
Returning letterwinners: Cori Mac, Jr.; Malia Taylor, Sr.; Hannah Ramsey, Sr.; Madilyn Johnson, Soph.
Newcomers to watch: Hailey Noel, Sr.; Bridget Canton, Jr.
Headliner: Junior Cori Mac is a three-year varsity runner ready to return to the state meet after missing out last season. A state qualifier as a freshman in 2020, Mac was 10th at the Mississippi Valley Conference Super Meet last season and finished 59th at state as a freshman.
Keep an eye on: Senior Hannah Ramsey has three years of varsity experience and is seeking her best season yet after taking big strides as a junior. Ramsey was 49th at the MVC Super Meet last season before jumping to 27th at the Class 4A state qualifier.
Ready for a breakthrough: Sophomore Madilyn Johnson came on strong during her debut season a year ago finishing 29th at the Class 4A state qualifying meet. Now with a year of varsity experience to her credit Johnson will look to continue that ascent this fall.
Circle the date: October 6 at MVC Super Meet. The annual Mississippi Valley Conference meet starts the postseason and gives teams a good look at how they could fare in two weeks at the state qualifier. Liberty High was seven at the Super Meet last season.
Breakdown: It was heartbreak again for Liberty High last season as the Lightning missed qualifying for the state meet for the first time as a team by a single point for the second consecutive season.
Liberty High loses four-time state qualifier and team leader Ashlyn Keeney but has four varsity runners returning in Mac, Johnson, Ramsey and senior Malia Taylor.
The four returning runners for the Lightning all finished in the top 30 at the Class 4A state qualifying meet last season and Liberty High expects to get a boost from the additions of senior Hailey Noel and junior Bridget Canton who was a member of Cedar Rapids Prairie’s state qualifying team last season.
Clear Creek Amana
Coach: Ben Robison (3rd season)
Assistant coaches: Paige O’Brien, Megan Miller
Last season: 4th at Class 3A State Qualifying Meet
Returning letterwinners: Haidyn Barker, Sr.; Kira Barker, Soph.; Sara Kinzenbaw, Soph., Raegan Wyant, Soph.
Newcomers to watch: Kiera Rogers, Jr.
Headliner: Senior Haidyn Barker will look to put the finishing touches on what has already been an outstanding career with a state medal this fall. A three-time Class 3A state qualifier, Barker has posted three consecutive top-three finishes at the WAMAC Conference meet including back-to-back runner-up finishes and notched a career-best 20th place finish at the 3A state meet last fall.
Keep an eye on: Sophomore Kira Barker will look to build on an impressive freshman season that included a trip to the Class 3A state meet. Barker was 19th at the WAMAC Conference Meet, 13th at the 3A state qualifier and 86th in her 3A state meet debut.
Ready for a breakthrough: Sophomore Sara Kinzenbaw joined Kira Barker in putting together impressive debut seasons last fall. Kinzenbaw was 20th at both the WAMAC Meet and 3A state qualifier and will look to move up this season.
Circle the date: August 27 at Cedar Rapids Prairie Invite. Ben Robison has long been known for challenging his teams with rugged schedule and this season will be no different as the Clippers open the season at a Cedar Rapids Prairie Invite filled with Class 4A teams.
Breakdown: The Clippers are coming off one of the best seasons in recent program history last fall and should be in for even bigger things this season with four of its top six runners returning.
Clear Creek Amana posted its best ever finish at the WAMAC Conference Meet finishing third last season and was fourth at the 3A state qualifier finishing 16 points out of the final spot for a state meet bid.
The Barkers return to lead the way along with Kinzenbaw who impressed during a strong freshman season.
Sophomore Raegan Wyant is back after running varsity last season and the addition of junior Kiera Rogers should provide a boost.
Coach: Emy Williams (21st season)
Assistant coaches: Michelle Lyons, Brian Fitzpatrick, Emily Moser, Chase Moser
Last season: Class 3A State Champion
Returning letterwinners: Mara Duster, Sr.; Mary Fiala, Sr.; Kerrigan Lyons, Sr.; Kayla Young, Sr.; Mia Duckett, Jr.; Gracie Federspiel, Jr.; Anna Quillin, Jr.; Ashlyn Williams, Jr.; Lydia Hogan, Soph., Rose McAtee, Soph.
Headliner: Senior Kayla Young quickly emerged as one of the top runners in Class 3A last season as a junior capping a brilliant season with a fifth-place finish at the 3A state meet in 19:19.68. The state medal was the third consecutive top-five finish for Young who was third at the WAMAC meet and won the 3A state qualifier.
Keep an eye on: Junior Anna Quillin came on strong down the stretch lats season finishing off a stellar sophomore season with a top-20 individual finish at the state meet. Quillin was seventh at the WAMAC Conference meet and sixth at the 3A state qualifier before clocking a 19:49.3 while finishing 19th at the 3A state meet.
Ready for a breakthrough: Senior Mary Fiala is a two-time state qualifier finishing 45th as a freshman and 54th as a sophomore but didn’t run at the state meet last season. Look for Fiala to finish her career on a high note as Solon attempts to defend its Class 3A state title.
Circle the date: October 13 at WAMAC Meet at Independence. Solon will be seeking a WAMAC three-peat after winning its second consecutive conference title last season on its home course.
Breakdown: The defending 3A state champions Solon opens the season atop the 3A rankings and one of the favorites to again hoist a state title trophy in Fort Dodge.
The Spartans lost three seniors from its state title team a year ago but return a host of experienced and talented runners led by Young and Quillin.
Senior Mara Duster was the fifth Spartan finisher at state last season placing 43rd while junior Gracie Federspiel is back after placing sixth at the WAMAC Meet last season and 75th at the state meet.
The Spartans will once again be one of the deepest teams in Class 3A with seniors Fiala and Kerrigan Lyons and juniors Mia Duckett and Ashlyn Williams and sophomores Lydia Hogan and Rose McAtee all returning with varsity experience.
Coach: Chad Swope (22nd season)
Assistant coach: Bailey Gale
Last season: 6th at Class 1A State Meet
Returning letterwinners: Mya Whitaker, Sr.; Gwyn Charlton, Soph.; Berlyn O’Connor, Sr.
Headliner: Senior Mya Whitaker will be seeking a strong finish to her career after posting three consecutive top-35 finishes at the Class 1A state meet. Whitaker finished third at the 1A state qualifying meet last season and posted a career-best 29th place finish at state.
Keep an eye on: Sophomore Gwyn Charlton will look to move toward the front of the Regina pack this season after earning valuable varsity experience a year ago. Charlton was 20th at the Class 1A state qualifying meet, 34th at the RVC Conference meet at 115 at the Class 1A state meet in her varsity debut season last fall.
Ready for a breakthrough: Sophomore Berlyn O’Connor is expected to jump into the varsity line up this season after the Regals lost several key runners to graduation and should hit the ground running.
Circle the date: October 11 River Valley Conference Meet at Kickers Soccer Complex. Regina will once again host the RVC Meet which provides a valuable postseason preview for the Regals with 2A powerhouse Mid-Prairie, Monticello and Tipton leading an always-loaded field.
Breakdown: Regina continued a strong string of recent success with a sixth-place finish at the Class 1A state meet last season.
Already a three-time state qualifier Whitaker gives the Regals a front of the pack runner that is capable of competing with anyone in Class 1A.
After Whitaker the Regals will need to build depth in order to post another top-10 state meet finish.
Charlton had a strong end to a solid freshman season and O’Connor will look to jump into the lineup but the Regals will need to fill out the lineup after those three.