Your Prep Sports
Coach: Jayme Skay (25th season)
Assistant coaches: Ross Salinas, Steve Dodge, Evan Risk, Jeremy Negus, Shamari Scott
Last season: 3rd at Class 4A State Meet
Returning letterwinners: Ford Washburn, Sr.; Truman Thompson, Sr.; Noah Carey, Sr.; Ammon Smith, Sr. Owen VanderLinden, Sr.; Owyn Noble, Jr.; Braden Marker, Sr.; Matt Schaeckenbach, Sr.; Ayman Noreldain, Sr.; Jonas Ackerman, Sr.
Headliner: Already widely considered among the top distance runners in the state senior Ford Washburn will look to finish a stellar prep career with a state title. A three-time state qualifier Washburn claimed his second state medal a year ago with a fourth-place finish at the 4A state meet.
Keep an eye on: Senior Ammon Smith came on strong at the end of last season securing the first state medal of his career by finishing 11th at the Class 4A state meet and will be a key part of a City High team seeking a state title.
Ready for a breakthrough: Senior Truman Thompson has been a solid piece of the City High lineup the past two seasons placing 19th and 29th at the 4A state meet the past two seasons. Look for Thompson to push for a top-15 finish and his first career state medal as a senior.
Circle the date: October 28th at Class 4A state meet at Lakeside Golf Course in Fort Dodge. Of course the Little Hawks have to qualify first but there is no denying the Little Hawks have state title aspirations and should be in the hunt for its first title since 2000.
Breakdown: With four of its top five state meet finishers returning from a team that placed third at the 4A state meet City High enters the season among the favorites to raise the state title trophy in October.
City High finished 16 points back of state champion West Des Moines Dowling last season and 10 behind runner-up Sioux City North.
The Little Hawks appear to have everything it takes to make a title run in 2022.
Washburn is an individual state title contender and leads a group of talented and experienced runners that includes multi-year state meet qualifiers Thompson, Smith and fellow senior Noah Carey.
Smith and Washburn return as state medalists while Carey (28th) and Thompson each finished in the top-30 last season.
City High has depth behind its group of four seniors and should have its best top seven in several seasons.
Coach: Josh Kidman (5th season)
Last season: 8th at Class 4A State Meet
Returning letterwinners: Seth Cheney, Sr.; Moustafa Tiea, Soph.; Michael Lee, Jr.; Asher Overholt, Sr.; James Dickens, Sr.; Robert Stong, Jr.
Newcomers to watch: Jack Eastvold, Fr.
Headliner: Seth Cheney had his breakthrough a year ago when he placed 25th at the Class 4A state meet. Now Cheney will look to break into the elite group of runners in the state and claim the first state medal of his career.
Keep an eye on: Junior Michael Lee will look to take a step forward after getting his first look at the state meet last season. Lee was the fifth finisher for West High at the Class 4A state meet last season placing 74th in his state meet debut.
Ready for a breakthrough: Sophomore Moustafa Tiea flashed his enormous potential last season when he finished 26th at the Class 4A state qualifier and 73rd at the state meet as a freshman. Expect Tiea to take a huge step forward while becoming a front of the pack runner this fall.
Circle the date: October 6 Mississippi Valley Conference Super Meet at Seminole Valley in Cedar Rapids. West High was sixth at the MVC Super Meet at year ago and will look to climb those rankings this season at the always-loaded conference event.
Breakdown: West High continued to establish itself as one of the best and most steady programs in the state a year ago securing another top-10 finish at the Class 4A state meet.
The Trojans must replace state runner-up Alex McKane at the front of its lineup but as a list of returners ready to make a move toward the front of the pack.
That list starts with Cheney and Tiea who should be among the best in the MVC this season.
Toss in Lee and fellow junior Robert Stong who gained state meet experience last season along with experienced seniors Asher Overholt and James Dickens the Trojans should again be in the mix for a strong state meet showing.
Head coach: Josh Hildebrand (6th season)
Assistant coaches: Nick Borchert, Nate Canton
Last season: 12th at Class 4A State Meet
Returning letterwinners: Aidan Decker, Jr.; Boden Bisgard, Jr.; Noah Gregoire, Soph.; Maxwell Thompson, Jr.; Nathan Kinzer, Sr.
Newcomers to watch: Jacob Madsen, Soph.
Headliner: A varsity runner the past two seasons Aidan Decker is a two-time state qualifier with a pair of top-45 finishes at the 4A state meet. Decker was 21st at the MVC Super Meet and 42nd at the 4A state meet last season as a sophomore.
Keep an eye on: Sophomore Noah Gregoire was a member of the Lightning state qualifying team last season as a freshman placing 107th at the 4A state meet. With a year of varsity experience under his belt look for Gregoire to take a big step forward this fall.
Ready for a breakthrough: Senior Nathan Kinzer was limited by injuries at times last fall but had a strong track season and is ready to close his cross country career with a bang. Kinzer was the second Liberty High finisher at the season-opening West High Earlybird meet last week placing fifth in 16:59.
Circle the date: October 19 at Class 4A state meet qualifier. Liberty High will be seeking a return to the Class 4A state meet after placing 12th last season.
Breakdown: Liberty High has some spots to fill from its state meet team from a year ago with five of the seven state meet competitors lost to graduation.
The cupboard is far from bare. Decker was the top Liberty High finisher at state last season and is a front of the pack runner.
Gregoire returns with state meet experience and should be in for a breakthrough season along with Kinzer.
Junior Boden Bisgard and Maxwell Thompson will look to solidify the Liberty High lineup along with sophomore Jacob Madsen.
Clear Creek Amana
Coach: Ben Robison (8th season)
Assistant coaches: Paige O’Brien, Megan Miller
Last season: X at Class 3A State Qualifying Meet
Returning letterwinners: Cash Jensen, Sr.; Brock Hilsman, Soph.; Jamie Hayes, Jr.; Peyton Stadler, Sr.; Noah Yost, Jr.
Newcomers to watch: Isaac Sorensen, Soph.
Headliner: Sophomore Brock Hilsman showed impressive potential as a sophomore when he narrowly missed qualifying for the Class 3A state meet as an individual.
Hilsman finished 14th at the WAMAC conference meet and was 16th at the Class 3A state qualifying meet last season as a freshman.
Keep an eye on: Senior Peyton Stadler has been in the Clear Creek Amana program and is poised to take a big step in his final season.
Stadler is coming of his best season as a prep when he finished 45th at the WAMAC Conference meet and 38th at the Class 3A state qualifier.
Ready for a breakthrough: Take your pick, there are as many as three or four runners in the Clipper lineup that could make major strides in 2022.
Senior Cash Jensen has varsity experience and posted top-50 finishes at the WAMAC Conference and 3A state qualifier last season while juniors Jamie Hayes and Noah Yost should also be in for much bigger seasons this fall.
Circle the date: October 29 at Bud Williams Invite at Ashton Cross Country Course. Ben Robison has always set up a challenging schedule for his squad and this season is no different. The Clippers head to the City High-hosted Bud Williams meet filled with 4A competition as a perfect precursor to the start of postseason competition the following week.
Breakdown: Among the top programs in Class 3A over the last several season Clear Creek Amana had a bit of down season by its high standards a year ago but still finished in the top six at the WAMAC Conference and state qualifying meet.
For the first time in eight seasons there is not a returning state qualifier in the Clipper lineup but there is returning talent led by Hilsman and Stadler.
If some of the other runners can take a step forward this fall Clear Creek Amana could begin to climb up the WAMAC standings and put itself in position to compete for another trip to the state meet.
Coach: Emy Williams
Assistant coaches: Michelle Lyons, Brian Fitzpatrick, Emily Moser, Chase Moser
Last season: 5th at Class 3A State Meet
Returning letterwinners: Nate Shafer, Sr.; Collin Bumsted, Jr.; Grant Bumsted, Jr.; Ben Duckett, Jr.; Brick Kabela, Jr.; Lawsin Sinnwell, Jr.; Mike Yeomans, Jr.
Headliner: Junior Brick Kabela is already a two-time state qualifier and is coming off a breakthrough sophomore season in which he secured the first state medal of his career. Kabela finished fourth at both the WAMAC Conference meet and 3A state qualifier before finishing 14th at the Class 3A state meet.
Keep an eye on: Junior Mike Yeomans is a two-year varsity contributor with state meet experience that is coming of a solid sophomore season. Yeomans placed 22nd at the WAMAC Conference meet last season and was 83rd at the Class 3A state meet and should have no trouble improving on those performances this fall.
Ready for a breakthrough: Junior Grant Bumsted made a splash last fall as a sophomore following up a 25th place finish at the WAMAC Conference meet with a strong state meet showing in which he was the third Solon finisher placing 61st in 17:41.74.
Circle the date: October 13 at WAMAC Conference Meet at Independence. Solon was runner-up to Marion on its home course at last season’s conference meet and will look for another strong WAMAC finish this season.
Breakdown: Solon secured a second consecutive top-five state finish a year ago placing fifth at the Class 3A state meet.
Three of the Spartans’ top four finishers at the state meet last season return this fall in Kabela, Bumsted and Yeomans as Solon seeks another strong state meet showing.
The Spartans will look for several runners from a strong junior class to step up to fill out the lineup this season.
Collin Bumsted, Ben Duckett and Lawsin Sinnwell should all be in the mix along with senior Nate Shafer.
Coach: Chad Swope (22nd season)
Assistant coaches: Bailey Gale
Last season: 8th at Class 1A State Meet
Returning letterwinners: Aidan O’Neil, Jr.; Dan Maley, Sr.; Joe Maley, Sr.; Riordan Smith, Jr.; Sam Welter, Soph.; Joe Polyak, Sr.; Colin Olney, Jr.
Headliner: Junior Aidan O’Neil burst onto the scene last season with an impressive debut season that concluded with a state medal. O’Neil finished fourth at the River Valley Conference meet, won the 1A state qualifier and finished 14th at the Class 1A state meet.
Keep an eye on: Senior Joe Maly emerged as a solid runner for the Regals last season and put the finishing touches on a strong season by placing 57th at the Class 1A state meet.
Ready for a breakthrough: There is no substitute for experience and Sam Welter got plenty of it last season as a freshman on the Regals state meet qualifying team. Look for Welter to move up in the Regal pack this season after placing 93rd at the 1A state meet a year ago.
Circle the date: October 11 at River Valley Conference Meet at Kickers Soccer Complex in Iowa City. Regina will host the RVC Conference meet that will once again be loaded with ranked teams.
Breakdown: Regina enjoyed a big-time season a year ago returning to the state meet where the Regals posted an eighth-place team finish.
With six of its seven state meet runners from last season returning the Regals have their sights set much higher than just a return to Fort Dodge in 2022.
Regina has a roster capable of competing with anyone in Class 1A this season.
The Regals have a returning state medalist and true front of the pact runner in O’Neil and plenty of depth behind him starting with Joe Maly and Welter.
Juniors Riordan Smith, Joe Polyak and Colin Olney all return after getting state meet experience a year ago along with senior Dan Maley.