Cross country

Girls runners race at Central in Pella.

Dates previously set for the 2020 IHSAA and IGHSAU cross country postseason will be split at next month’s meets to accommodate competition and crowds with COVID-19 related precautions. 

State qualifying meets and the state meet will now be separated by classification and take place over two days. The state meet will remain in Fort Dodge at Lakeside Golf Course, where it has been run as a co-ed event since 1993. 

Class 4A and Class 3A will run their meets one day earlier than initially planned, with state qualifying now taking place on Wednesday, Oct. 21 and the state meet on Friday, Oct. 30. 

Class 2A and Class 1A will compete on the originally scheduled dates, with state qualifying on Thursday, Oct. 22 and the state meet on Saturday, Oct. 31.  

IGHSAU Executive Director Jean Berger said, “Our joint championship in Fort Dodge has long been a special event for our participants and fans. 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.”

The boards of the IHSAA and IGHSAU have approved the changes for 2020. The state meet will continue to be hosted by Fort Dodge Community School District and Fort Dodge Parks and Recreation, at Lakeside Golf Course.  

IHSAA Executive Director Tom Keating said. “The IHSAA is grateful to the Fort Dodge community, particularly the Parks and Recreation Department and Lakeside Municipal Golf Course for their efforts to make a two-day State Co-Ed Cross Country event possible. By allowing us to run each class individually, the Fort Dodge community is contributing to our commitment to safety for participants, coaches, workers, media and spectators. This is another example of the outstanding support and partnership we enjoy with the city, the golf course and the wonderful volunteers who make this event special.”

As an additional precautionary measure at state qualifying meets, Class 1A will go from five sites to eight sites. This will cut attendance at each 1A location by around 10 teams per gender. 

With this change, Class 1A will feature 16 state qualifying teams – the top two teams qualifying at each site, instead of the usual three – and 10 individual state meet qualifiers for each gender instead of the usual 15 individual state qualifiers. The IHSAA and IGHSAU anticipate this will be a one-time qualifying change. Class 2A, 3A, 4A will remain unchanged on qualifying teams and individuals for the 2020 State Cross Country Meet.

State qualifying meet sites for all classes have been released and posted on each of the websites. Assignments for those meets will be released the week of Oct. 12.

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