Today the Fairfield, Pekin and Van Buren cross country teams will try to qualify for the state meet in Fort Dodge taking place on Oct. 28.
Pekin is ranked fifth as a team and will play host to 26 other schools trying to qualify, although the event will actually take place at Wildwood Park in Ottumwa beginning at 4 p.m.
The Panthers are led by sophomore Colton Glosser who is ranked No. 18 in Class 1A. Other top teams at their site include No. 7 Denver and No. 8 Hudson. Top 30 ranked individuals running at Wildwood Park are: No. 5 Don Bosco senior Zach Nie; No. 7 Hudson senior Wyatt Kelly; No. 19 BCLUW junior Caleb Silver; and No. 23 Denver senior Colin Beck.
The Lady Panthers are ranked No. 6 in 1A and will also host the same schools at Wildwood Park for the girls state qualifier.
Although Pekin Coach Davis Eidahl has a very strong team this season, No. 2 Hudson and No. 4 Denver will also be running against the Panthers. Top local individual at this site is No. 30 ranked Pekin sophomore Remi Duwa. Top challengers for Duwa are: No. 8 Hudson sophomore Jenna Twait; No. 9 Garwin GMG senior Kyla Wilkening; No. 17 Denver senior Caroline Stokes; No. 24 Denver junior Natalie Even; and No. 26 Hudson senior Grace Jorgensen.
Van Buren will travel to Pella who is hosting several top 2A teams. The Warriors? main competition on the boys? side will come from No. 2 Mid-Prairie, No. 5 Williamsburg, and Roland-Story who is considered a ?team to watch.?
The ladies? field is even deeper with No. 1 Mid-Prairie, No. 5 Williamsburg, No. 6 PCM, No. 12 Grundy Center, and West Marshall as a ?team to watch.?
Fairfield cross country coach Jerrod Belzer will also lead his teams against tough competion in Pella at the 3A level. Leading the Trojans on the course is No. 15 ranked Ashley Bloomquist. The girls? main challengers will come from No. 4 North Polk, No. 6 Pella and No. 9 Dallas Center-Grimes. The boys? top teams are No. 3 DCG, No. 9 Clear Creek-Amana and No. 14 Oskaloosa.