Picks for 2017 XC Season


What are your boys and girls picks for the upcoming cross country season? Team and individual.


1 Johnston
2. Dowling
3. Waukee
4. Dubuque Hempstead
5. Ankeny Centennial
6. Dubuque Senior
7. Pleasant Valley
8. North Scott
9. City High
10. City West


Johnston is the hands down favorite to repeat in my opinion. Dowling has a new head coach so I wonder how that transition will go for them. If Hempstead is the top school in eastern Iowa do they have a realistic shot at the podium?


You are missing Cedar Falls. Sure they graduated their top2 from state, but even scoring their bottom 5 runners, they would have been fighting with Waukee and Centennial for 6th/7th/8th place.


Dowling’s new coach was the adored MS coach of the current runners. I expect a smooth transition.
City High has a new coach too, but another internal hire I believe.

If you score Hempstead’s non-senior runners from last year, they would have been 4th. They had a good spring right up until state track. So yes they will have a shot at the podium.


Based on first meet, it appears that the Dowling girls will be close to Johnston this year.

On the boys’ side, Tim Sindt beat Camden Cox by 17 seconds last night. Cox was ranked 2nd. Bach and Fopma did not run and Bach is listed as CPU in the rankings. There is also a rumor that Cole Schroeder may have transferred. He was the top freshmen in the state 2 years ago.


Horner and Hovey didn’t run for Johnston. They were 7th and 14th individually and 6th/10th for team points at state last year. Dowling is improved, as I thought they’d be, but make no mistake they are not close to Johnston. Hempstead & Centennial ran last night too. Both of their times were slower than a year ago at the same respective meets.

The Bach story was in the newspaper. It seems odd as it was described by the CPU athletic director to be an immediately eligible open-enroll situation. But Myles mentioned a house going up for sale. Sindt had a very nice race. One almost has to be wary of a sub-16 in August though. Without seeing his training, it’s tough to say if the phase work is not lining up for a state meet or if he’s just really improved to be a top contender.


I like to make my own rankings but I agree with the boys’ team rankings this year and only disagree with one on the girls’ side; I would move Dowling to number 2. It is difficult to make preseason rankings with girls because some girls move backward and some freshmen make immediate impacts. Boys can make an impact but they are rarely in the top 30 at state.

Johnston girls are ranked 12th nationally and PV boys are ranked 38th. It would be great to see an Iowa team finish 12th at nationals.


A few hours transpire and I would like to modify my rankings. Linn-Mar won the Prairie meet today on the boys’ side beating Prairie, Waukee, ICW, and CRW. Dolezal decided to run XC this year and came out strong with a 3rd place finish beating many ranked runners.


The Johnston girls will get tested early by facing number 6 Edina and number 7 Naperville North next Saturday at the Spartan Invitational. Normally, you would have to travel to a meet like Griak to see three top 12 teams. Let’s hope Johnston will be ready. The boys’ meet will be nearly as good with PV facing Edina, Prairie, and Johnston.


PV’s national ranking is skewed I assume, considering Yanek has moved out of state and is no longer with the team.

Johnston ran last week short 2 girls, so it will be interesting to see if they are even fully assembled by Saturday. They also won’t look the part of the #12 team in the nation. Brooke McKee is well off her pace after suffering the stress fracture last spring. Horner is competing for Team USA at an international triathlon at the end of September, so she may not have even joined up yet.

Cedar Falls girls deserve to hold that #2 spot until shown otherwise. I believe #2, #3, and #4 CF/Dowling/Hempstead will all see each other at Marshalltown. Linn-Mar has previously gone to that meet as well, which would really make it interesting with #6 L-M added to #7 Waukee. Johnston runs at home against 3A schools that day.


PV boys and Johnston girls both got crushed by 2 out of state teams. Johnston was not a full strength but that probably would not have been enough to overcome the large point difference. I am always hopeful, but It appears that the Iowa teams are not quite at the national level. Kolby Greiner ran 15:45 on a really difficult course which puts him on track to break 15:00 on a course like the NXR Heartland.


Greiner outlasted Matt Carmody and Tim Sindt in Marshalltown last night. Carmody pressed the pace from the gun and built a 10m lead late in the race, but Greiner had a little more in the tank down the stretch. I think this is a new course record for Greiner. Fun race to watch!


I usually try not to pay attention to XC times because Iowa runs tougher courses than most states and there are short courses that get posted but Iowa ranks well this year. Sieperda 9, Greiner 24, Bach 29, Carmody 32, Pedelty 46 (short), and Sindt 47. There is only one state with more top 50 runners. Iowa usually has none in the top 50 so it will be interesting to see how it progresses.

Only the Hostetler sisters are in the top 50 for girls so it can’t be entirely attributed to the courses running faster than normal. Maybe we will get some individual national qualifiers this year.


Johnston girls beat Iowa and out of state competitors. Where are their missing runners? They look like a potential national qualifier if they have their full squad.

Dowling boys look good but still behind Minnesota teams. Carmody continues to really surprise. He has been a very good XC runner for 2 years but really stepped up this year. I call it a surprise because he wasn’t a player in that incredible 3200 group up front at Drake. Schroeder is quietly winning JV races. Betting that he will appear at NXR.


I’m curious why Sieperda didn’t run at Griak when his team was entered. Johnston girls will need a boost from their triathlete teammate if they’re going to separate from everyone else. Right now those top 3-5 teams are really close. Greiner seems to be off his game since Roosevelt. Did he peak too soon?


Don’t know what happened to Sieperda. I heard that he warmed up.

Greiner died in the heat a week ago and he ran further than the rest of the field on Tuesday. He will be one of the favorites at state.


Someone needs to add to the discussion, so I’ll jump in

Fast times last week up in Fort Dodge with Sindt nearly matching the state meet record. He and Cox both beating Carmody too while Dowling boys and girls faltered to teams ranked lower than them. Greiner appears to be the class of the eastern side of the state. Those four have to be considered the individual contenders at this point. One has to like PV on the team side of things at the moment.

Johnston brings in Horner for the first time and slams the door on any possibility of a state meet upset. The race for 2nd heats up with Hempstead looking good at MVC super meet tying ICW. ICW’s depth at #5 will continue to haunt them down at state with even more teams inserted to further push the score up. Waukee girls making a nice push looking like #4 team.


I’m not quite ready to commit my predictions for 4A Boys yet but it’s going to be a donnybrook at the top. Everybody will probably look to Johnston and Dowling but Prairie has an I credibly tight pack that is continuing to improve. PV could end up on the outside with a pretty good team. Hempstead could squeak in for a trophy if the others don’t have a perfect day but they don’t have a record of running well at state. Maybe this year could be different.

Individually, I think everyone knows who the top 4-5 key players are. All have beaten each other at some point. Carmody, Sindt, Greiner, Cox with Sindt running hot at the moment. I don’t buy into the fast times at Ft Dodge Inv. Historically, that course is short and adjusted for state. You can still see the line on the ground where they cut corners.

Regardless, there should be sending very competitive racing if everyone is healthy and ready to go when it counts.


I think weather is always a huge factor. When course records were set in 2011 & 2012; nice fall sunny days with no winds. In 2014, it was a frigid and windy day.