Who is competing in the post-season? I am not sure if we have anyone capable of qualifying for Nike or Footlocker as an individual this year other than Stephanie Jenks. The past few years had Yanek, Jenks, Meier, Austin, and Pollard. Dowling has a very good chance to qualify as a team. Heartland looks tough for the top 5 girls but the boys competition drops off quickly possibly creating an opening for any of the top Iowa guys if they have a very good race. I predict 17:40 for 5th place girl and 15:25 boy. Footlocker is always tough with IL and MN competing in the same region.


Linn Mar usually sends some boys, and I would suspect with the depth of the MVC this year that a few other teams, boys and girls, would make a showing at the very least!


I would guess that Yanek has a shot of making it through. Probably not a favorite, but from the few years I took athletes to the regional meet, there were always a handful of “favorites” that either went for the win when they should have gone for 5th, had passed the peak of their fitness or just had a bad day and didn’t run well. I would think if she could nail a 17:45-50, she’d have a shot at getting a spot. In my limited experience, it seemed like one of the questions for her would be how the Wheelers structured her training this fall. When we (at City) took kids who’d primarily been trained to peak at state and had just tried to extend their fitness another month, we usually did not fair well. When Michelle Lilienthal qualified (and later got 6th at nationals), and when Tom got a team to Nike several years later, in both cases she and that later team were training through the state meet as if it were the first of October and that made a lot of difference. In those particular years, we were pretty confident about where we would land in Ft. Dodge and made the decision to structure the season, starting in August, with the post-season meets in mind. I imagine when Dowling was sending individuals and teams to Nike and Foot Locker nationals every year they were doing the same thing. I’d be curious know how Yanek has approached her season.


Patrick Karanja ran a great race yesteday in the senior all-star meet. Whalen ran a decent race also. I thought we may see a few other top runners compete the week between state and NXN. Madison Bach and Maddy Bradley both ran well. It may have been a PR for Bradley.

No entries out yet for NXN. I don’t know why they wait so long.


How can Yanek not be a favorite to move on? She took 23rd overall at Nike Nationals as a sophomore after finishing 3rd at the Heartland Regional. She was 5th this summer at New Balance Outdoor Nationals in the 5000m with a 17:01. And, I think she’s running better now than she was 2 years ago.


I agree that Ms. Yanek is running at at her best right now but I also agree with stevesherwood that she will have to be at her very best in order to have a chance of qualifying. There are 7 other girls ranked in the Heartland region in Dyestat’s rankings so she is probably in a group of about 10 girls competing for 5 spots. I hope she makes it. There are only 3 boys ranked in the Heartland region making it bit more open for anyone who has a good race that day. There are likely a dozen guys competing from Iowa who have a chance to move on if they can run 15:30. I predict that the girls will be down to a pack of less than 10 by the half way mark while there will be 20 guys in the picture with 1 mile to go. Waiting to see the entries to know who is competing from Iowa (and the other states).


There will likely be three spots going to MN girls. The Hasz(sp?) twins went a year ago and just closed up as state champ/runner-up in MN large division. Then, the 7th grader who won Griak, assuming she competes, looks good to go as well. She won the MN small division. So, two spots remain for the other 6 states. I have not heard if Steph Jenks is running.

I’m not aware of the DyeStat rankings you refer to. I could find regional team ranks but not individual.


Maybe my statement was confusing. They don’t publish regional rankings for individuals. I did a count of the girls in the national rankings (top 30 + bubble) who are in the Heartland Region. They have Mattie Shirley-Fairbairn ahead of one of the Hasz twins. I didn’t paste the boys’ rankings but counted 3.

1 Katie Rainsberger, senior, Air Academy (Colorado): 2 Nevada Mareno, junior, Leesville (North Carolina):
3 Weini Kelati, junior, Heritage (Virginia): 4 Ella Donaghu, senior, Grant (Oregon): 5 Judy Pendergast, senior, North Naperville (Illinois): 6 Kate Murphy, Lake Braddock (Virginia): 7 Fiona O’Keeffe, senior, Davis Sr (California):8 Annie Hill, sophomore, Glacier (Montana): 9 Hannah DeBalsi, senior, Staples (Connecticut): 10 Grace Ping, seventh grade, Cotter (Minnesota): 11 Lauren Gregory, junior, Fort Collins (Colorado): 12 Abbey Wheeler, senior, Elmira (New York): 13 Jessica Lawson, junior, Corning (New York):
14 Taylor Werner, senior, Ste. Genevieve (Missouri): 15 Christina Aragon, senior, Billings Senior (Montana): 16 Bethany Hasz, senior, Alexandria (Minnesota): 17 Courtney Wayment, senior, Davis (Utah):18 Julia Heymach, junior, Lamar (Texas): 19 Lindsey Payne, sophomore Glenbard West (Illinois):
20 Rebecca Story, sophomore, Christian Academy (Tennessee) 21 Kaitlyn Neal, senior, Fayetteville-Manlius (New York): 22 Maryjeanne Gilbert, senior, Peoria Notre Dame (Illinois): 23. Allie Schadler, junior, Rio Rico (Arizona): 24 Ashton Endsley, junior, Abilene (Texas): 25 Sarah Leinheiser, junior, Carmel (Indiana): 26 Cate Ratliff, senior, Santa Cruz (California): 27 Brooke Starn, senior, Monte Vista (California): 28 Mattie Shirley-Fairbairn, freshman, Bismarck (North Dakota): 29 Taylor Cuneo, sophomore, Central Magnet (Tennessee): 30 Alyssa Aldridge, sophomore, Mainland (New Jersey):
Bubble: Kayla Young CO, Megan Hasz MN, Kelsey Chmiel NY, Aubrey Roberts WI, Brie Oakley CO, Destiny Collins CA, Amanda Gehrich CA, Libby Davidson VA, Anna Sophia Keller IL, Holly Lung CA, Morgan Gigandet OH, Karenna Duffey MI, Evelyn Mandel CA, Rachel McArthur VA, Stephanie Jenks IA, Sielle Kearney MI, Aislinn Devlin PA, Amaris Tyynismaa AL, Maegan Doody NH, Lindsay Billings GA, Allie Chipman CO, Ember Stratton OR, Anne Forsyth MI, Abby Gray TX, Rafaella Gibbons FL, Briana Gess NJ, Cailie Logue KS, Cheyanne Walden OK, Olivia Brooks OR, Emma Grace Hurley GA, Maria Coffin MD, Taylor Roe WA, Rachel Morrin ID, Olivia Sargent PA


Dowling falls out of National team rankings with 3 Heartland Regional Teams ranked ahead of them


Did you see the boys state meet? As messed up as that 4A race was, it should have had no bearing on national rankings. I do not foresee another race that compacted for that long at the state championship level ever again.


Agree. A pedestrian first mile, a soggy, soggy course, and the top 3 teams (you could argue 4) each put a team/season together that could have won the state meet in a number of different seasons but were relegated to 2nd, 3rd, and 4th due to the phenomenally competitive nature of 2015. I’d look for Dowling and Prairie to be very competitive Sunday, with PV near and Linn Mar strong as per usual. From the looks of it, no Cedar Falls?


Which Iowans do you think could throw their name in it to make it? Individuals? Downing, Prairie, and maybe PV for team possibilities?


IMO, if Dowling and Prairie perform as they did at state, neither team nor any of their individuals will make it through with the crazy MN depth of talent (more a reflection on MN than it is a slight at State performances). HOWEVER, my feeling is that both squads on their best day (nothing outlandish, just sharp) could fight for that second auto qualifier. Schweizer and VanDraska surely have chances, and Jake Moore of Prairie always seems to run well when it counts. It will be a fun race to spectate for sure!


I still think that Dowling has the best shot for IA runners to go to a national meet other than Jenks. They ran a solid state meet. The top 4 teams were just really good this year. Times were slow, probably 25 seconds, due to the course conditions. Had it been a normal year for times, a bunch of the Iowa teams would be getting some attention. Yanek should be competing for that 5th spot and on the boys side, Schweizer, Bose, Vandraska, Sommer, Murphy, Kirk, Mather, and Moore have an outside shot.


How can 8 guys have an outside shot of making nationals when it would have been a stretch to consider even 3 guys to have had a legitimate shot of taking the state title 2 weeks ago? Those 3 being the first three on your list.


Some guys keep improving through the postseason while some kind of lose interest. It is difficult to know one from the other until after they race. Micah Mather from MN was on no radar screen until recently and look what he did yesterday. Also, I like to be positive in posts knowing that the runners are reading the info. Look at the big swing in order of placement for the top 10 Iowa boy finishers at NXN heartland compared to state: Vandraska, Sommer, Schweizer, Bose, Mather, Yanek, Moore, Carmody, Moise, Sommer. I count 3 PV, 2 Dowling, 2 CRP, 1 Johnston, 1 LM, and 1 Valley. Some of my predicted 8 were not even in the top 10 IA finishers. Dowling placed well but no chance of qualifying and they appear to have been off from their state meet performance. No girls qualified from Iowa either. Too bad for a state that had some good teams and individuals. Maybe Footlocker will be different but it only gets tougher for boys and girls when adding Illinois to the mix.


Boys race at Nike was certainly different from the boys race at state. Hot pace early on, some ran too aggressively and others ran smart. Some were equipped for the hot pace and others were not. The course and the conditions were vastly different from Ft Dodge as well as vastly different from The Griak. Nike Heartland is nearly a track meet like situation. FootLocker is far more challenging as a course, might favor a guy who ran well at Griak but not at Nike Heartland

BTW, you overlooked Steph Jenks as an Iowa girl qualifier.

FootLocker has seemingly been easier to qualify for than Nike, certainly on the girls side of things. This makes sense based on the timeline and team aspect of Nike. There are 9 Nike regions which each take 5 at-large runners (45 runners) and 22 teams also go (a few additional top runners in this group too). This snatches up several qualifiers as few look to double, especially those on a qualifying team. Then, FootLocker takes top10 from 4 regions (40 runners). Between the two races they each take about the same # of runners. Nike is more fun, more team oriented, and earlier for qualifying. FootLocker is more prestigious, but a last chance race, so more race Nike just in case.


You are correct that I accidentally looked right past Ms. Jenks. I pulled up the Iowa HS results when I was looking for Iowa finishers at Heartland and forgot all about her. Congratulations to her; it is awesome to have her not only as an Iowa qualifier but as the top overall qualifier. I am glad that they let her compete even it sort of violates their rules of being eligible for your HS team.

When you state that the 2 races have about the same number of runners, I guess you are referring to the individuals at 45 and 40 because there are hundreds of runners in the NXN race vs only 40 at FL. It is probably around 65 individuals that qualify for NXN after the teams are announced. Last year they extended invitations to additional individuals after the at-large teams were announced. The rules don’t state that though.

I looked through the results from last year at FL MW. Stephanie Jenks qualified and Moreno and Noah would be top IA returners. For guys, Pollard qualified and Sommer and Schweizer would be the top IA returners. So Iowa probably has a chance in both races based on decent HL results from that group, especially when not forgetting Ms. Jenks.


Due to a lot of talent having to run FL only in recent years, Nike updated their rules in recent years to more reflect the times, so being part of a High School team is no longer necessary.


It is great to see that Stephanie raced so well after not seeing her this fall. Noah and Yanek are entered also but the real competition comes out of Illinois. Midwest produced both national champs last year.