Urbandale’s Karissa Schweizer NCAA XC Champion

As a high school runner, Karissa Schweizer dominated cross country fields as a Dowling Catholic Maroon. Photo David Mable

As a high school runner, Karissa Schweizer dominated cross country fields as a Dowling Catholic Maroon. Photo David Mable

Karissa Schweizer was a part of three Iowa team high school cross country titles when she was at Dowling Catholic.

She has her own crown now, and on an exponentially larger stage.

The Urbandale native and Missouri junior capped off a terrific cross country season by winning the NCAA Women’s Cross Country Championships on Saturday in Terre Haute, Ind. Schweizer became the school’s first female national champion in cross country and the first in program history since Keith Bacon won the National Title in 1955. Schweizer becomes Mizzou’s 27th overall individual champion.

Schweizer is believed to be the first Iowa high school graduate to win an NCAA women’s cross country title.

Schweizer stayed near the front of the pack for the majority of the race, but trailed Michigan’s Erin Finn down the final stretch. With 100 meters to the finish, Schweizer kicked it into high gear and passed Finn to capture the title.

Missouri's Karissa Schweizer (340) runs towards the finishing line in the women's NCAA Division I Cross-Country Championships Saturday, Nov. 19, 2016, in Terre Haute, Ind. Schweizer won the race. Photo: Darron Cummings/AP

Missouri’s Karissa Schweizer (340) runs towards the finishing line in the women’s NCAA Division I Cross-Country Championships Saturday, Nov. 19, 2016, in Terre Haute, Ind. Schweizer won the race.
Photo: Darron Cummings/AP

“I was up there with the lead pack and knew I had another gear,” Schweizer told the school in a news release. “When I saw the leader, I thought maybe this could be my day. My coach (Marc Burns) said always just go with whatever moves are made. I felt good, so I knew if I could hang around near the front, I could kick at the end.”

Schweizer, who won the SEC championship earlier in the month, crossed the finish line at 19:41.6, 13 seconds faster than her previous personal-record time of 19:54.4, set at the NCAA Midwest Regional on Nov. 10.

The Iowa State women finished 29th in the race. Anne Frisbie finished 77th to lead the Cyclones.

The Iowa State men placed 16th in their portion of the Division I championships, with Thomas Pollard pacing the team in 45th place. Drake’s Reed Fischer placed 50th.

At the Division III women’s race in Louisville, Ky., Loras sophomore Audrey Miller finished runner-up to Stevens Institute’s Amy Regan, who was victorious by 15 seconds in 20:16.4. Defending champion Abrah Masterson of Cornell was seventh, and Wartburg’s Ashlyn Bagge placed 16th.

On the men’s side in Division III, Loras finished 10th as a time. Luther’s Isaac Jensen was 10th individually in a time of 24:37.9.

Story: Register Staff: Des Moines Register

One for the ages: Ankeny Centennial and Valley in an epic battle

West Des Moines Valley fought back after going two games down to take Centennial the distance - and more - in a 5 game, multiple set-point match.

West Des Moines Valley fought back after going two games down to take Centennial the distance – and more – in a 5 game, multiple set-point match.

By John Naughton
Photos by David Mable

CEDAR RAPIDS, Ia. — In a volleyball match with a staggering 234 points, it’s hard to imagine players and coaches begging for more.

Two-time state champion Ankeny Centennial won a five-set Class 5A semifinal against West Des Moines Valley on Thursday at the U.S. Cellular Center 25-15, 25-15, 27-25, 32-34, 19-17 in a match that lasted more than two hours.

CISN VIDEO DAY THREE RECAP

In the end, Centennial had the survival mode to reach Friday’s state championship for a third straight time.

“I looked at (libero Kylee Macke) and she just had that drive in her eyes,” Centennial outside hitter Olivia Sandquist said. “It said we are going to go back.”

“I looked at (libero Kylee Macke) and she just had that drive in her eyes.”

The public-address announcer repeated “set, match point” five times in the fifth set.

Kenna Sauer hammered 21 kills and Sandquist added 10.

The longest match of the tournament saw Ankeny Centennial come out on top to advance to the finals against Cedar Falls.

The longest match of the tournament saw Ankeny Centennial come out on top to advance to the finals against Cedar Falls.

Second-ranked Centennial (34-3) will play No. 1 Cedar Falls (40-3) in the championship at 10 a.m. Friday.

Centennial reached match point in the third set but Valley fought back.

The Tigers (41-5) successively forced a fourth set, then a fifth.

Valley had match point at 14-13 in the final frame. Then Centennial took over, finally winning in its fourth match point.

Centennial coach Jessica Rinehart said she looked at her bench and wondered, “How hard is one point to come by?”

“Every single point mattered, and Valley put the pressure on,” Rinehart said.

Valley’s Hannah Lockin pounded a match-best 24 kills and teammate Madi Kubik added 19 in the loss.

TUNE IN TO IPTV FOR LIVE FINALS ACTION ON FRIDAY

“It’s amazing, coming back like that,” Valley setter Olivia Curry said. “It’s heartbreaking that we didn’t win.”

The teams combined for 118 kills, 112 assists, 235 serves and 114 digs.

“We’re both really great teams,” Sandquist said. “Those are the wins that feel the greatest.”

Valley coach Jeremy Mikesell said his team’s only previous five-set match, a win over Cedar Rapids Prairie in a regional final, helped prepare the team.

No. 1 ranked Cedar Falls beat the Ankeny Hawks to advance to the finals and take on the defending champion Centennial Jaguars.

No. 1 ranked Cedar Falls beat the Ankeny Hawks to advance to the finals and take on the defending champion Centennial Jaguars.

“I knew at some point that was going to come back and help us out,” Mikesell said.

Newcomer: Majda Suljic worried about being the new girl at school when she transferred to Cedar Falls. Her volleyball teammates helped her navigate the hallways. Suljic, a junior, said her teammates were “super inviting.”

“Once I got to the team, I really found my place,” Suljic said.

Cedar Falls won its semifinal Thursday and will face Centennial in the Class 5A state championship Friday.

Cry uncle: Ankeny setter Liv Winker had a special fan cheering for her in a semifinal match Thursday. The senior’s uncle is Mike Winker, a former activities director at Cedar Rapids Xavier. Both Ankeny and Xavier completed their seasons in semifinal action, Ankeny in Class 5A and Xavier in 4A.

A seat with a view: Former Ankeny High School coach Dave Whims had a great seat during the Class 5A semifinals Thursday. Whims placed a chair between the side-by-side courts to he could watch Ankeny take on Cedar Falls and Ankeny Centennial face West Des Moines Valley. Many of the players on the court were introduced to the sport by Whims.

At 6'-3", Mackenzie May scored on 27 kills to overcome Xavier in three games.

At 6′-3″, Mackenzie May scored on 27 kills to overcome Xavier in three games.

The 4A Dubuque Wahlert team relied on 6′-3″ Mackenzie May’s 27 kills to overcome Cedar Rapids Xavier in three straight games. Wahlert will take on top seeded Pella in the finals at noon on Friday. May, a member of the U.S. Junior National Indoor Team, travels frequently to play the beach volleyball circuit in Florida and California. May will be be entering UCLA to play volleyball in the fall.

Bishop Heelan took Pella to five games. After splitting the first two games, Bishop Heelan took the lead in game three and threatened to upset the no. 1 seed. The Dutch wore Heelan down, winning the final two games 25-14 and 15 – 11 earning a spot in the finals against May and the Wahlert team.

Emily Holterhaus celebrates as Pella advances to the finals.

Emily Holterhaus celebrates as Pella advances to the finals.

In 3A Dike New Hartford continued it’s winning ways by sending Kuemper Catholic home, but not without a fight. Kuemper’s Kara Peter and Aimee Adams combined for 28 kills to push the third game beyond 25, forcing Dike New Hartford to score 29 points to move on.

The other 3A team to earn Friday play is Union who’s No. 13 Megan Hudson and No. 11 Payton Parker combined for 51 kills to overcome a feisty Mount Vernon in four games. Mount Vernon took Union to the limit, pushing the fourth game past 25 points, the final score 32-30.

Megan Hudson scored 25 kills helping top-seeded Union to the finals.

Megan Hudson scored 25 kills helping top-seeded Union to the finals.

In 2A, eight-seed Waterloo Columbus Catholic continues it’s upsetting ways by beating four-seed Unity Christian in three close games. Waterloo will take on Western Christian, who wore down Council Bluffs St. Albert in three games, earning a spot on the court in the finals.

Janesville’s front line recorded 46 kills to take down Holy Trinity Catholic in three games, who’s 31 kills were not enough. Janesville will take on Hudson in the finals at 7:00 p.m. After loosing the first game to Springville, it was all Hudson as No. 12 Kiley DiBerg had 34 kills to help their team to the finals.

Famous names: The Clayberg family of Pella owns a well-established athletic name. Brothers Nathan and Noah were all-state football players. Now sister Natalie, a sophomore, has helped the volleyball team reach the Class 4A state championship. Dad Brett was a football star and mom Megan played and coached volleyball. Noah plays at Iowa and Nathan is at Drake.

John Naughton, The Des Moines Register. jnaughton@dmreg.com

CISN & IPTV set to air IGHSAU State Volleyball Championships

14856075_1854398384782275_5385801251287481126_oCISN.tv and Iowa Public Television combine to stream 2016 Iowa Girls State Volleyball Championships live

The Central Iowa Sports Network (CISN) and Iowa Public Television combine resources to stream IGHSAU State Volleyball Championship quarterfinal, semifinal and final games live from US Cellular Center in downtown Cedar Rapids beginning on Tuesday, November 8 at noon.

VIEW VOLLEYBALL BRACKETS/SCHEDULE

Live streaming of the quarterfinal and semifinal games of all classes will be available at www.cisn.tv and www.iptv.org and on the CISN app as well as on the CISN YouTube Channel. Final games of each class will be aired live on IPTV as well as streamed at www.cisn.tv.

screen-shot-2016-11-01-at-8-10-25-amClass 5A Games begin at noon on Tuesday, Nov. 8, with Class 4A beginning at 4 p.m. Streaming of Class 3A quarterfinals will begin at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 9. Class 2A quarterfinals begin at 2 p.m. and Class 1A quarterfinals begin at 6 p.m. 

Semifinal games will begin at 10 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 10.

On Friday, Nov. 11 Class 5A will kick off final matches at 10 a.m. Matches will begin every two hours with the finals of Class 1A starting at 6 p.m. 

Coverage is all free and accessible to anyone with a computer, phone, tablet and an internet connection.

Free streaming is brought to you by the Mid American Energy High School Girls Sports Network and through the support of Faraway Foods and the Iowa Pork Producers.

Central Iowa Sports Network is the No. 1 social streaming platform dedicated to local Iowa sports. Iowa Public Television is Iowa’s statewide public broadcasting network. IPTV provides quality, alternative programming that educates, enlightens, and entertains Iowans throughout the state.

State Volleyball Pairings announced

screen-shot-2016-11-01-at-10-27-10-am
Pairings have been announced for the IGHSAU Girls State Volleyball Championship Tournament, which begins on Tuesday, November 8 in Cedar Rapids.

Central Iowa schools are well represented in the 5A tournament with Dowling Catholic, Ankeny, Ankeny Centennial and West Des Moines Valley taking four of the eight slots in quarter-final play.

West Des Moines Valley, with it’s 40 wins and only four losses, takes on the 23-10 Dubuque Hempstead on Tuesday, Nov. 8 at 2 p.m. on Court 2 at the Five Season’s Center in Cedar Rapids. The Ankeny Hawks, at 37-5 will challenge Linn-Mar (33-8) on Court 1 at the same time.

STATE VOLLEYBALL BRACKETS

screen-shot-2016-11-01-at-8-09-50-amStarting the quarter-final play will be Dowling Catholic and Cedar Falls. The Maroons take a 27-15 record to the net against a tough 38-win Tiger team on Court 1 at noon on Tuesday. Also playing at noon, Ankeny Centennial (32-3) will challenge Iowa City West (23-14) on Court 2.

4A play begins at 4 p.m. on Tuesday as well. Leading off on Court 1 will be the 36-4 Pella Dutch against 29-13 Nevada Cubs who earned their place in the tournament with a victory over Dallas Center Grimes in regional play. 

The battle of the rivers will take place at 4 p.m. as well, when 30-8 Council Bluffs‘ Lewis Central take on Dubuque Wahlert (25-6) on Court 2.

14856075_1854398384782275_5385801251287481126_oAt 6 p.m. the cross-town rivalry between Marion (34-9) and Cedar Rapids Xavier (31-9) takes place on Court 2. At the same time, Charles City takes their 37-5 record against the 34-8 Bishop Heelan team on Court 1.

On Wednesday, quarter-final action takes place starting at 10 a.m. for class 3A. Action for the 2A teams will begin at 2 p.m and 1A at 6 p.m., and conclude after the 8 p.m. matches.

Watch every game live on CISN.tv. Coverage begins on Tuesday, Nov. 8 at noon. Iowa Public Television will televise final games on Friday, Nov. 11, starting with the 5A finals at 10 a.m. CISN.tv will also stream IPTV’s coverage live online and on our app. Download the app for free on both android and apple devices.

Story by David Mable, CISN.tv. David can be reached at dave@cisn.tv. 

Johnston’s Bose wins state XC individual title. Team victory goes to Dowling Catholic

By Cory Goodwin, The Des Moines Register

Johnston's Patrick Bose finished first at the Class 4A boys’ state cross country meet in 15 minutes, 37.2 seconds. Photo: Michael Zamora, The Register

Johnston’s Patrick Bose finished first at the Class 4A boys’ state cross country meet in 15 minutes, 37.2 seconds. Photo: Michael Zamora, The Register

FORT DODGE, Ia. — Patrick Bose pumped his arms as he came running down the final stretch. The Johnston senior kept his head turned forward and his eyes on the finish line.

Nothing, not even fans screaming the name of the runner behind him, would deter him from his goal.

“I heard his name, and I didn’t know how far he was behind me,” Bose said, referencing Cedar Falls’ Sam Schillinger. “I just knew I wasn’t looking back.”

COMPLETE STATE XC RESULTS

Bose finished first at the Class 4A boys’ state cross country meet on Saturday at the Lakeside Golf Course. He ran a time of 15 minutes, 37.2 seconds, nearly 6 full seconds ahead of Schillinger in second.

As a team, Johnston ended up sixth with 190 points, while Dowling Catholic won the boys’ team title with 100. Pleasant Valley finished second with 102 points, while Cedar Rapids Prairie took third with 140.

Dowling finished with four runners among the top 25 and was led by Matthew Carmody, who took third in a time of 15:47.8. Coach Timothy Ives was pleased with the way his team performed on a cool, windy day.

Matthew Carmody of Dowling Catholic celebrates his 4A team victory as he crosses the line at the state Cross Country meet in Fort Dodge. Photo: Michael Zamora, The Register.

Matthew Carmody of Dowling Catholic celebrates his 4A team victory as he crosses the line at the state Cross Country meet in Fort Dodge. Photo: Michael Zamora, The Register.

“We had some very strong individual performances and, admittedly, we had some guys who didn’t have their best days,” Ives said. “But nevertheless, that’s why you run, and why it’s a team sport. If one guy has a down day, we have teammates to pick him up, and that’s what happened today.”

West Des Moines Valley finished just shy of a team trophy, taking fourth place with 147 points. Waukee, Indianola and Ankeny finished 11th, 12th and 13th, respectively.

Mount Vernon-Lisbon won the Class 3A team title with 86 points, just two fewer than second-place Grinnell. Dallas Center-Grimes took third with 142. Marion’s Jeremy Fopma and Myles Bach finished 1-2 with times of 16:02.6 and 16:14.5.

Mid-Prairie of Wellman took home the Class 2A team title with 98 points, ahead of Unity Christian (115) and Western Christian (130). Ogden’s Andrew Stumbo won the individual crown with a time of 15:53.6.

Nodaway Valley ran away with the Class 1A crown, totaling 36 points, ahead of both Pekin (92) and ACGC (105). Two Nodaway Valley runners finished in the top 10 overall, with Shan Breheny taking third in 16:41 and Brycen Wallace taking eighth in 16:56.7.

Cody Goodwin covers high school sports and college basketball recruiting for the Des Moines Register. Reach him at (515) 783-4458, email him at cgoodwin2@dmreg.com, or send him a tweet at @codygoodwin.

Johnston girls set state Cross Country record

The Johnston girls XC team had a record breaking day with all five scoring runners in the top 10. Photo by Jodi Buchan.

The Johnston girls XC team had a record breaking day with all five scoring runners in the top 10. Photo by Jodi Buchan.

By Cory Goodwin,
The Des Moines Register

FORT DODGE, Ia. — The Johnston girls’ cross country team posed for a picture on Saturday afternoon, each member with a gold medal draped around her neck and a golden state-championship trophy at her feet.

After a few parents snapped some photos, one member of the team got an idea. Let’s jump, she said.

The girls all grabbed each other’s hands and jumped a handful of times to make sure they got the right picture. It was a fitting ending for the team that ended up finishing leaps and bounds better than the competition.

Johnston won the Class 4A girls’ state cross country meet Saturday at the Lakeside Golf Course in historic fashion. The Dragons scored 26 points, the new all-time lowest score at the girls’ state meet. They finished ahead of Dubuque Hempstead and Iowa City High, which scored 91 and 121 points, respectively.

FULL STATE XC RESULTS

It was yet another showing of domination for a team that’s done it all season. Just last week, Johnston won its district with a perfect score of 15. On Saturday, coach Patrick Hennes figured his team would run well, but a state record never once crossed his mind.

“It was a good day,” Hennes said. “The girls came in with the right mindset, and they went out and ran the same race that they ran all season. That’s what they needed to do. They’ve had a target on their backs all season, and that’s a tough thing to carry with you.

“We had done a little bit of research to see what the low scores were, but to be at 26, that was not something that was on our radar at all.”

Johnston ultimately placed all five scoring runners in the top 10. Jessica and Brooke McKee led the way, finishing second and third, respectively, with times of 18 minutes, 10 seconds and 18:30.6. Emily Poss finished fifth at 18:50.

Iowa City's

Iowa City West’s Baily Nock won the individual 4A title with a time of 18:06. Photo Michael Zamora, The Register.

BOYS STATE XC RECAP

Iowa City West’s Bailey Nock won the individual title with a time of 18:06.9, while teammate Gabby Skopec finished fourth at 18:38.1. As a team, the Trojans finished fifth with 166 points.

“There were so many good girls in this race,” Nock said. “I was thinking getting second, third, or anything else just wouldn’t have been satisfying. I got third my freshman year, and people were like, ‘Oh, you were so close.’ But it feels great to finally do it.”

West’s crosstown rivals, City High, brought home a team trophy after all five scoring runners finished inside the top 40. The Little Hawks edged out fourth-place Cedar Falls by 16 points.

“Very pleased,” City High coach Tom Mittman said. “I saw a great team effort because our No. 2 runner didn’t have the best day. It just wasn’t there, so everybody else had to step up, and they did.

“City High’s made it to the state meet 29 years in a row, and we’ve been in the top three for 22 of those. But this senior group just got better as the season went on, and today, we made it to the balcony.”

Guthrie Center's Katie Crawford (L) pushes past her rivals to take the lead on her way to the 1A title. Photo: Michael Zamora, The Register.

Guthrie Center’s Katie Crawford (L) pushes past her rivals to take the lead on her way to the 1A title. Photo: Michael Zamora, The Register.

Decorah won the Class 3A girls’ title with 102 points, four points better than second-place Pella. Adriana Katcher of Center Point-Urbana brought home the individual title with a time of 18:27.7.

Monticello took home first place in Class 2A with 93 points while South Winneshiek finished second with 131. Mid-Prairie (Wellman) finished third with 133, but took home the top-two individual spots, as Anna and Marie Hostetler finished first and second, respectively, with times of 17:57.7 and 18:15.3.

“They did something I’ve never seen before, taking first and second all year,” said Mark Hostetler, Mid-Prairie’s coach and Anna and Marie’s father. “I thought it’d be a dream season for that to have that happen here, and it did. It’s amazing.”

In Class 1A, Central Elkader won the team crown with 69 points, while Hudson took second with 116 and Pekin took third with 124. Kate Crawford of ACGC placed first with a time of 19:38.7.

Football playoff picture – Round 1 complete

After a slow start, Valley dominated Lewis Central with three touchdowns and a field goal in the first half. Photo: David Mable/CISN

After a slow start, Valley dominated Lewis Central with three touchdowns and a field goal in the first half. Photo: David Mable/CISN

Part of the appeal of downsizing to 16 teams per class for the postseason was to avoid the first-round blowouts that often took place when the field featured 32 teams. On the whole, the level of competition during Friday’s games was much better, but the night was not without a handful of lopsided results.

Three winning teams from the CIML won in dominating fashion. No. 1 Valley trounced Lewis Central 45-7, while No. 2 Dowling rolled over Johnston 41-6.

CLASS 4A

Valley 45 -Lewis Central 7

WEST DES MOINES, Ia. – Rocky Lombardi threw for 195 yards and three touchdowns in the first half for Valley to lead the Tigers past Lewis Central.

A diving catch by Austin Hinkle puts another 6 points on the board for Valley. Photo: David Mable/CISN

A diving catch by Austin Hinkle puts another 6 points on the board for Valley. Photo: David Mable/CISN

Lombardi was 10-for-15, throwing two touchdown passes to Tariq Brown and one to Austin Hinkle. Valley totaled 459 yards of offense and shut out Lewis Central until the fourth quarter.

Lewis Central’s Max Duggan ran for a 67-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter to avoid the shutout.

Valley will host Ankeny Centennial in round 2 at home.

Dowling Catholic 41, Johnston 6

DES MOINES, Ia. Cole Deskin led the Dowling offense with a pair

Dowling Catholic bowled over Johnston at East's Williams Stadium. Photo courtesy of The Des Moines Register.

Dowling Catholic bowled over Johnston at East’s Williams Stadium. Photo courtesy of The Des Moines Register.

of touchdowns in a win over Johnston. Deskin finished with 127 rushing yards on the night. Johnston scored its lone touchdown in the first quarter on a 2-yard run by Brock Studer to make it 7-6 Dowling, but the Dragons couldn’t keep up the rest of the game.

Jeran Proctor led Johnston with 68 receiving yards.

Waukee 52, Southeast Polk 21

WAUKEE, Ia. – Quarterback Drew Johnson led the Warriors by passing for three touchdowns and running for two more.

After a first half which Southeast Polk kept within reach, SEP couldn't keep Waukee out of the end zone in the second half. Photo: David Mable/CISN

After a first half which Southeast Polk kept within reach, SEP couldn’t keep Waukee out of the end zone in the second half. Photo: David Mable/CISN

“That was a fun game,” Johnson said. “I thought I played pretty well. I just wanted to focus on leading the offense down the field. Our offensive line did a good job, getting pushes up front. That’s how it all starts.”

Waukee advances to the quarterfinals for a rematch against second-ranked Dowling Catholic. The Maroons won the regular-season game 37-0.

Southeast Polk finishes the year at 5-5.

Ankeny Centennial 34, Ankeny Hawks 24

ANKENY, Ia — Ankeny Centennial scored 27 in the first half to put cross-town rival Ankeny on their heels. All was quiet in the third quarter but the the Hawks made it a game in Q4 by putting 14 on the board, closing the 17-point gap left over from the half. It wasn’t enough and after an additional touchdown by Centennial, the final score was 34-24. Centennial travels to West Des Moines to take on Valley next week.

CLASS 1A

Pella Christian 49, Sigourney-Keota 0

PELLA, Ia. – David Kacmarynski paced the Pella Christian offense, throwing four touchdown passes and scoring on a touchdown run of his own. Kacmarynski finished with 128 rushing yards and 189 passing yards.

Avery Moore led Sigourney-Keota with 17 rushes for 79 yards.

 

Van Meter 21, ASHTW (Avoca) 14 (OT)

VAN METER, Ia. – Van Meter missed a field goal to win the game in regulation as time expired, but the Bulldogs pulled out a victory on an overtime touchdown from Carson Rhodes. Rhodes finished with a team-high 222 rushing yards and two touchdowns.

Gage Clay scored a touchdown on an 82-yard interception return to tie the game at 14 apiece for AHSTW.

 

Madrid 27, Pleasantville 20

PLEASANTVILLE, Ia. – Senior Michael Santi led Madrid to a victory over Pleasantville with three rushing touchdowns on the night. Santi finished with a team-high 159 rushing yards.

Gauge Van Haalen paced the Pleasantville offense with two touchdowns en route to 71 receiving yards.

 

Playoff Preview

West Des Moines Valley, led by QB Rocky Lombardy, remains unbeaten and at the top of the rankings. Photo by David Mable

West Des Moines Valley, led by QB Rocky Lombardy, remains unbeaten and at the top of the rankings. Photo by David Mable

Previewing the first round playoff matchups in Class 4A. All games start at 7 p.m. By Cody Goodwin

Council Bluffs, Lewis Central at No. 1 W.D.M. Valley
Lewis Central opened the season as one of the hottest teams in Class 4A, at 5-0, but stumbled down the stretch, losing two of its final three regular season games. Now the Titans get top-ranked and unbeaten Valley to open the playoffs.

No. 4 Ankeny Centennial vs. Ankeny at Northview Middle School
Ankeny and Centennial are meeting in the postseason for the first time ever. The Jaguars posted a 31-18 win over the Hawks in the regular season, but Ankeny enters Friday’s rematch on a six-game winning streak.

Dowling Catholic

Dowling Catholic will take a six game winning streak into the playoffs. Photo by David Mable.

Johnston vs. No. 2 W.D.M. Dowling Catholic at Williams Stadium
The Dragons have slowly rounded back into form just in time for the postseason. But their first-round opponent is as tough as any in three-time defending state champ Dowling Catholic, which also enters on a six-game winning streak during which it has outscored opponents 322-48.

No. 9 Waukee tackles Southeast Polk at home for round one.

No. 9 Waukee tackles Southeast Polk at home for round one. Photo by David Mable.

Southeast Polk at No. 9 Waukee
This is arguably the most-enticing first-round matchup in central Iowa. Waukee hasn’t lost since Week 4, at the hands of Dowling, and just ran their way to a District 1 crown. Southeast Polk overcame a 1-3 start to finish with four wins in its final five games.

Western Dubuque Epworth vs. No. 5 Cedar Rapids Washington at Kingston Stadium
Aside from the Week 6 hiccup to Cedar Falls, CR Washington has rolled this year, a run punctuated by wins over Waterloo West, Bettendorf and Cedar Rapids Prairie. The Warriors should be clear favorites over an Epworth team that beat Cedar Falls but lost to Waterloo West.

No. 10 Iowa City High at North Scott Eldridge
City High has had a roller coaster of a season. The Little Hawks lost to Ames, shut down a potent Iowa City West, won three straight road games, then lost bad to Bettendorf at home. Now City High gets to play at North Scott. Win and move on, or lose and go home.

Bettendorf will be looking for a win against Iowa City in the first round. Photo by David Mable

Bettendorf will be looking for a win against Iowa City in the first round. Photo by David Mable

No. 8 Iowa City West at No. 6 Bettendorf
This is the best first-round match in Class 4A — at least on paper. Nobody’s playing better than Bettendorf, which has won six straight by an average of 29 points per game. Iowa City West has rounded back into the explosive form of which it is capable, averaging 49 points per game over its last four. Should be fun.

No. 7 Waterloo West at No. 3 Cedar Rapids Prairie
Prairie lost its season opener to CR Washington but has rattled off eight straight wins since. Of those eight, all but one was by at least two possessions. The Hawks now get a dangerous Waterloo West squad that’s coming off its first loss of the season.

Central Iowa selections
Boone at 3A-7 Creston
This is a rematch from the regular-season opener, which Creston won, 28-7. Both teams are coming off losses in their regular-season finales. The winner advances to the Class 3A quarterfinals.

Sergeant Bluff-Luton at 3A-3 Carroll
Carroll ran the table in the regular season, outscoring its competition 340-148, the most impressive of which, arguably, was a 49-21 win over previously unbeaten Creston last week. Now the Tigers get a tough Sergeant Bluff-Luton that’s fresh off a gutting loss to Storm Lake in the season finale.

Oskaloosa at 3A-2 Pella
Pella begins its trek toward a third straight state title with Oskaloosa at home. The Little Dutch made easy work of the regular season, averaging 42.8 points per game and winning each contest by at least 22 points, and often more. Now the fun begins.

Cody Goodwin covers high school sports and college basketball recruiting for the Des Moines Register. Reach him at (515) 783-4458, email him at cgoodwin2@dmreg.com, or send him a tweet at @codygoodwin.

Iowa Girls High School State Cross Country Preview

Start of the class 4A race at the Fort Dodge course in 2015. Photo by David Mable

Start of the class 4A race at the Fort Dodge course in 2015. Photo by David Mable

Girls High School State Cross Country preview
Story and photos by David Mable

The Iowa State High School Cross Country meet will be held in Fort Dodge this Saturday. With a high of 76-degrees and sun forecast – the competition will be as hot as the temperatures. Racing begins at 11 a.m. with the 4A girls, but if you want to watch, get their early and bring your cash. Parking at the Lakeside Golf Course and Kennedy Park is tight and will cost you $10. Carpools are encouraged.

As we break down the competition, a few races appear to be foregone conclusions while others look to be wide open.

1A
In 1A, Bellevue’s Camryn Reeg, a junior, looks to run away with the race after finishing second in 2015. Her time of 19:13 at the district meet in Cedar Rapids is nearly a minute faster than all other district qualifiers in the 1A race.

While Reeg looks to lead the individual race, defending champion Pekin hopes to take the team title yet again. Led by Shea Dahlstrum, the Pekin Panthers will defend their 2015 title after winning their district meet with 49 points and an average time of 20:48. They’ll need solid runs from all five scoring runners, but if each of them run to their potential, they’ll enjoy another trip to the clubhouse deck.

2A
Look for the Hostetler sisters of Mid Prairie to lead the 2A race, this year and next. Anna, a junior and Marie, a freshman, posted the fastest finishing times from all the 1A district meets combined. The pair ran a 17:57 and 17:58 to take first and second respectively. Times could go lower as Anna’s best is a 17:42 this season.

Johnston Jessica McKee bested all runners with a 17:45 at the district race in Council Bluffs.

Johnston Jessica McKee bested all runners with a 17:45 at the district race in Council Bluffs.

Every point will matter in the 2A team competition. With No.s 1 and 2 fairly well secured and the next five runners finishing under 22, Mid Prairie looks tough to beat. However, South Winneshiek placed all five scoring runners in the top-20 of their district race in Garner, the slowest in 21:16 and Monticello placed all five scoring runners in the top 20 at their district race finishing with an average of 21:02.

3A
Adrianna Katcher of Center Point-Urbana led all finishers of the 3A district meets, winning the Decorah district meet in 18:29. Bryce Gidel of Humboldt posted the second fastest district time of 18:50 and Benton’s Sophia Gilbert posted an 18:53. Defending state champion Julia Schumacher (junior, Davenport Assumption) ran a slow-for-her 19:22 to finish second behind teammate Joy Ripslinger (senior – 18:59) at their district meet. Schumacher will need to have a great day to defend her title.

The 3A team competition looks like it could be anyone’s race with all district champions winning with scores in the 50’s and 60’s and average times of more than half-a-dozen schools between 21:00 and 21:30. Pella may have the advantage as 2015 runner-up is returning all five scoring runners. If Schumacher and Ripslinger put in races like they did in 2015, Assumption could challenge.

4A
In 4A? 

Johnston. 

‘Nuf said.

It's all purple and gold behind Johnston's Jessica McKee as she leads the conference meet in Marshalltown.

It’s all purple and gold behind Johnston’s Jessica McKee as she leads the conference meet in Marshalltown.

Suffice it to say that Johnston picked up where Urbandale left off in 2015. Led by sisters Jessica (junior) and Brooke McKee (freshman), who ran 17:45 and 17:54 respectively, the team had a five-runner average of only 18:13 at the district race in Council Bluffs. With one senior (Emily Poss), and a freshman as the sixth runner (who placed sixth at the district meet in 19:00), the Dragons look poised to challenge the front of the state meet for a few years to come.

Behind Johnston, the race for second will be tight. City High saw six runners go under 19-min at their district meet in Cedar Rapids, with the five scoring runners averaging only 18:34. Dowling Catholic is always strong and tends to perform well at big meets and Waukee finished strong at the district race – both teams averaging 1

9:27 in Council Bluffs, with only five points separating them. Ankeny Centennial comes off a victorious district meet scoring 36 points with an average time of 19:37.

For complete information on the IGHSAU State Cross Country Meet, including full schedule, course map and parking, click on IGHSAU.org.

High School Cross Country season heads into final stretch

img_5959Leaves are turning and the high school cross country season is headed into its final stretch. With a solid group of runners who all seem to push each other to faster times, a couple of central Iowa schools have risen to the top of the 4A rankings: Dowling Catholic and Johnston.

In each boys race they enter, the color of maroon is prevalent at the front. At the 21-team Marshalltown Invitational (Sept. 8), Dowling runners scored five runners in the top-25, giving them 61 points, enough to slip ahead of the eastern Iowa powerhouse of Pleasant Valley by 13 points. Earlier in the season, the five scoring varsity boys all finished in the top 10, the next two runners finishing in 10th and 11th respectively. Only Urbandale and Indianola could break into the top ten with two runners each. Leading the Maroons is senior Matt Fraizer, who currently sits in fourth in the Iowa Association of Track Coaches (IATC) Power Rankings list.

Team Power Rankings after week five.

Team Power Rankings after week five.

The girls meets are filled with purple and gold with the Johnston Dragons leading the way. With five runners holding top-10 spots in the IATC Power Rankings, they are going to be tough to beat. Jessica McKee, a junior sits atop the rankings, followed by senior Emily Poss (2), freshman Paige Horner (5), freshman Brooke McKee (8) and sophomore Josie Hovey (9). With such a young group of runners and the leadership of senior Poss, this team looks to challenge the front for a few more years at least.

Dowling Catholic and WDM Valley broke into the top ten at the Roy Griak Invitational, a “Drake Relays” quality cross country meet hosted each year by the University of Minnesota on Sept. 24. Dowling scored all five runners in the top-100, ending the day with 217 points for fourth out of the 46 teams. Valley’s Trevor Kirk and Moise Habinenz finished int the top 20, helping Valley to ninth place overall. Johnston’s Patrick Bose ran a 16:18 to finish second overall, with the team finishing in 14th. Seth Hirsh of Millard West, Neb. ran a winning time (and probably a few scholarship offers) of 15:44.

The week five boys individual Power Rankings is led by Johnston's Patrick Bose.

The week five boys individual Power Rankings is led by Johnston’s Patrick Bose.

The Johnston Dragons placed three runners in the top 25 of the girls race, which helped them climb to sixth overall. Jessica McKee ran a 19:50 to place 17th with Paige Horner and Brook McKee right behind in 20th and 23rd respectively.

The week five girls Power Rankings are filled with Johnston runners - Jessica McKee leading the way.

The week five girls Power Rankings are filled with Johnston runners – Jessica McKee leading the way.

Many of the metro teams will be heading to the Fort Dodge Invitational on Oct. 6th. Held on the same course as the State XC Meet (Oct. 29), this meet is one final test before conference and district meets determine who will move on.

Marshalltown will host the conference meet for Fort Dodge, Johnston, Mason City, Urbandale and Dowling Catholic on Oct. 13. West Des Moines Valley will be hosting the conference meet for Ames, Ankeny Centennial, Ankeny and Southeast Polk. Other metro schools (East, Roosevelt, North, Hoover, Lincoln, Indianola and Ottumwa) will be running the hills of Ewing Park on Oct. 11.

District races will be held on Oct. 20, determining which teams and individuals will be traveling to Fort Dodge for the State Cross Country Meet on Oct. 29.