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State cross country adjusts 2020 schedule

Messenger photo by Britt Kudla Eric Wittrock of Humboldt is one of the top talents in Class 3A this season.

Fort Dodge will remain the host for the state cross country meet next month.

The gameplan to combat COVID-19 will bring a much different look to Lakeside Golf Course, though.

This year’s co-ed event, which has been in Fort Dodge since 1993, has been distanced accordingly.Both state-qualifying meets and the state meet itself will be separated by classification and take place over two days. Class 4A and 3A will have their meets one day earlier than initially planned, with state qualifying taking place on the Wednesday, Oct. 21, and the state meet on Friday, Oct. 30.

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

The meets will be spread out each day as well, with morning and afternoon runs. On Friday. the 4A girls will compete at 10:30 a.m., with the boys to follow and 3A will compete at 3:30 p.m. (girls) and 4 p.m. Saturday’s event will be 2A girls first at 10:30 a.m. and boys to follow.

The 1A girls will be 3:30 p.m. and boys to follow.

“Our joint championship in Fort Dodge has long been a special event for our participants and fans,” said IGHSAU executive director Jean Berger. “Changes to any successful championship are never easy, but holding a two-day meet is our best option for this year.

“Our new plan really focuses on a safe and rewarding experience, something we all agree is our top priority.”

Both the IHSAA and IGHSAU approved the changes. The state meet will continue to be hosted by the Fort Dodge Community School District and Fort Dodge Parks and Recreation Department at Lakeside.

“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,” said IHSAA Executive Director Tom Keating. “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 postseason measure, Class 1A will go from five sites to eight state-qualifying sites.

Class 1A will have 16 qualifying teams; the top two teams at each site will advance instead of the usual three. Ten individual state qualifiers for each gender advance, instead of the usual 15 individual state qualifiers.

Class 2A, 3A, 4A will remain unchanged on qualifying teams and individuals for this year’s meet.

More details for the state meet will be released in early October.

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