Boys Individual Race
The Dutch’s own Canaan Dunham comes in as the highest ranked runner in 3A at #1. This represents this first week he is atop the polls. Canaan has only lost one race all season when he placed 5th in a loaded Heartland Classic field. Last year Dunham set his personal best on this course in a smoking 15:37.60. Dunham has been under 15:50 twice this year and is anxious to make an attempt at the course record which was set by his teammate, Chase Lauman, last year when he won the SQM meet in 15:36.22. There is some intrigue in this race as this will be the first time Dunham and #4 Micah Rees have raced against each other. Rees, senior for the Washington Demons, is having an amazing season and is coming off a victory in the Southeast Iowa Conference meet. Canaan’s teammate senior Nathan Vander Waal is having an outstanding season as well. Nathan placed second to Dunham at the Little Hawkeye conference when he set an all-time best of 15:53.3. Any of these three could win the race. All three could run near the record set last year. This will be an epic race in the front.
Other ranked boys: #23 Brock Hilsman 11 Clear Creek-Amana, #28 Devon Browne 11 Pella, #30 Aren Hellbusch 11 Pella.
Historical Context: Pella has had two straight individual winners of SQM meets starting with Tony Schmitz in 2021 and Chase Lauman in 2022.
Girls Individual Race
This girls race is arguably one of the most top heavy races of all the SQM sites. Currently there are seven of the top fifteen ranked girls in the field. The list is heavily loaded with Dutch runners led by #5 Marissa Ferebee who has overcome early season injury and is excellent form. Most recently, Ferebee was second at the Little Hawkeye conference in a season-best time of 19:05. The favorite for the race will be #1 Lindsey Sonderman of Harlan. Sonderman did not compete at her conference meet but is expected to run at the State Qualifier. Sonderman has yet to lose a race this year. Fort Madison’s Avery Rump currently sits at #2 in the polls and is coming off a comfortable victory at the Southeast Conference championships. In that race she beat Washington’s Iris Dahl currently ranked #9 in the polls. Pella’s senior #7 Autumn Blink is coming off her best performance of the year when she clocked 19:24. She is looking to finish her cross country season strong. Two other Dutch are also ranked in the top 15 with outstanding freshman #10 Ruth Dunham and surging junior #13 Raegan Snieder. It is going to be a fast race at the Pella sports park.
Other ranked girls are: #23 Lizzie Neumann 10 Pella, #28 Paetyn Wiegland 12 Fort Madison, #29 Elsie Brenneman 9 Pella