In the girls’ event, an astounding 21 participants rank among the top 30 runners across their respective classes — a testament to the remarkable depth of talent set to grace the field. The spotlight is bound to focus on Class 3A, which boasts 14 of its runners among these elite ranks, accounting for nearly half of the distinguished field.
Switching gears to the boys’ race, it promises equal flair, featuring 19 ranked athletes. A whopping 14 of these speedsters come from Class 3A.
Leading the boys’ pack is Pella Dutch’s sophomore sensation, Canaan Dunham. He made a roaring statement early this season, breezing past the 16-minute mark with a stellar 15:47 on the demanding Central College course. Nathan Vander Waal, Canaan’s teammate, is not far behind, showcasing remarkable consistency with performances around the 16:00 benchmark. He has set his sights on breaking the 15-minute threshold shortly. The freshmen prodigies from Gilbert, Bleich and Tallman, left an indelible mark with their times of 15:50 and 15:55 on the swift ISU course recently.
Colling Houg, ranking second in 2A, is poised to challenge the frontrunners. Caleb Ten Pas from Des Moines Christian, contingent on his health, is anticipated to be a formidable contender in the mix. Given this talent trove, the boys’ race promises electrifying speed.
The girls’ event is replete with top-tier runners, spearheaded by the #2 ranked freshman, Ruth Dunham. Pella Dutch shines with three more of their athletes in the top fifteen: #5 Autumn Blink, #6 Marissa Ferebee, and #14 Raegan Sneider, all aiming for dominant performances. Haley James, should she be fit, is another name to watch in the leading bracket. Lastly, Glenwood’s freshman marvel, #8 Grace Berglund, is anticipated to make waves at the front lines.