Dates previously set for the 2020 IHSAA and IGHSAU cross country postseason will be split at next month’s meets to accommodate competition and crowds with COVID-19 related precautions.
State qualifying meets and the state meet will now be separated by classification and take place over two days.
The state meet will remain in Fort Dodge at Lakeside Golf Course.
Class 4A and 3A will run their meets one day earlier than initially planned, with state qualifying now taking place on Oct. 21, and the state meet on Oct. 30.
Class 2A and 1A will compete on the originally scheduled dates, with state qualifying on Oct. 22, and the state meet on Oct. 31.
“With these changes, where you get sent for the state qualifier is more crucial than ever,” Baxter cross country coach Dennis Vaughn said.
The boards of the IHSAA and IGHSAU have approved the changes for 2020.
As an additional precautionary measure at state qualifying meets, 1A will go from five sites to eight sites. This will cut attendance at each 1A location by around 10 teams per gender.
With this change, 1A will feature 16 state qualifying teams — the top two teams qualifying at each site, instead of the usual three — and 10 individual state meet qualifiers for each gender instead of the usual 15 individual state qualifiers.
“I have mixed feelings on the decisions,” Vaughn said. “I love seeing all of the teams there every year. I totally respect why they did it though.”
The IHSAA and IGHSAU anticipate this will be a one-time qualifying change.
Class 2A, 3A and 4A will remain unchanged on qualifying teams and individuals for the 2020 state meet.
State qualifying meet sites for all classes have been released and posted on each of the websites. Assignments for those meets will be released the week of Oct. 12.
Colfax-Mingo and Baxter will both be in 1A for the postseason this fall.
The 1A girls’ state race will begin at 3:30 p.m. on Oct. 31 followed by the 1A boys’ state race at 4:00 p.m.
Parking will be available inside Kennedy Park. Spectator tailgating will not be permitted.
Admission for spectators will be $10 each upon arrival to Kennedy Park as the shuttle bus system utilized in 2019 will not be used at the 2020 event.