Dilemma for district (and regional) track

Led by Karly Cochrane (maroon uniform), Mount Vernon-Lisbon's girls are ranked in the top two in five relays in Class 3A. MV-L will compete at the 3A district/regional at Marion on Friday.

Led by Karly Cochrane (maroon uniform), Mount Vernon-Lisbon's girls are ranked in the top two in five relays in Class 3A. MV-L will compete at the 3A district/regional at Marion on Friday.

Is it better to be in a stronger track district, or a weaker one?

Depends on your situation. And your gender.

“In girls, I think the stronger, the better,” said Bill Thomsen, girls’ coach at Mount Vernon-Lisbon. “If I was a boys’ coach, and they only took the top two or three or four from each district, I’d probably want to be in a weaker one.”

Coed state-qualification meets are¬†Friday, beginning at 4 p.m.,¬†throughout Iowa. They’re named differently (regionals for girls, districts for boys). And the path to Drake Stadium is different.

For the boys, it’s pretty cut and dried. The top four from each district advance in each advance in Class 4A, the top three in 3A and the top two in 1A and 2A.

“It’s what we have to deal with,” said Cedar Rapids Washington boys’ coach Bill Pinckney. “We’ll go down to a very strong meet (at Iowa City West) and see what happens.”

For the girls, at-large bids are available. So a stronger — faster — regional is better.

“Like I told the girls, we’ll be going head to head with a very good Dubuque Wahlert team (at Marion). We’ll push each other to faster times,” Thomsen said.

And the better the regional effort, the better the state heat and lane.

For the first time since the coed format began, all four classes run their meets on the same day. The state meet is next Thursday through Saturday.

Area 4A meets are at Iowa City West and Waterloo. Area 3A meets are Decorah, Grinnell, Marion and Mount Pleasant. In 2A, they’re at Donnellson, Tipton and West Union; in 1A, at Brooklyn, Edgewood, Grundy Center and Wayland.

Team titles don’t mean much, other than a banner. State qualification means everything.

“At this point, you want everybody in the right spot,” said Thomsen, whose team is favored to capture the 3A crown next week. “Do you want to win regionals or state? Our goal is to win state.”

Mount Vernon-Lisbon is ranked No. 1 in 3A in three relays, No. 2 in two others.

The Washington boys and Iowa City West girls headline the field at West.

“It’s been a dream season for us,” Pinckney said. “From (the) Drake (Relays), to how we’ve performed recently, every ounce of it has come from hard work. The kids are really excited to get this going.”

West’s girls are three-time defending state champions and have not been defeated in a scored meet since the 2005 state meet.

“We take tremendous pride in our streak,” distance runner Nichole Engelhardt said after the Women of Troy captured the MVC Mississippi Division crown last Friday. “We’re fighting for four (state titles). We want to keep the streak alive.”

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One Response to “Dilemma for district (and regional) track”

  1. Dilemma for district (and regional) track | IowaPrepSports.com Says:

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