Preview: girls cross country state meet


Akash Borde

West High has a tradition of excellence, and few sports teams exemplify this tradition better than the Girls Cross Country team. The five-time state champions are looking to add a sixth title to their accomplishments tomorrow. “We always look to always be a contender for the state title, but realized pretty early on [in the season] that it was gonna be a real possibility,” said Coach Peggy McGuire .

At the Cedar Falls district meet last week, the team qualified for the state with a dominating performance. The Women of Troy held five of the top ten spots out of a field of over 60 runners. Emmie Skopec ‘15 and Bailey Nock ‘18 finished first and second, and Gabby Skopec ‘17, Olivia Moore ‘17, and Clare Ronnebaum ‘18 finished sixth, seventh, and 10th. Rounding out the top seven runners for West were Tia Saunders ‘16 and Maria Burtch ‘15 in 16th and 33rd place.


Coach Mike Parker tells Emmie Skopec ’15 the day’s workout

Although this Emmie Skopec’s third trip to the state meet, she says this year will be unlike any other. “My sophomore year we weren’t really in contention for the team title, and I didn’t even crack the top 50 individually. This is the first year that I’ll be a strong contender for a top 5 spot at state.” said Skopec.

She’s not too far off. According to the Iowa Association of Track Coaches (IATC) rankings, Skopec is ranked 6th in the state for girls in class 4A.  Nock and Gabby Skopec join her atop the list at 9th place and 30th place respectively.

McGuire agrees. “Emmie and Bailey can be in the top ten for sure, and as long as we have our third, fourth, and fifth runners be as close as they been in the past meets, there’s no reason we shouldn’t be on the podium. I think we can win.”

The Women of Troy are ranked third going into tomorrow’s meet, behind Johnston and Urbandale.

The State meet takes place on Saturday, Nov. 1st at the Lakeside Municipal Golf Course in Fort Dodge, Iowa. The girls race at 11:00 AM, followed by the boys at 11:30.

Photos by Paige Brazina