The countdown is on as Iowa high school state cross country state qualifying will soon be in full swing beginning Thursday, Oct. 24.


For the Dallas Center-Grimes girls’ and boys’ squads, that means a trip back the the very familiar grounds in Pella along with an eleven team field including Bondurant-Farrar, Centerville, Clarke, Fairfield, Knoxville, Nevada, Norwalk, Oskaloosa, Pella, South Tama County, and Winterset.


The Mustang cross country squad will march out as one of three top-15 ranked teams within the field as they currently sit third in the latest coaches standings. On the girls side, the Fillies come in as Class 3A’s third-ranked girls squad and one of two overall ranked teams in their state qualifying field. The Mustangs have been a top five team all season long and have done so with the help of several individually ranked runners. Currently, the Iowa High School coaches poll recognizes two individual Mustangs including senior Bradley Ramsey and sophomore standout Aidan Ramsey. Both have earned top-five finishes in every meet this season and have been two of DC-G’s heaviest hitters all season long.


On the side of the Fillies, they’ve also been a top five season all year long. They too sport several individually ranked runners including junior Miranda Muhlstein (20th), sophomore Hannah Little (15th), and junior Megan Sterbenz (4th). They too are a team that hasn’t finished outside the top ten in any meet this season. In fact, over 90 percent of their finishes have been top five or better. It has truly been a team effort by the Fillies as head coach Justin Droppert explained.


“The girls really strive for the pack mentality, keeping together during a race as long as they can,” said Droppert. “We have a lot of talented girls who can stick with each other and other top runners in the field.”


Both teams will kick off their state qualifying runs on Oct. 24 beginning at 4 p.m.