Missouri River Conference NEW

(KMAland) -- Another cross country preview on a Saturday with a look at the Missouri River Conference girls.

PREVIOUS FALL SPORTS PREVIEW LINKS  

Rolling Valley Conference Boys Cross Country Preview

Everybody Else Football Preview

Football Champion, Sleeper Predictions

Rolling Valley Conference Girls Cross Country Preview  

Volleyball Champion, Sleeper Predictions

Pride of Iowa Conference Boys Cross Country Preview

Bluegrass Conference Volleyball Preview

Pride of Iowa Conference Girls Cross Country Preview

Missouri River Conference Volleyball Preview

Class 1A District 8 Football Preview

Western Iowa Conference Boys Cross Country Preview

Rolling Valley Conference Volleyball Preview

Western Iowa Conference Girls Cross Country Preview

Pride of Iowa Conference Volleyball Preview

Hawkeye Ten Conference Boys Cross Country Preview

Western Iowa Conference Volleyball Preview

Hawkeye Ten Conference Girls Cross Country Preview

Corner Conference Volleyball Preview

Hawkeye Ten Conference Volleyball Preview

Class 8-Man District 6 Football Preview

Class A District 8 Football Preview

Class 1A District 7 Football Preview

Class A District 10 Football Preview

Class 8-Man District 8 Football Preview

Class 3A District 9 Football Preview

Class 2A District 9 Football Preview

Class 1A District 9 Football Preview

Class A District 9 Football Preview

Class 8-Man District 7 Football Preview


2020 MISSOURI RIVER CONFERENCE GIRLS CROSS COUNTRY PREVIEW


Bishop Heelan Catholic – Last Year: 1st Place (49 points)

Coach: Todd Roerig

RETURNEES: The Crusaders had three in last year’s top 10 to push them to the MRC title, and while they did lose their top runner, they do bring back the other two. Senior Grace Mahaney was fifth at the MRC last year while sophomore Jada Newberg ran strong in 10th. Junior Mia Conley (15th), sophomore Keara Joyce (25th) and senior Emma Hutchinson (32nd) are also returning. Four girls back from last year’s fifth-place state team? Pretty good.

FINAL WORD: The Crusaders were loaded a year ago, and they needed all of that to edge their way to the championship. While they lose two, they did have the second-fastest runner in the JV meet in junior Taylor Jochum. Fellow junior Hannah Fitzpatrick (10th in JV) could also fill in that remaining hole. They’ll be good again, and it’ll be close again.

Council Bluffs, Abraham Lincoln Lynx – Last Year: 6th Place (123 points)

Coach: Traci Stoop

RETURNEES: If there’s one thing AL did really well last season it’s run in a couple different packs. Two of the four remnants of last year’s first pack are gone, but sophomore Jazmin Martinez (22nd) and junior Paige Bracker (24th) are two of the top 15 returning runners in the conference. The second pack also lost two of three, but sophomore Nora Preston (38th) was the leader of that pack.

FINAL WORD: It’s not easy to replace four of your seven, but the Lynx do have some options with the depth of their program. Sophomores Kylie Richardson and Jennifer Rangel, junior Jaycie Hasbrouck and senior Kelsey Wathen are the top four returning JV runners from that meet last season and could be in the mix to run varsity this year.

Council Bluffs, Thomas Jefferson Yellow Jackets – Last Year: 7th Place (202 points)

Coach: Doug Muehlig

RETURNEES: The Yellow Jackets have four of their top five runners returning from last year, but their highest finish at the MRC among that group was 40th. Still, they did run in a solid pack that was led by juniors Mackenzie Harstad and Regan Gant, senior Julia Slack and sophomore Haley Allen. All four of those girls were between 40th and 51st at the conference run last year.

FINAL WORD: They should be able to add a nice couple of sophomores to this year’s mix. Eleana Lemus and Athena Neville were both among the top 30 in last year’s JV race and their times would be competitive among the returning top 40. I do think there’s a good chance they improve their score.

LeMars Bulldogs – Last Year: 4th Place (101 points)

Coach: Linda Meis

RETURNEES: Among the top four teams from last year’s MRC, LeMars was hit hardest by graduation in losing three of their top four runners. Their lone returnee in that top four is sophomore Kylee Britt, who was among the top five or six freshmen in the league last year. Britt was 23rd at the MRC meet while senior Emily Chamberlain and juniors Lilly McNaughton and Katie Cunningham ended up 28th, 37th and 43rd, respectively.

FINAL WORD: Losing your top two and three of your top four is not an easy deal, especially considering what the rest of the top four teams from last year bring back. They should be able to fill those spots with their sophomore class, which touted two solid runners in Clara O’Dwyer and Rebecca Hulinsky at the JV ranks. The Bulldogs, though, will likely have trouble keeping up with Heelan, East and North.

Sergeant Bluff-Luton Warriors – Last Year: 5th Place (103 points)

Coach: Monte Larsen

RETURNEES: The Warriors lost their top runner, but they do return three sophomores that played vital roles on the team last year. Sophia Karras and Gabby Ryan ran 12th and 19th, respectively, at the MRC while Logan Howard was 39th. Senior Jenna Ryan placed 33rd at the conference meet last season.

FINAL WORD: They only ran six at the conference meet last year, and they do return four of those. Bright note: They rolled to the JV championship behind junior Ella Brester, senior Katherine Aymar and sophomore Chloe Buss, who went 3-5-7 in that JV meet. This could be a sleeper team.

Sioux City East Black Raiders – Last Year: 2nd Place (51 points)

Coach: Nick Gaul

RETURNEES: Another state-qualifying team from the MRC, Sioux City East ended up 13th last season and were led by the reigning conference champ and sixth-place state finisher Kaia Downs, who is into her junior season. Fellow junior Sydney Helt took sixth while senior Katie Lammers finished seventh at the MRC. The meet was lost, though, with too much space between their fourth and fifth runners. Seniors Lydia Heald and Karlie Stoos are also back for East after running 34th and 35th at the MRC, respectively.

FINAL WORD: They’re going to be right in the mix for the MRC championship again this season. They also hope to get back to state, but they will have to replace two seniors, including their No. 2 last year. Enter sophomore Mariah Morrow? She was the JV champ at last year’s MRC and ran at state for the Black Raiders.

Sioux City North Stars – Last Year: 3rd Place (69 points)

Coach: Abdier Marrero

RETURNEES: Two state qualifiers are returning for the Stars, which had last year’s fastest freshman in Elizabeth Jordan. Jordan was 4th at the MRC meet and then placed 76th at state. Meanwhile, senior Lillian Garay went 8th at the MRC and 64th at state. They also have junior Nicole Zuehl and senior Emma Kelley, which ran 14th and 16th, respectively. Junior Victoria Schneiders (29th) and senior Mia Norton (31st) provide depth.

FINAL WORD: Only one gone and all four of their runners that were in the MRC’s top 16 last year are back. That’s great news. Their one opening should be filled ably, too, with junior Aphraditie Hancock (9th in MRC JV meet) potentially taking the spot. With four of the league’s top 11 returning runners, I think the Stars are in good position to make a run at the MRC and state.

Sioux City West Wolverines – Last Year: 8th Place (238 points)

Coach: Abigail Mehlhaff

RETURNEES: The Wolverines will return six of last year’s seven girls that ran at the conference meet. Senior Madison Evans is joined in her returning class by Gracie Roberts and Simiah Proctor while sophomores Lisbet Vigil, Alondra Zermeno and Rosie Narcia also could potentially all return. All of those girls ran between 45th and 54th at the meet last year.

FINAL WORD: Experience is good. West definitely has that, but it will have had to be a very productive summer in order for them to hang around with some of the top teams in this league. And while they could improve their score, it’ll be tough to improve their place with the way this conference looks from year to year.


CONCLUSION: It was a three-team race last year, and it’s going to be a three-team race this year. However, I think the three teams will be even tighter than they were last season. Just based on last year’s MRC meet, Sioux City North has the edge over both East and Heelan. There’s no guarantees that’s how it will play out, but for now the Stars should be thinking big.

Send any questions, comments and/or corrections to dmartin@kmaland.com.

Thank you for reading kmaland.com

At KMA, we attempt to be accurate in our reporting. If you see a typo or mistake in a story, please contact us by emailing kmaradio@kmaland.com.