First sanctioned for girls in 1966, cross country is special in Iowa, as the season ends with a co-ed state tournament at Kennedy Park in Fort Dodge.

Though many believe it’s is an individual sport, cross country is a team sport where runners compete to earn the individual top spot while helping their team’s overall finish. Fans must pay attention, as even though the top five finishers determine the team’s final score, the runners in the middle of the pack are crucial to determining the final score. This unique setup teaches personal goal setting and life lessons in addition to breeding team camaraderie.