Defending champion St. Albert, Council Bluffs is rated no. 1, and they return for this year's meet.
This division historically has had its share of surprises, and this fall may be no different in a tightly competitive field. Eleven rated teams - including the top six - decorate the field. Defending champion St. Albert, Council Bluffs is ranked first, and boosts the top-rated runner in Josh Sindelar, a senior who was fourth last fall after taking seventh in 2010, and Scott Theulen. The Falcons, who rate the favorite tag this fall, won their first championship in 1992.
No. 2 Trinity Christian returns five from last year's fifth place team, but they lost the State Qualifying Meet title to unranked Alta-Aurelia. Trinity has a strong team bolstered by Alex Van Ginkel, who finished ninth in the 2011 State Meet, Colton Hoksbergen and Brad Gritters. The 2011 runner-up West Lyon had a close battle with the Falcons last fall and they bring four runners back, including Micah Bajema and Chase Bruggeman, ranked fourth and seventh, respectively. Fourth-ranked Denver was fourth in 2A last year and won their State Qualifying Meet over fifth-rated Dike-New Hartford.
Sophomores Ross Friedrich and Trenton Delp lead upstart Alta-Aurelia;, and sixth-ranked Riverside, Oakland has had a fine season. The Bulldogs' pack is led by Patrick Ean and Brandon Sipherd.
Also expected to be in the individual gold medal hunt are Alburnett's Jason McVay (14th in 2011); Zach Marpe (17th) of Lake Mills; Jack Walstrom from Manson Northwest Webster; Evan Mahler and Matt Eden of Highland, Riverside; Juanito Hernandez of Woodward Academy; Cody Miller of Iowa Mennonite School, Kalona; Durant's Ben Friedericks and Slater Marshall; and Austin Dunbar from Van Meter.