North-Linn will host its annual Lynx Invitational, featuring some of the state’s top cross country teams for both boys and girls Saturday at Troy Mills. Girls competition will begin at 8:55 a.m. and boys will start at 9:20.
The meet will include almost 30 teams represented in each of the girls and boys events.
“There’s a lot of highly ranked teams in both boys and girls,” North-Linn Coach Bob Mudd said.
The Marion boys’ team, which is top-ranked in Class 3A will compete, along with Cedar Rapids Xavier’s boys. The Saints were runner-up to Iowa City Regina last year. The Regals, ranked seventh in 2A, will be in the field that included No. 5 Solon and No. 6 Monticello a year ago.
Williamsburg’s girls team, ranked fifth in 3A, will attempt to defend its title in the meet. The Raiders topped Monticello by 46 points a year ago. Class 3A No. 6 Benton Community was fifth last year and Regina, ranked No. 6, was third in 2009.
Benton Community’s seventh-ranked sophomore Madison Weekly is the top returning placewinner, finishing third as a freshman. Mid-Prairie’s Sofia Chmaruk was fourth a year ago in this race and is currently ranked 10th in 2A.
Monticello’s Noah Williams is among the top returning boys runners. Williams, ranked 23rd in 2A, was ninth last year.
Mudd said since the school is centrally located that the meet attracts a number of schools from all directions and all classes. Tough competition is a good gauge for many teams, priming up for the postseason.
“It’s right before regionals so everybody wants to see where they’re at right now with a couple weeks to go,” Mudd said. “A lot of them, it’s the first time and only time they face each other.”