Southwestern to host regional cross country meet Friday

Oct. 24—Creston High football's playoff game isn't the only sports excitement in town scheduled for Friday.

For the first time since 2011, Southwestern Community College will host the Region 11 cross country championships. The men race first at 4 p.m. followed by the women at 4:45 p.m. Teams at the meet include Des Moines Area Community College (metro-Des Moines), Hawkeye Community College (Waterloo), Indian Hills (Ottumwa), Iowa Central (Fort Dodge), Iowa Western (Council Bluffs), North Iowa Area Community College (Mason City), Southeastern (Burlington) and Southwestern.

The field of competition features 12 teams ranked in the United States Track, Field, Cross Country Coaches Association national polls.

"There is going to be some great competition here next Friday," Southwestern coach Scott Vicker said. "It would be great to have a lot of fans out to see this meet. It's a perfect way to start your Friday evening before going to Creston's home playoff football game later that night."

Based on records from the conference, it looks like 2011 was the last time SWCC hosted the Region 11 Championships.

Southwestern has hosted cross country meets before, but for high school meets. The course used for Friday's races will not be exactly the same because of length.

Men's course.

"The women's 5K course is very similar to what the high school uses for its meet. I just add a couple different wrinkles to it, so fans won't notice any major differences," Vicker said. "The men's 8K course uses the 5K course as a base, but they go the opposite direction around the ball fields and then go straight to the golf course, and they will do two loops of this route."

Vicker encouraged fans to park in the college's main lot. Portions of the course will be blocked to prevent any traffic.

"We will have the drive by the start-finish area of the course blocked off, so parking will be in SWCC's main parking lot. It should be a couple of fun races, so we hope to see a lot of fans out on the course Friday."