Senior Cross Country All Star Spotlight Meet History

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A brief history of the event

Following several years of success with the Track and Field All-Star Event, Middle School/Junior High Track & Field and Cross Country events meet co-founder and meet director Dick Washburn noticed something was missing. That was an All-Star Meet for Senior Cross Country athletes. Wash purposed to the IATC membership that there indeed needed something to honor our senior CC athletes. Surrounding States were contacted, but either because athletes in those states were not allowed to participate until they graduated or there was no interest from the state. Co-founder Bill Neal suggested we need to get things rolling and a meeting was formed in Williamsburg during the spring of 2005. Interested members of the IATC met and it was decided we would just have a meet just for our own outstanding senior CC athletes. The meet format was discussed and formed during that meeting.

Originally the state was divided into four sections along agreed upon major highway dividing lines. Coaches from each region volunteered to recruit and organize their regional team of 20 male and 20 female athletes. Iowa State University was contacted
to be the site of the meet on their National Championship Course. The idea was that all would compete for the top 15 place medals by gender and there would be fun and friendly competitions among the regions. An “Open” race for anyone was added with medals awarded to the age group place winners.

This also gave the IATC an opportunity to honor outstanding retired coaches for all they had done for the sport, athletes and fans. Each year four coaches are invited to be the honorary coaches and introduced to the athletes and fans.

Over the years the strong interest and love of the sport, saw so many great CC athletes meeting the established meet criteria, the event evolved into dividing the state in half in 2015. This change has allowed more athletes to take part as well as continuing the great tradition of honoring our senior athletes and retired coaches.

2006 saw the first Senior All-Star Meet take place on the ISU course. The event continued at that site for several more years until a few things out of the control of the IATC took place and the meet had to move. Then IATC President Al Neppl approached DMACC-Ankeny about hosting the event. They opened their campus to us and we have been there ever since.