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Big 6 cross country preview
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BIG 6 CROSS COUNTRY PREVIEW

Big 6 cross country preview

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Moline senior Jackson McClellan is among the favorites for the Western Big 6 boys individual title Thursday at Saukie Golf Course in Rock Island.

Basics: Thursday (4 p.m., varsity girls; 5 p.m. varsity boys) at Saukie Golf Course, Rock Island.

Teams to watch: Moline has pocketed the last three Big 6 championships on the girls side, but there could be a change at the top this season. Geneseo, third at last year's conference meet, was the best among Big 6 teams in Peoria recently and has one-sided dual wins over United Township and Sterling. Alleman, led by ace Mattie Kindelsperger, will be in the hunt as well. ... United Township is the defending boys champion, but it lost three all-conference runners from 2019. Geneseo edged Moline by seven points in Peoria earlier this month. Those two, along with Sterling, are the primary contenders.

Girls to watch: Moline's Lylia Gomez won the last two conference meets, but she has not competed in recent races. Kindelsperger has multiple wins in dual and triangular meets this fall and should challenge for the title. Geneseo's Esther Brown, in her first year of running high school cross country, was the top finisher among the three Big 6 schools at the Peoria Notre Dame Blue & Green Invitational earlier this month. Teammate Avery Magerkurth also should contend for all-conference honors. With Gomez out, Eryn Robertson has been the Maroons' top runner this season. Sterling's Kylie Nicklaus was fourth last year at the Big 6 Meet.

Boys to watch: Quincy junior Fiker Rosen is the reigning two-time Big 6 champion. He captured last year's title at Bob Mays Park in Quincy in 15 minutes, 49 seconds. Moline senior Jackson McClellan, third at last year's conference meet, has been dominant throughout the regular season. He won the Peoria Notre Dame Blue & Green Invitational recently in 15:16. United Township's Logan Veloz, eighth at conference last year, has a couple wins in dual meets recently. Moline's No. 2 runner Jon Hutton and Geneseo's William Plumley could factor into the top five after top-10 finishes a year ago.

— Compiled by Matt Coss

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Sports Editor

Sports editor, with my emphasis on covering the Mississippi Athletic Conference and Iowa area high schools. I've been in sports journalism for 20 years, the last eight at the Q-C Times.

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