Team Race: Where do we stand in the Winnebago dynasty?
In the team previews we discussed the team race at great length, so a brief discussion of the broad storyline is sufficient here.
Only one school repeated titles from 2019 to 2020 on the girls' side: Winnebago. Not only has 'Bago been the clear best team in 1A the last two years, but they have also arguably been the most dominant program relative to their classification in the state in that timespan. In 2019, five Indians finished 26th or better. Incredibly, they improved this to six runners in the top 24 in 2020. The 2021 Winnebago girls return enough to remain the favorite but lose enough for us to have to consider the other members of the field.
Of the five teams ranked two through six entering the season, four of them sports trophies from the last two years (Rosary, Monticello, IC Catholic, Unity) and the fifth is was defending champion prior to Winnebago's run (Eureka). All of these teams sport depth like Winnebago. With the possible exception of Unity, each also has a frontrunner that projects to beat Winnebago's pack. The champion this year will likely come from this pack. Who do you think it will be?