Aside from Marceline's football team, Brookfield cross country runner Leslie Dean is the only athlete still competing in a fall sport in Linn County.

Dean's time of 22:42 last weekend at Kearney earned her a seventh place finish and the right to advance to Jefferson City for the Class 2 championship this Saturday, but her competition is difficult to assess.

For example, in District 1's meet in Arcadia Valley, Dean's time would not have been fast enough to qualify within the top 15, average course-difficulty and fast conditions aside. Allie Gibbs of Steelville may be the best Class 2 runner in the state, but Dean would have qualified from her District 4 meet by better than a quarter of a minute.

The strongest district meet at the Class 2 level was held in Bowling Green this past weekend, and Dean's time would have kept her four spots away from a medal, with no qualifiers finishing the course in worse than 22 minutes.

When the gun fires for the Class 2 girls' race at 9 a.m. at Oak Hills Golf Center on Saturday, however, anything can happen.