The high school cross country runners prepare all season and off-season for a chance to compete at the state level.

All that preparation boils down to one race Saturday. Prep teams today compete in regionals to qualify for next week’s state meets. The top four teams and five individuals not members of the qualifying teams in the regional races qualify for state.

Central Heights will be the host for a 2A regional. The girls race begins at 10 a.m. with the boys to follow at 10:45 a.m. The field includes 16 schools. The Central Heights runners are the defending 2A champs and have won each meet this season. The Vikings are ranked No. 2 in the latest coaches poll.

Wellsville and West Franklin compete at the 3A regional in Garnett. The West Franklin girls are coming off a league championship where the Falcons nearly posted a perfect score of 15. Girls run at 10 a.m. and boys at 11 a.m.

Ottawa runs in Baldwin City and on the same course as the Baldwin Invitational earlier this month. The girls race is at 10 a.m. and the boys race is at 10:45 a.m.