ATLANTIC - Great performances at the head of the pack enabled the Ballard girls’ cross country team to win the Class 3A state qualifying meet title at Atlantic Oct. 19.
The No. 5 Bomber girls qualified three runners individually for state, scoring 65 points to beat out No. 11 Glenwood by 13 points for first. Denison-Schleswig — rated No. 14 — was the final team to qualify for state from the meet after scoring 106 points.
“I am really pleased with the performance by the girls tonight,” Ballard head football coach Scott Barth said. “As coaches, we anticipate a score somewhere around 70-80 points, so scoring 65 was pleasing.”
Ellie Twedt, Lauren Matthews and Caitlin Maher all placed in the top 10 for Ballard. Summer McVicker, Josie Fleischmann and Rachel Wohlgemuth each finished in the top 25 to push Ballard over the top.
“Getting that championship was really important to us,” Barth said. “I think it shows that we potentially are one of the top five teams in the state and can compete at a high level. We are running with more and more confidence, and it seems as if we are going to peak at the right time.”
Twedt entered the meet ranked No. 11 individually in 3A. She ran a 5-kilometer time of 20 minutes, 9.28 seconds to come in behind only No. 12 Raegan Anderson of Denison-Schleswig (19:41.92) and No. 5 Megan Sievers of Carlisle (20:01.15).
Matthews came in seventh overall as an individual state qualifier for Ballard with a time of 20:34.09. Maher earned a spot at state individually in her first try by placing 10th with a time of 20:41.27.
“One very encouraging part of this race was the tight duo of Matthews and Maher that closed the gap with team leader Ellie Twedt,” Barth said. “The emergence of these two has been integral for us.”
McVicker placed 21st with a time of 21:34.40 and Fleischmann 24th in 21:42.12 to round out the Bomber scoring. Wohlgemuth just missed earning points for her team with a 25th-place time of 21:42.93 and Hailey Cole also ran well as the Bombers’ seventh runner with a 30th-place effort of 21:54.90.
The Ballard boys placed sixth with 172 points. Carlisle, Bondurant-Farrar and Adel-Desoto-Minburn were the three boys’ teams to qualify for state from the meet with respective scores of 40, 64 and 78.
“Although we didn’t get a state-qualifying team or individual out of the race, our performance keeps us on the right track going into next season,” Barth said. “We didn’t run any seniors in this lineup — all return next year.”
Carter Thompson and Jace Beall both placed in the top 30 for the Ballard boys. Thompson took 23rd in 18:17.46 and Beall came in 29th at 18:26.78.
Nathan Wuestenberg, Ryan Ledet and Chase Winterboer were the other runners to score for the Ballard boys.
Wuestenberg took 38th in 18:50.15. Ledet came in 29th at 18:50.52 and Winterboer 43rd in 19:00.43.
Zane Charter came in 45th at 19:09.24 and Gage Long 46th in 19:10.00 for Ballard.
ADM freshman Nate Mueller was the individual champion of the boys’ race with a time of 16:32.50. Carlisle’s Carter Louge and Kolby Fritz came in second and third with respective times of 17:01.15 and 17:02.96.
The state cross country meet takes place this Saturday at the Lakeside Golf Course in Fort Dodge. The 3A competition begins at noon with the girls’ race.
Final team scores
Girls: 1. Ballard 65 points, 2. Glenwood 78, 3. Denison-Schleswig 106, 4. Atlantic 118, 5. Harlan 121, 6. Creston 150, 7. ADM 181, 8. Winterset 221, 9. Carlisle 268, 10. Bondurant-Farrar 290, 11. Kuemper Catholic 307, 12. Perry 327, 13. Boone 328.
Boys: 1. Carlisle 40, 2. Bondurant-Farrar 64, 3. ADM 78, 4. Glenwood 107, 5. Kuemper Catholic 161, 6. Ballard 172, 7. Atlantic 197, 8. Winterset 221, 9. Harlan 234, 10. Boone 249, 11. Denison-Schleswig 287, 12. Creston 316, 13. Perry 329.
Individual results (5-kilometer) - Ballard
Girls: 3. Ellie Twedt, 20:09.28; 7. Lauren Matthews, 20:34.09; 10. Caitlin Maher, 20:41.27; 21. Summer McVicker, 21:34.40; 24. Josie Fleischmann, 21:42.12; 25. Rachel Wohlgemuth, 21:42.93; 30. Hailey Cole, 21:54.90.
Boys: 23. Carter Thompson, 18:17.46; 29. Jace Beall, 18:26.78; 38. Nathan Wuestenberg, 18:50.15; 39. Ryan Ledet, 18:50.52; 43. Chase Winterboer, 19:00.43; 45. Zane Charter, 19:09.24; 46. Gage Long, 19:10.00.