AMES - The North Polk girls’ cross country team turned in an impressive performance in its opening meet by defeating a top-five Dallas Center-Grimes squad at the Gilbert Invitational Aug. 23 on the ISU cross country course.


North Polk, the No. 8 team in Class 3A, scored 37 points to edge No. 4 DCG by six points for the team championship in a large 12-team field.


Freshman Lucy Schaffer had a tremendous first varsity meet to lead North Polk. Schaffer completed the 5-kilometer course in 21 minutes, 29 seconds to place fourth behind Newton’s Rachel Rhoads (20:54) and DCG’s Emma Angus (21:16) and Hannah Little (21:18).


Kennedy Wendel was right behind Schaffer as North Polk’s second runner to cross the finish line. Wendel clocked in at 21:32 to place fifth.


Freshman Aleah McBee and sophomore Sophie Schaffer also placed in the top 10 for the Comet girls. McBee took seventh in 21:40 and Sophie eighth in 21:45.


Abi Zimmer ran a 13th-place time of 22:32 as the final runner to earn points for North Polk. Emily Patterson came in just outside the scoring cut with a 15th-place time of 22:42 and Addie Cooper took 18th in 22:57.


In the boys’ race, North Polk came in ninth out of 13 teams with 260 points. Gilbert, the No. 1 team and defending state champions in 3A, dominated the meet with a score of 16 and No. 2 DCG took second with 69 points.


Sam Carstensen led the North Polk boys with a 57th-place 5-kilometer time of 20:20, Gabe Drake came in 62nd at 20:27 and Noah Church was 64th in 20:30. Nathan Crabb added a 73rd-place time of 20:53 and Seth Subra took 79th in 21:09 to complete the scoring for the Comets.


Will Lesher and Bryce Houser also ran varsity for North Polk. Lesher took 134th in 22:42 and Houser 135th in 22:44.


Gilbert’s Rees Tyler won the boys’ individual title in 17:21. His Tiger teammates Nathan Patel, John Ockey and Ethan Mesenbrink placed second, third and fourth with respective times of 17:39, 17:41 and 17:43.


Final team scores


Girls: 1. North Polk 37 points, 2. DCG 43, 3. Gilbert 112, 4. Nevada 137, 5. Newton 147, 6. PCM 192, 7. Bondurant-Farrar 199, 8. Roland-Story 209, 9. Des Moines Hoover 229, 10. Greene County 233, 11. Kuemper Catholic 302, 12. Boone 344.


Boys: 1. Gilbert 16, 2. DCG 69, 3. Nevada 106, 4. Bondurant-Farrar 110, 5. Roland-Story 149, 6. Newton 184, 7. Kuemper Catholic 240, 8. Boone 252, 9. North Polk 260, 10. Des Moines Hoover 265, 11. Des Moines North 267, 12. PCM 267, 13. Greene County 355.


Individual results (5-kilometer) - North Polk


Girls: 4. Lucy Schaffer, 21:29; 5. Kennedy Wendel, 21:32; 7. Aleah McBee, 21:40; 8. Sophie Schaffer, 21:45; 13. Abi Zimmer, 22:32; 15. Emily Patterson, 22:42; 18. Addie Cooper, 22:57.


Boys: 57. Sam Carstensen, 20:20; 62. Gabe Drake, 20:27; 64. Noah Church, 20:30; 73. Nathan Crabb, 20:53; 79. Seth Subra, 21:09; 134. Will Lesher, 22:42; 135. Bryce Houser, 22:44.