Kohut-Jackson places second individually for Ballard girls

GRIMES – The North Polk and Ballard boys’ cross country teams both placed in the top four and Ballard girls came in fourth at the Dallas Center-Grimes Invitational Sept. 3 in Grimes.

In the boys’ competition North Polk finished with a score of 81 to finish second, and Ballard totaled 154 points to place fourth. The Comets entered the opening meet of the season ranked third in Class 2A by the Iowa Association of Track Coaches and Ballard is rated 12th in 3A.

Dallas Center-Grimes won the boys’ championship on its home course, beating the rest of the 17-team field with a score of 71.

"When I consider the talent we lost to graduation, I am thrilled we were within 10 points of the meet championship," North Polk head coach Steve Leach said.

Peter Smith brought home the boys’ individual title for North Polk. The senior easily outclassed the rest of the field, running a five-kilometer time of 17 minutes, 23 seconds to top the runner-up time by Creston’s Cooper McDermott by 33 seconds.

Ryley Sandberg placed in the top three for the Comets. He was a couple steps behind McDermott with a time of 18:07.

Reed Smith added a 20th-place time of 19:17 as the third Comet run.

Christian Berglund and Michael Rimathe also scored for North Polk. Berglund ran a 19:25 to place 23rd and Rimathe came in 41st at 20:19.

"I thought Peter and Ryley were especially strong in the front of the pack," Leach said. "Christian did a good job of finishing close to Reed, and Michael and Matthew (Turk) were solid in the fifth and sixth spots. Corey Richards made the most of his experience as a varsity competitor. There is a great deal of depth on this squad, and I wouldn’t be surprised if there is a group of four to eight runners rotating in and out of the lineup as the year progresses."

Turk ran a time of 21 minutes flat to place 69th and Richards ended up 80th with a time of 21:13.

Junior Luke Kohut-Jackson led the way for Ballard. Kohut-Jackson placed in the top five individually with a fourth-place effort of 18:17.

Craig Jordan came in 19th at 19:12 as the second Bomber runner to cross the finish line. Quentin Luke took third on the team with a 45th-place time of 20:24, Kyle Schilling clocked in at 20:28 to place 51st and Kaleb Wohlegmuth was the final scored Bomber runner with a 62nd-place time of 20:52.

Bryce Snell just missed scoring for the Bomber boys as he finished 63rd in 20:53.

In the girls’ competition Ballard finished fourth and North Polk ended up seventh out of 14 scored teams. DCG also won the girls’ team title as the Fillies – rated ninth in 3A – scored 65 points to edge Winterset by eight points for first.

The Ballard girls finished with 154 points. Sophomore Abby Kohut-Jackson continued where she left off after finishing eighth in 3A at state last year as she came in second at Grimes.

Kohut-Jackson crossed the finish line with a four-kilometer time of 15:58 to trail only the 15:42 run by DCG’s Madison Waymire. Winterset’s Brittany Sawyers was a distant third with a time of 16:31.

Ashley Meldrum placed in the top 30 as the second Bomber runner. Meldrum clocked in at 18:12 to place 28th.

The next four Bombers to complete the race – Sara Hugee, Val Charter, Meghan Hirsch and Shelby Petersen – all ran close together in a pack

Hugee came in 41st with a time of 18:43 and Charter and Hirsch both crossed the finish line in 18:46 to place 43rd and 44th respectively as the final scored Bomber runners. Petersen was right behind with a 45th-place time of 18:49.

"Both Luke and Abby ran solid races, but have room for improvement," Ballard head coach Scott Barth said. "Our No. 2s on both sides were fine, but we will work on cutting the gap between our No. 1 and No. 2 runners. Our third through seven runners were a bit off the pace and a bigger gap formed than what we can have to be successful and competitive in meets."

The North Polk girls scored 176 points to finish just behind Panorama’s sixth-place score of 167.

"The girls have struggled at this meet the past two years against some incredibly talented teams," Leach said. "But that is mostly due to the fact that we are putting less of our emphasis on their shape at the start of the year so that they will peak at the right time."

Sybbie Sears – a state individual top-10 finisher last year in 2A – turned in the top time for the Comet girls. Sears ran a 17:14 to place 11th.

"Sybbie ran a competitive race," Leach said. "She faded as the race progressed because her stamina isn’t there yet."

Sophomore Rachel Zimmerman and senior Samantha Sinclair both placed in the top 30 for North Polk. Zimmerman completed the course in 18:03 to finish 22nd and Sinclair came in 30th at 18:23.

"Rachel was impressive in her cross country debut," Leach said.

Tessa Subra and Emerson Sears were the other scored North Polk runners. Subra clocked in at 19:57 to end up 77th and Emerson placed 80th with a time of 20:02.

Final team scores

Girls: 1. DCG 65, 2. Winterset 73, 3. Greene County 118, 4. Ballard 132, 5. Creston 136, 6. Panorama 167, 7. North Polk 176, 8. Earlham 213, 9. West Central Valley 222, 10. Kuemper Catholic 25, 11. Bondurant-Farrar 260, 12. Norwalk 306, 13. Saydel 346, 14. Van Meter 356.

Boys: 1. DCG 71, 2. North Polk 81, 3. Creston 126, 4. Ballard 154, 5. Saydel 162, 6. Kuemper Catholic 182, 7. Norwalk 191, 8. Panorama 220, 9. Des Moines Christian 238, 10. Winterset 260, 11. Earlham 272, 12. Bondurant-Farrar 301, 13. Van Meter 328, 14. Nodaway Valley 344, 15. Greene County 382, 16. I-35 411, 17. West Central Valley 421.

Individual results – Ballard and North Polk

Girls (4-kilometer): 2. Abby Kohut-Jackson (B), 15:58; 11. Sybbie Sears (NP), 17:14; 22. Rachel Zimmerman (NP), 18:03; 28. Ashley Meldrum (B), 18:12; 30. Samantha Sinclair (NP), 18:23; 41. Sara Hugee (B), 18:43; 43. Val Charter (B), 18:46; 44. Meghan Hirsch (B), 18:46; 45. Shelby Petersen (B), 18:49; 54. Rachel Watters (B), 19:09; 77. Tessa Subra (NP), 19:57; 80. Emerson Sears (NP), 20:02; 87. Ohara Lesher (NP), 20:20; 98. Olivia Patterson (NP), 20:53.

Boys (5-kilometer): 1. Peter Smith (NP), 17:23; 3. Ryley Sandberg (NP), 18:07; 4. Luke Kohut-Jackson (B), 18:17; 19. Craig Jordan (B), 19:12; 20. Reed Smith (NP), 19:17; 23. Christian Berglund (NP), 19:25; 41. Michael Rimathe (NP), 20:19; 45. Quentin Luke (B), 20:24; 51. Kyle Schilling (B), 20:28; 62. Kaleb Wohlegmuth (B), 20:52; 63. Bryce Snell (B), 20:53; 66. Caleb Wuestenberg (B), 20:66; 69. Matthew Turk (NP), 21:00; 80. Corey Richards (NP), 21:13.