Ballard girls place second, North Polk third at Dutch Invite

Joe Randleman Staff Writer
Lesher

PELLA - The Ballard and North Polk girls’ cross country teams turned in impressive top-three performances at the Dutch Invitational Saturday in Pella.

Ballard — the No. 10 team in Class 3A — and No. 7 North Polk came in second and third respectively at Pella out of nine teams in the Big School Division. Pella — No. 5 in 3A — won the meet on its home course with 52 points and No. 11 Gilbert placed fourth with a score of 102.

Ellie Twedt and Summer McVicker both placed in the top four to lead Ballard. Twedt took third with a 5-kilometer time of 19 minutes, 57 seconds and McVicker came in fourth at 20:18.

Freshman Caitlin Maher and sophomores Hailey Cole and Lauren Matthews each finished in the top 20 as the other runners to earn points for Ballard. Maher took 14th in 21:16, Cole came in 17th at 21:24 and Matthews ran a 21:33 to end up 18th.

Josie Fleischmann ran a 21:42 to end up just outside the top 20 at 21st as the sixth runner for Ballard. Anna Zielke rounded out the Bomber varsity competition with a 27th-place time of 22:03.

Amelia Lesher gave North Polk the Big School Division individual champion in the girls’ race. Lesher crossed the finish line in 19:41 to edge out the 19:47 run by Mount Pleasant’s Abby Ryon for her second meet title of the season.

Sophie Blanchard gave North Polk a second top-10 run. Blanchard placed 10th with a 20:54 showing.

Kennedy Wendel came in 13th at 21:07, Abi Zimmer ran a 19th-place time of 21:35 and Emily Patterson clocked in at 22:01 to place 25th to complete the scoring for North Polk. Addie Cooper and Grace De Valois came in 28th and 29th with respective times of 22:05 and 22:19 as the other Comet varsity participants.

In the Small School Division, Collins-Maxwell was ineligible for team scoring with only four runners competing.

Mid-Prairie — the No. 1 team in 2A — ran away with the Small School Division team title with an outstanding score of 17. Baxter took second with 55 points, Lynnville-Sully came in third with a score of 77 and Prairie City-Monroe scored 88 points to place fourth.

Whitney Spencer led the shorthanded Spartans with a 19th-place showing of 23:46. Olivia Pasquariello took 22nd in 24:08, Shasta Moody ran a 25:10 to finish 26th and Tori Bienfang came in 29th at 25:43.

Mid-Prairie’s Marie Hostetler and Anna Hostetler dominated the Small School Division field individually, running the two fastest times of all the runners in both classes by a comfortable margin. Marie won in 17:59 and Anna clocked in at 18 minutes flat.

Final girls’ team scores

Big School Division: 1. Pella 52 points, 2. Ballard 56, 3. North Polk 68, 4. Gilbert 102, 5. Mount Pleasant 123, 6. Oskaloosa 160, 7. Knoxville 196, 8. Bondurant-Farrar 217, 9. Nevada 241.

Small School Division: 1. Mid-Prairie 17, 2. Baxter 55, 3. Lynnville-Sully 77, 4. PCM 88. No Score: Collins-Maxwell, BGM, Pella Christian.

Individual girls’ results (5-kilometer)

Big School Division (Ballard and North Polk): 1. Amelia Lesher (NP), 19:41; 3. Ellie Twedt (B), 19:57; 4. Summer McVicker (B), 20:18; 10. Sophie Blanchard (NP), 20:54; 13. Kennedy Wendel (NP), 21:07; 14. Caitlin Maher (B), 21:16; 17. Hailey Cole (B), 21:24; 18. Lauren Matthews (B), 21:33; 19. Abi Zimmer (NP), 21:35; 21. Josie Fleischmann (B), 21:42; 25. Emily Patterson (NP), 22:01; 27. Anna Zielke (B), 22:03; 28. Addie Cooper (NP), 22:05; 29. Grace De Valois (NP), 22:19.

Small School Division (Collins-Maxwell): 19. Whitney Spencer, 23:46; 22. Olivia Pasquariello, 24:08; 26. Shasta Moody, 25:10; 29. Tori Bienfang, 25:43.