Bomber girls dominate Knoxville Invite: Girls take third, boys fifth at Perry

Joe Randleman
Tri-County Times
Shewaye Johnson took first in the varsity girls' race for Ballard at the Leon Fox Invitational cross country meet Oct. 1 in Perry.

PERRY - The Ballard girls didn’t run their full team, but still turned in a top-three performance at the Leon Fox Invitational at the Perry Golf and Country Club Oct. 1.

Ballard, ranked first in Class 3A, scored 69 points to come in just behind 11th-ranked Adel-Desoto-Minburn and a Roland-Story team rated fifth in Class 2A. A-D-M scored 64 points to just edge Roland-Story’s 65 for the team title.

Ballard nearly pulled off the victory despite not running lead runner Paityn Noe - the second-ranked individual runner in 3A - along with varsity regulars Caitlin Maher, Josie Fleischmann and Brooke Loewe.

“We decided not to run all of our regular varsity line-up tonight, but we ran pretty well for the most part and competed hard,” Ballard head coach Scott Barth said. “Even running with a short roster tonight, we competed well against two ranked and quality programs.”

Shewaye Johnson, the No. 3 individual runner in 3A, freshman Ava Vance and Katie Huisinga were the only three varsity runners competing for Ballard in the meet. They all finished in the top 10.

Johnson won the meet with an impressive 5-kilometer time of 18 minutes, 41 seconds. She beat fourth-ranked Geneva Timmerman of A-D-M by 37 seconds for the victory.

“Shewaye went out and fought off an early challenge from Geneva Timmerman,” Barth said.

Vance came in fifth at 20:51.

“Ava continued to show rapid improvement, placing fifth with a new PR,” Barth said.

Huisinga took 10th in 21:19.

“Kate made it two good meets in a row placing 10th with her season PR,” Barth said. 

Four JV runners - Claire Landmesser, Meg Rietz, Ashley Wuestenberg and Mya Ehresman filled out the rest of the Bomber lineup. Landmesser finished 26th in 22:14, Rietz 30th in 22:34, Wuestenberg 35th in 22:50 and Ehresman 43rd in 23:20.

Ballard JV runners Ashley Wuestenberg (front) and Mya Ehresman compete in the varsity girls' race at the Leon Fox Invitational in Perry Oct. 1. The two runners did well to help the Bombers place third as a team behind two rated schools despite not having four of their varsity runners available.

“We always have to remind our JV girls that they could be varsity competitors on most of the teams in our class,” Barth said. “The way we ran tonight proves that to them. I am proud that they stepped up to the challenge and didn’t back down.”

The Ballad boys also ran well. Despite having just run at Knoxville two days earlier the Bombers took fifth out of 11 teams with 142 points.

“A majority of our varsity boys did the two day turnaround that Shewaye, Ava and Kate did on the girls side,” Barth said. “They performed pretty well all things considered.”

Austin Shoen led Ballard with a 5k time of 18:09 to earn him 14th place. Gage Long came in 19th at 18:17 to give the Bombers two top-20 runners in the boys’ race.

Jack Chism took 32nd in 19:04, Seth Pencook 38th in 19:16 and Chase Brekke 39th in 19:19 to complete the scoring for the boys. Trent Payne just missed the scoring cut with a 43rd-place time of 19:27 and Ian Godbold was 56th in 20:17.

Trent Payne (front) came in 43rd for the Ballard boys at the Leon Fox Invitational in Perry Oct. 1.

“We were ready to compete and gave a solid effort up and down the lineup,” Barth said. “This makes four meets for them in a 12-day stretch, which is tough. We are in crunch time for the guys and as coaches we felt pushing the guys to compete those four times would ultimately, with more rest in-between going forward, make us a better and more competitive team in the final third of the season. I am very happy with what I am seeing in practices and meets.”

Des Moines Christian, the No. 8 team in 2A, won the boys’ team title with 37 points. A-D-M, ranked 10th in 3A, took second with 43 points.

A-D-M’s Nate Mueller, ranked second individually in 3A, was the boys’ individual champion in 15:50. 

Final team scores

Girls: 1. A-D-M 64 points, 2. Roland-Story 65, 3. Ballard 69, 4. Winterset 86, 5. Des Moines Christian 96, 6. Creston 108, 7. Bondurant-Farrar 177, 8. Boone 268, 9. Greene County 274.

Boys: 1. Des Moines Christian 37, 2. A-D-M 43, 3. Winterset 82, 4. Bondurant-Farrar 119, 5. Ballard 142, 6. Kuemper Catholic 148, 7. Roland-Story 169, 8. Greene County 185, 9. Boone 205, 10. Saydel 317, 11. Perry 328.

Individual results (5-kilometer) - Ballard

Girls: 1. Shewaye Johnson, 18:41; 5. Ava Vance, 20:51; 10. Kate Huisinga, 21:19; 26. Claire Landmesser, 22:14; 30. Meg Rietz, 22:34; 35. Ashley Wuestenberg, 22:50; 43. Mya Ehresman, 23:20.

Boys: 14. Austin Shoen, 18:09; 19. Gage Long, 18:17; 32. Jack Chism, 19:04; 38. Seth Pencook, 19:16; 39. Chase Brekke, 19:19; 43. Trent Payne, 19:27; 56. Ian Godbold, 20:17.

KNOXVILLE - The top-ranked Ballard girls turned in another impressive performance Sept. 29 by winning the Knoxville Invitational.

The Bomber girls showed why they’re the defending Class 3A state champions by easily beating an Ankeny Centennial team rated sixth in 4A and  Norwalk squad rated 15th in 4A for the championship. Ballard scored 34 points, beating the Jaguars by 35 points and Warriors by 37 for first out of 13 teams.

“The girls ran their most complete team race of the season,” Ballard head coach Scott Barth said. “We felt that having two ranked 4A teams would give us a good challenge. That motivation was evident from the start as we really ran a solid race. We got out well, managed our hills using both the uphills and downhills to create separation with some of the other teams. We ran both physically and mentally tough all the way up and down our top seven and that was nice to see.”

Paityn Noe continued her phenomenal sophomore season by winning the race in a decisive manner for Ballard. Noe crossed the finish line with a 5-kilometer time of 18 minutes, 21.25 seconds.

Another Bomber sophomore - Shewaye Johnson - came in second individually. Johnson completed the course in 19:07.31.

Caitlin Maher also placed in the top 10 for the Bomber girls. Maher clocked in at 20:29.54 to place eighth.

Josie Fleischmann just missed the top-10 cut with an 11th-place time of 20:49.88 and freshman Ava Vance was right behind her as the final Ballard runner to score points with a 12th-place showing of 20:54.12.

“I am particularly impressed with freshman Ava Vance,” Barth said. “(She) popped into a scoring position and didn’t back down to other quality runners.”

Brooke Loewe fell just short of scoring for Ballard after placing 13th in 20:57.48. Kate Huisinga also finished in the top 20 with a 20th-place time of 20:38.06.

In the boys’ competition Ballard placed fifth out of 12 teams with 159 points. Norwalk, the No. 9 4A school, edged 10th-ranked Ankeny Centennial for first in the boys’ competition - 32 points to 35 - and 12th-ranked Urbandale was third with 120 points.

Winterset placed fourth in the boys’ race with 125 points.

Ballard had two runners place in the top 25 and two more finish in the top 40.

“The boys also ran their best team race of the year, finishing in fifth place in a really good field of 12 teams,” Barth said. “I think we are starting to see our workouts paying off and taking steps forward as a team. I saw a lot more confidence in the guys tonight.”

Austin Shoen led the Ballard boys for the second meet in a row with a 21st-place time of 18:41.70. Gage Long came in 25th with an 18:50.15 showing, Jack Chism 29th in 19:00.65 and Seth Pencook 39th in 19:27.91.

Chase Brekke also scored for the Ballard boys with a 45th-place time of 19:35.76.

Wyatt Borg took 48th in 19:46.33 and Trent Payne 50th in 19:58.24 for the boys. 

Norwalk’s Derek Webster won the boys’ race individually with a time of 16:50.85. Centennial’s Gabriel Vicker was second in 17 minutes flat.

Final team scores

Girls: 1. Ballard 34 points, 2. Ankeny Centennial 69, 3. Norwalk 71, 4. Winterset 146, 5. Marshalltown 150, 6. Creston 191, 7. Knoxville 228, 8. PCM 244, 9. Twin Cedars 244, 10. Chariton 253, 11. Urbandale 258, 12. Oskaloosa 295, 13. Pella Christian 306.

Boys: 1. Norwalk 32, 2. Ankeny Centennial 35, 3. Urbandale 120, 4. Winterset 125, 5. Ballard 159, 6. Oskaloosa 166, 7. Marshalltown 177, 8. Pella Christian 211, 9. Knoxville 244, 10. Chariton 299, 11. Indianola 324, 12. PCM 366.

Individual results (5-kilometer) - Ballard

Girls: 1. Paityn Noe, 18:21.25; 2. Shewaye Johnson, 19:07.31; 8. Caitlin Maher, 20:29.54; 11. Josie Fleischmann, 20:49.88; 12. Ava Vance, 20:54.12; 13. Brooke Loewe, 20:57.48; 20. Kate Huisinga, 20:38.06.

Boys: 21. Austin Shoen, 18:41.70; 25. Gage Long, 18:50.15; 29. Jack Chism, 19:00.65; 39. Seth Pencook, 19:27.91; 45. Chase Brekke, 19:35.76; 48. Wyatt Borg, 19:46.33; 50. Trent Payne, 19:58.24.