Analysis of Ballard's performance at the Winterset Invitational cross country meet

Joe Randleman
Ames Tribune
Paityn Noe

The Ballard cross country teams competed at the Winterset Invitational Sept. 7 at the Lakeview Country Club in Winterset. Individual runners were only times against other runners from their class in school. There were no official team scores kept at the meet. Unofficially, the ninth-ranked (Class 3A) Ballard girls scored 51 points to place second to No. 3 Dallas Center-Grimes' 39 points. The Bomber boys scored 105 points to come in third behind No. 11 Adel-Desoto-Minburn (36) and Winterset (54). Here are key takeaways from the meet:

Ballard girls have six medalists

Ava Vance

The Bomber girls' crowned two champions. Paityn Noe was the fastest senior with a 5-kilometer time of 19 minutes, seven second. Ava Vance took first among sophomore runners with a 20:52 showing. Annika Larson clocked in at 21:44 to take second among freshman runners. Kate Huisinga was fourth and Brooke Loewe sixth in the senior group with respective times of 21:42 and 22:04. Brynn Wilson placed sixth among freshmen with a time of 23:14. But Ballard head coach Scott Barth thought his team was capable of performing at a higher level.

"The girls' results were a mixed bag for us tonight," Barth said. "Having junior Paityn Noe and sophomore Ava Vance back in the lineup was really nice as they both won their age divisions. Paityn has been hampered by lower back pain over the last two weeks and has been working her way back into our regular workout schedule and her first meet today. She ran a conservative first mile today and then opened it up as she worked her way through miles two and three. Overall, I would say we had some decent performances tonight, but probably not as good of a night as we did last week. I am guessing that the younger runners benefitted from running with our more experienced runners last week as they helped them with pacing and confidence."

Bomber boys keep improving

The Ballard boys' team took a clear step forward according to Barth.

"I think the boys performed really well," Barth said. "I am seeing lots of positive attitudes in our varsity boys lineup which is going to pay off for them as we hopefully improve over the course of the season."

Seth Pencook, Zack Charter and Chase Brekke were all medalists for the Bomber boys. Pencook took fifth among the junior class with the team's fastest 5k time at 18:23. Charter placed fourth among freshmen with a 19:54 showing and Brekke ran a 19:19 to end up sixth in the boys' senior class.  Junior Trent Payne (19:10) and senior Bradley Sage (19:52) were the other runners among Ballard's top-five performers on the afternoon.