Ballard's Noe takes third in girls' race at Fort Dodge Invitational

Joe Randleman
Ames Tribune
Paityn Noe

The Ballard girls' cross country team placed ninth out of 22 schools at the prestigious Fort Dodge Invitational Oct. 7 at the Lakeside Municipal Golf Course in Fort Dodge.

The Bombers, ranked third in Class 3A, went up against many of the top 4A teams in the meet. There were 14 ranked teams in total.

Ballard scored 243 points.

"We closed out our regular season on a pretty good note tonight on the state meet course at Fort Dodge," Ballard head coach Scott Barth said. "It is pretty flat which allowed us to run some quality times tonight against some really good competition.

Ames, ranked fourth in Class 4A, edged out a Des Moines Roosevelt team rated second in 4A by one point for the dramatic team victory. Ames scored 99 points and Roosevelt 100.

Dowling Catholic, ranked 10th in 4A, placed third with 115 points.

On the boys' side Ballard placed 24th out of 26 teams with 725 points.

Sioux City North and Dowling Catholic, the top two boys' teams in 4A, went first and second with respective scores of 41 and 73.

Here's what we learned from the meet:

Noe holds her own

Ballard's Paityn Noe, the top girls' runner in 3A, was third individually at Fort Dodge with a 5-kilometer time of 18 minutes, 31.0 seconds. West Des Moines Valley's Addison Dorenkamp and Kamryn Ensley, rated third and seventh in 4A, were the first two individuals to cross the finish line with respective times of 18:17.0 and 18:25.5.

"Paityn ran a very solid race and is moving in the right direction," Barth said.

Ava Vance came in 17th for Ballard with a time of 19:47.4.  Annika Larson was 60th in 20:53.3, Kate Huisinga 62nd in 20:55.1 and Brooke Loewe 121st in 21:59.1 as the other Bomber runners to score points.

"I was pleased to see some progress with our times and relative placement to other schools that we have seen over the course of the season — beating both Dallas Center-Grimes and Indianola, for instance, after they beat us at our home meet earlier in the season. We were the top-placing 3A team at the meet and beat some ranked foes in 4A as well. We still have some work to do but I think we are on the right track."

Ballard boys gain valuable experience

The Ballard boys were unable to keep up with many of the best teams in the state, especially without usual second runner Trent Payne, who was out with a minor injury. But the Bombers got to experience the state course and see what it is like to run against the best of the best from the state.

"It was good seeing some time improvements in the boys' program," Barth said. "It was a bit disappointing not having our full line-up once again, but those are the breaks in sports and we decided resting Trent was the best option heading into the postseason."

Seth Pencook broke 18 minutes for the first time for Ballard with a 5k time of 17:38.3 to place 82nd. Chase Brekke (154th), Bradley Sage (155th) and Zack Charter (161) all broke 20 minutes for the boys with respective times of 19:10.9, 19:17.7 and 19:34.9.

Longan Huntrods ran a 20:22.5 to place 73rd as the final Bomber boys' runner to score.

DCG's Aidan Ramsey, the No. 1 runner in 3A, won the varsity boys' race at Fort Dodge with an excellent time of 15:29.2.