Noe repeats as conference champion for Ballard girls at RRC meet: Girls place fourth as a team

Joe Randleman
Ames Tribune
Paityn Noe

Paityn Noe repeated as the Raccoon River Conference champion and the Ballard girls took fourth as a team at the conference meet Oct. 12 at the Cedar Pointe Golf Course in Boone.

As a team Ballard, the third-ranked team in Class 3A, scored 77 points to come in six points behind No. 8 Carlisle's third-place score of 71.  North Polk, the No. 10 team in 3A, won the RRC girls' title with 51 points and seventh-ranked Gilbert was second with 64.

The Ballard boys finished eighth in the team standings with 197 points. The Bombers were just three points behind Boone for seventh place.

Third-ranked North Polk won the boys' conference championship with 31 points. Adel-Desoto-Minburn, Carlisle and Gilbert, the 10th, 12th and 17th-ranked teams, came in close together in second through fourth with respective scores of 64, 66 and 70 points. 

North Polk's Zach and Max Sporaa, ranked fifth and ninth individually in 3A, were the RRC boys' individual champion and runner-up with respective times of 15:59.5 and 16:15.3.

Here is what we learned from Ballard's showing at the meet:

Noe and Vance have great races

Noe continued to look like the favorite to win the 3A girls' state title with another dominant showing. She completed the 5-kilometer course in 18 minutes, 25 seconds to beat fifth-ranked Geneva Timmerman of A-D-M by 46.4 seconds for the title.

Vance, ranked 12th individually in 3A, also had a tremendous showing. She crossed the finish line in 19:32.4 to place fifth, coming in just 6.3 seconds behind fourth-ranked Ainsley Erzen of Carlisle for fourth in the conference.

Ava Vance

"I was quite impressed with our top two runners tonight," Ballard head coach Scott Barth said. "Paityn repeated as conference champion in a commanding way, running away from the field with a season-best time. Ava Vance was part of a tight pack of runners and finished with another career PR of 19:32, which moved her into the Ballard all-time top-five (individual) times."

Other girls need to pick up the pace

As well as Noe and Vance ran, Barth was not happy with the rest of the girls' team at the conference meet.

"Needless to say, this was a disappointing night for us at the conference meet," Barth said. "We, for the most part, did not show up for the meet in the correct state of mind and that showed on the course. We are part of a highly-competitive conference and when you don’t perform well, you will not place well."

Freshman Annika Larson and senior Kate Huisinga were the only other runners to place in the top 20 for the Ballard girls. Larson was 18th in 20:47.9 and Huisinga ran a 20:53.1 to place 19th.

Freshman Ava Richardson was the final Bomber runner to score. Richardson took 34th in 21:53.3.

Senior Brooke Loewe took 36th for Ballard in 21:56.2. Erica Espinoza, a sophomore, finished 40th in 22:28.2.

Pencook stands out for Ballard boys

Seth Pencook had a great race for the Ballard boys at Boone. He completed the 5k race in 17:21 to place 16th.

"Seth Pencook ran a career PR for the second meet in a row," Barth said. "He did not break the 18:00 minute last season and has now been under that mark twice in a row."

But the rest of the team couldn't keep pace. No other Bomber runner was within 1:30 of Pencook.

"The boys had some high points tonight," Barth said. "But that could not overcome a subpar night on the course."

Bradley Sage also ran well according to Barth. Sage shaved 30 seconds of his previous best time of the season, clocking in at 18:51. to place 38th.

Trent Payne came in 45th at 19:16.4, Zack Charter 46th in 19:17.1 and Logan Huntrods 52nd in 19:50 to round out the scoring for the Bomber boys. Chase Brekke took 54th in 22:35.1 and Kale Zimmerman 55th in 22:55.0.