ADEL – The Ballard girls’ cross country team picked up its first meet victory and a short-handed Bomber boys’ team took fifth out of nine teams at the Adel-Desoto-Minburn Invitational Monday in Adel.
The Bomber girls scored 55 points to beat West Central Valley by 16 points for first out of the seven scored teams in the girls’ field.
Abby Kohut-Jackson – the No. 1 rated runner in Class 3A according to the Iowa Association of Track Coaches – brought home the individual title for the Bomber girls. She completed the 4-kilometer course in 13 minutes, 39 seconds.
“Abby continues to be a top-notch runner,” Ballard head coach Scott Barth said. “She is progressing and getting back into the swing of things.”
Ballard’s second through sixth runners all ran together in a tight pack, finishing within 19 seconds of each other.
Val Charter came in ninth overall for Ballard with a time of 16:19, Rachel Watters was 14th in 16:27, Ashley Meldrum ran a 15th-place time of 16:30 and Talia Vespestad was the final scored runner with a 16th-place effort of 16:34. Sara Hugee just missed the scoring cut with a 17th-place time of 16:38 and Jennie Huxford was the seventh varsity runner for the Bombers with a 20th-place time of 16:58.
“The 2-6 runners ran in a really nice pack and placed well,” Barth said. “I am hoping they can cut the gap between them and (Abby). If we can cut that by 15-20 seconds, we become a top-15 team in the state.”
The Ballard boys ran without top runner Luke Kohut-Jackson and No. 2 runner Quentin Luke. Luke is coming off an injury and ran JV.
With those major losses, Ballard was unable to contend for the team championship. But the Bombers did well with what they had, scoring 100 points to finish in the middle of the pack in the team standings and just 13 points out of third place.
“The rest of the boys ran hard,” Barth said. “They went out hard and saw what they could do.”
Saydel won the boys’ championship with 73 points and Adel-Desoto-Minburn was second with a score of 79.
“Saydel is a good team and we have been squeaking by them in most meets,” Barth said. “With Luke and Quentin we would’ve won by 20-plus points; which shows the progress of the freshmen.”
Craig Jordan emerged as the top runner for the Bomber boys on Monday as he ran a ninth-place 5-kilometer time of 15:59. Kyle Schilling placed 17th in 16:39, Jed Miller was 19th in 16:41, Kaleb Wohlgemuth took 26th in 17 minutes flat and Caleb Wuestenberg ran a 17:08 to place 29th as the other scored Bomber runners.
Bryce Snell and Ian Fletcher also ran varsity for Ballard. Snell turned in a 33rd-place time of 17:22 and Fletcher clocked in at 17: 47 to place 40th.
Final team scores
Girls: 1. Ballard 55 points, 2. West Central Valley 71, 3. ADM 92, 4. Carlisle 94, 5. I-35 113, 6. Norwalk 121, 7. Saydel 152.
Boys: 1. Saydel 73, 2. ADM 79, 3. Carlisle 87, 4. Norwalk 89, 5. Ballard 100, 6. Van Meter 134, 7. Colo-Nesco 191, 8. I-35 199, 9. West Central Valley 212.
Individual results – Ballard
Girls (4-kilometer): 1. Abby Kohut-Jackson, 13:39; 9. Val Charter, 16:19; 14. Rachel Watters, 16:27; 15. Ashley Meldrum, 16:30; 16. Talia Vespestad, 16:34; 17. Sara Hugee, 16:38; 20. Jennie Huxford, 16:58.
Boys (5-kilometer): 9. Craig Jordan, 15:59; 17. Kyle Schilling, 16:39; 19. Jed Miller, 16:41; 26. Kaleb Wohlgemuth, 17:00; 29. Caleb Wuestenberg, 17:08; 33. Bryce Snell, 17:22; 40. Ian Fletcher, 17:47.