SAYDEL – The North Polk girls turned in their best outing of the season and the Comet boys overcame the loss of their top runner to join the girls in bringing home a team championship form the Saydel Invitational Oct. 17.
The Comet girls had gone through some rough patches as head coach Steve Leach had introduced a new training strategy to have them hit their peak later in the year. After several middle-of-the-pack finishes, North Polk was able to take first at Saydel, scoring 26 points to beat Ballard by 16 points for title among six scored teams.
Sybbie Sears and Samantha Sinclair set the tone for North Polk by both finishing in the top three individually.
Sears ran a 4-kilometer time of 17 minutes, 21.53 seconds to place second and Sinclair was third in 17:36.02. Prairie City-Monroe’s Rachel Stafford won the girls’ race in 17:09.70.
Emerson Sears and Rachel Zimmerman also placed in the top 10 for the Comets. Emerson had her best outing of the year with a fifth-place time of 17:48.25 and Zimmerman clocked in at 18:00.28 to place seventh.
Ohara Lesher was the final scored runner for North Polk. She took 15th in 18:28.03.
Ballard’s 42-point night was a strong showing, considering the Bombers were without top runner Abby Kohut-Jackson. Kohut-Jackson is ranked third individually in Class 3A by the Iowa Association of Track Coaches.
Ashley Meldrum stepped up to take the lead spot for Ballard, running a quality fourth-place time of 17:45.31. Val Charter came in eighth at 18:03.94 and Talia Vespestad clocked in at 18:13.23 to end up right in 10th place.
Meghan Hirsch and Jennie Huxford were the other runners to pick up points for Ballard. Hirsch took 13th in 18:24.51 and Huxford came in 14th at 18:27.57.
In the boys’ race North Polk – the No. 3 team in 2A – scored 61 points to edge Perry’s 63-point effort for the championship. The Comets prevailed despite not having Peter Smith, the fourth-ranked individual runner in 2A.
Ryley Sandberg took over the top spot for North Polk and he came in second overall with a 5-kilometer time of 17:11.78. Perry’s Atem Akok – the No. 7 runner in 3A – took first in 16:49.56.
Reed Smith and Christian Berglund also placed in the top 10 for North Polk. Reed crossed the finish line in 17:48.07 to place fifth and Berglund came in eighth with a time of 18:09.33.
Nick Kibby and Corey Richards were the other runners to earn points for the Comets. Kibby ran a 19:14.07 to place 22nd and Richards came in 24th a t 19:22.52.
Ballard placed fourth out of eight teams in the boys’ race with 77 points.
Luke Kohut-Jackson turned in the top individual time for the Bomber boys as he completed the course in 17:54.24 to place seventh. Craig Jordan also placed in the top 10 for the Bombers as he ran a ninth-place time of 18:16.95.
Kyle Schilling and Quentin Luke added top-20 times of 18:48.24 and 19:03.05 for Ballard. Schilling placed 16th and Luke came in 19th.
Bryce Snell edged Caleb Wuestenberg for the final scored Bomber time. Snell ended up 26th in 19:31.47 and Wuestenberg was right behind in 19:31.83 to finish 27th.
Final team scores
Girls: 1. North Polk 26 points, 2. Ballard 42, 3. Bondurant-Farrar 94, 4. Carlisle 94, 5. Saydel 118, 6. Perry 144.
Boys: 1. North Polk 61, 2. Perry 63, 3. Carlisle 65, 4. Ballard 77, 5. Saydel 109, 6. Bondurant-Farrar 129, 7. PCM 219, 8. Colfax-Mingo 233.
Individual results – Ballard and North Polk
Girls (4-kilometer): 2. Sybbie Sears (NP), 17:21.53; 3. Samantha Sinclair (NP), 17:36.02; 4. Ashley Meldrum (B), 17:45.31; 5. Emerson Sears (NP), 17:48.25; 7. Rachel Zimmerman (NP), 18:00.28; 8. Val Charter (B), 18:03.94; 10. Talia Vespestad (B), 18:13.23; 13. Meghan Hirsch (B), 18:24.51; 14. Jennie Huxford (B), 18:27.57; 15. Ohara Lesher (NP), 18:28.03; 20. Rachel Watters (B), 18:37.63; 21. Shelby Petersen (B), 18:47.16; 32. Vanessa Erickson (NP), 19:29.28; 35. Jackie Moeckly (NP), 19:34.99.
Boys: 2. Ryley Sandberg (NP), 17:11.78; 5. Reed Smith (NP), 17:48.07; 7. Luke Kohut-Jackson (B), 17:54.24; 8. Christian Berglund (NP), 18:09.33; 9. Craig Jordan (B), 18:16.95; 16. Kyle Schilling (B), 18:48.24; 19. Quentin Luke (B), 19:03.05; 22. Nick Kibby (NP), 19:14.07; 24. Corey Richards (NP), 19:22.52; 25. Matthew Turk (NP), 19:30.45; 26. Bryce Snell (B), 19:31.47; 27. Caleb Wuestenberg (B), 19:31.83; 29. Jed Miller (B), 19:44.81; 32. Michael Rimathe (NP), 19:49.04.