The Roland-Story boys’ and girls’ cross country teams had a great night at the Gilbert Invitational, both finishing third in the first meet of the year.

All the runners ran in a single race for the boys race and the girls race with the top seven finishers considered varsity for each team. The boys team was led by Gradyn Dowling who finished fifth overall earning an individual medal followed closely by Collin Greenfield who was a seventh place medal winner in a time of 18:48.

Newcomer Nick Wakefield had an impressive first race finishing in 19:36 and 17th overall while Grant Olson also cracked the top 20 runners with a time of 19:49. Marcus Thomas ran a 20:05 good enough for 26th place and rounding out the scoring varsity. Dylan Ihle at 20:10 and Colby Martin at 20:21 also placed in the top seven runners for the Norse and were varsity finishers.

“The competition is going to really be fierce this year!” said said Coach Brad Dedic. “We have 40 young men signed up and several hungry guys wanting to crack the top 7 runners. With 19 ladies on our roster, the situation will be similar for our girls.”

The next few runners for the guys after varsity were Nick Thiel at 20:33, Eric Dowe in 20:48, Max Halstead running 21:09 and freshman Zane Haglund in 21:19. Blake and Trey Sievers were neck and neck at 21:55 and 21:56 respectively followed by Blake Lebeck and Seth Halleland with a 22:01 and a 22:02.

“For the ladies, we are very happy to have newcomer Kylie Tjernagel who placed first for our team in a 6th place overall finish in 23:35,” Dedic said. “Theresa Haskin’s hard work payed off as she came in 8th overall with 23:45 with Kaitlyn Kilstofte on her heels at 23:55 and a 12th place medalist.”

Taryn Perry was next for the Norse with a time of 25:23 and Emma Auld was 5th for the team in 26:54 and rounding out the scoring varsity. Grace Teig was next in 27:24 while freshmen Natalie Osmundson cracked the top 7 varsity in 29:11 in her first high school 5K. Allison Wuebker, Ashley Webb, and Angela Beyer were the next 3 Norse finishers followed by Kimberly Hendrian and Josie Thomas.

“We have had the injury bug this year with the ladies and I’m very hopeful we can get at least a few of our injured ladies back out running to help out this team before the end of the season,” Dedic said. “Both squads have been really working hard and we had excellent summer participation with both teams.

“Many days there were well over 20 runners coming to our optional summer practices. Those base miles are showing up right away for many of these kids and we are poised to have another fun and successful season. Coach Herrick and I are really enjoying these kids and the way they work hard and support each other.”

5, Gradyn Dowling, 18:42; 7, Collin Greenfield, 18:48; 17, Nick Wakefield, 19:36; 20, Grant Olson, 19:49; 26, Marcus Thomas, 20:05; 28, Dylan Ihle, 20:10; 34, Colby Martin, 20:21.

6, Kylie Tjernagel, 23:35; 10, Theresa Haskin, 23:45; 12, Kaitlyn Kilstofte, 23:55; 22, Taryn Perry, 25:23; 42, Emma Auld, 26:54; 44, Grace Teig, 27:24; 57, Natalie Osmundson, 29:11.