Coach Brad Dedic was very proud of the boys' cross country team at the Greene County meet, as they had an overall win for the first time in several years.
“While we have placed well in several meets over the years, it's difficult to actually win one in central Iowa with all of the strong competition. They are really deserving of this title, especially with all of the hard work these guys put in over the summer. We have several ladies that put in a lot of work over the summer as well, but right now we are really struggling with some nagging injuries and illness,” Dedic said.
In what was a thrilling finish, four of R-S's guys passed a South Hamilton runner down the stretch to take this meet. If even one had not made this move, R-S would have tied and if only two had done this, they would have dropped to second place, so the Norse needed every point. Collin Greenfield led the way with 17:53 and 9th place medal followed closely by Gradyn Dowling (17:54), Nick Wakefield (17:55), and Marcus Thomas (17:56) finishing in order with Grant Olson as 18th place in 18:10 and all medalists for the scoring varsity. Nick Thiel (18:57) and Dylan Ihle (19:01) were also varsity 1st place team medalists.
“We have had such a battle for these last couple of varsity spots and this meet was no exception with Eric Dowe finishing 8th only one second behind at 19:02,” Dedic said. Blake Lebeck (19:28), Max Halstead (19:48), Zane Haglund (20:02), Seth Halleland (20:27), Xander Webb (20:50) and Blake Sievers (20:58) were the top 7 finishers on a very large guys JV team. “We had quite a few personal records with our runners in this meet, so I feel really good about the progress we are making as a team right now,” he said.
In the ladies' varsity race, the Norse were without a couple of their top varsity runners, due to illness. Despite this, the ladies managed to finish 6th out of 14 represented teams. Theresa Haskin led the varsity in a time of 22:52 good for 15th place with Taryn Perry coming in 20th and also earning an individual medal in a time of 23:29. Grace Teig (25:33), Emma Auld (26:03), Angela Harestad (27:46), Allison Wuebker (28:53), and Ashley Webb (29:06) were also varsity finishers for the Lady Norse in this meet. Josie Thomas (29:52), Kimberly Hendrian (30:59), Angela Beyer (32:27) and Beverly Hawley (33:41) were the top 4 JV finishers for the ladies.
Roland-Story boys' cross country team finished fourth at the Ballard Invitational, led by Gradyn Dowling's 15th place finish.
The Norse girls' team was eighth, led by Theresa Haskin, and Nevada was ninth, led by Megan Gilchrist.
“For the ladies in the Varsity race, Theresa Haskin continues to impress with her hard work by finishing first for the team in a time of 23:01 at Ballard. Theresa has really been working hard in practice and it has really shown in the improvement in her times,” Dedic said. Kylie Tjernagel was able to get back from illness and finish second for the Norse with a time of 23:11. Taryn Perry (23:59), Emma Auld (26:35), and Grace Teig (28:11) were the other varsity finishers in this race.
“Unfortunately, we had a couple of ladies that were not able to finish, but luckily, we had five finish allowing us to score as a team finishing 8th of 12 teams,” he said.
The class “A” race contained several schools that are 3A, so the competition was stronger than usual. The weather was probably the warmest for a competition this year as well. “Despite the conditions, the times of our runners were pretty decent overall when compared to previous years,” Dedic said.
The gentlemen managed to finish fourth with two of the teams ahead of them in class 3A (Gilbert and Humboldt). Gradyn Dowling medaled in 15th place in a time of 17:56 followed closely by Collin Greenfield who earned a 16th place medal in a time of 18:02. Nick Wakefield (18:16), Grant Olson (18:36), and Marcus Thomas (18:46) were the top 5 scoring varsity finishers along with Dylan Ihle (19:25) and Nick Thiel (20:05) running varsity for the Norse.
In the JV races, Eric Dowe (19:39), Max Halstead (19:59), Zane Haglund (20:05), Colby Martin (20:43), and Blake Lebeck (20:45) were the top JV finishers finishing fifth in a field of 23 teams.
“For the ladies we did not have enough runners to field a scoring team for the JV race. Natalie Osmundson (29:10) was the top JV finisher for the ladies. Ashley Webb (30:13), Josie Thomas (31:05), and Beverly Hawley (32:23) were the top JV finishers,” Dedic said.