—by Todd Thorson

The Roland-Story cross country teams competed at Jefferson last Thursday (Sept. 12) in the eight-team Greene County Invitational. The Norse girls finished fourth, placing four runners in the top 20. The boys, meanwhile, had two runners place in the top 20 en route to a seventh place finish. On average, all of the Norseman’s runners improved their times by a minute to 1:15 from the first meet at Webster City.

"It was nice to see our athletes bring home some hardware for all their hard work they’ve been putting in over the last month," said Coach Chad Gilroy.

Anna Halstead led the way for the R-S girls, finishing 10th with a 4K time of 17:21. Cathy Narigon came in 15th at 17:46, followed by Taylor Smith in 19th (18:14) and Traci Marienau in 20th (18:21). Tara Rylant continues to show marked improvement as well, rounding out the varsity squad with a 35th place finish and a time of 18:55.

"We were fortunate to get Tara (Rylant) back running on the women’s side this week," added Gilroy, "and what a debut she had. She clocked in a little over 2:30 faster than last year’s time."

Coach Gilroy had the Norse boys focus on getting out quicker last week, and he believes it helped get them in the race from the very start. "That really helps when you’re competing at the three-mile distance," he said. "It’s too easy to lose contact with the top group if you aren’t aggressive at the start. They did a great job getting out (early) and giving themselves a chance."

The Norse boys were led by Spencer Dedic and Thomas Wilgenbusch. Spencer posted a 5K time of 18:54, good for 13th place in the individual standings. Thomas came in 15th with a time of 19:01. Rounding out the squad were Dakota Rusher in 27th (19:36), and a group of four R-S runners came in 53rd thru 56th, Reid Selby (21:35), Tavender Jones (21:35), Ray Chung (22:12) and Tyler Greenhaw (22:48), respectively. Also competing for the Norse were Riley Wilgenbusch (23:20) and Brandon Greenhaw (24:25).

"Overall, I was pleased with how the teams came out ready and willing to compete," concluded Gilroy.

Winterset won the girls’ crown with 31 points. Host Greene County was runner up at 62 points. Creston was third with 79 points, followed by the Norsemen (99), Nevada (122), Kuemper (144), Denison (160) and Perry (210).

On the boys’ side, Perry took the title with 47 points, edging runner up Creston by five points (52). Nevada was third at 86 points, followed by Winterset (114), Kuemper (115), Denison (116), Roland-Story (162) and Greene County (205).