Johnson sets school record at Gilbert Invite: R-S girls win Gilbert Invite, take second at Ballard

Joe Randleman
Story City Herald
Roland-Story's Reece Johnson (left) and Elizabeth Ihle run together down a straightaway during the Class B girls' race at the Mike Carr Invitational in Huxley Sept. 14. Johnson placed fifth and Ihle sixth for the No. 12 (Class 2A) Norse. Three days later Johnson ran a school-record 5-kilometer time of 19:52.1 to win the Gilbert Invite title in Ames.

AMES - A record-setting performance by Reece Johnson led the Roland-Story girls’ cross country team to the team championship at the Gilbert Invitational Sept. 17 on the Iowa State cross country course.

Johnson ran a 5-kilometer time of 19 minutes, 52.51 seconds to win the race and just beat the school mark of 19:53 set last year by Kylie Tjernagel. Johnson beat the runner-up time of 20:45.1 by North Polk’s Aleah McBee by nearly one full minute.

Four freshmen runners also placed in the top 10 to help Roland-Story edge North Polk for the team title. The Norse scored 32 points to the Comets’ 40 and Gilbert was third out of five teams with 58 points.

Elizabeth Ihle gave the Norse girls two top-five runners. Ihle came in fourth at 20:46.51.

Moriah Bates, Lauryn Kilstofte and Makenna Carlson finished eighth, ninth and 10th respectively for Roland-Story. Bates ran a 21:33.23, Kilstofte a 21:33.63 and Carlson a 21:37.11.

Baylie Janssen took 15th as Roland-Story’s sixth runner with a time of 22:00.09. Caden Thoreson came in 42nd at 23:55.48.

The Roland-Story boys took fourth at the meet with 111 points. 

North Polk, the fourth-ranked team in 3A, dominated the boys’ race with 17 points after producing the top four place-winners, led by the winning time of 16:43.29 by Zach Sporaa. Gilbert was second with 62 points and Bondurant-Farrar came in third with 71.

Nathan Limas and Zane Haglund took 10th and 11th respectively as the top runners for the Norsemen boys. Limas clocked in at 17:47.50 and Haglund 17:50.59.

Sam Skaar and Isaiah Bates ended up 42nd and 43d for Roland-Story with respective times 19:45.34 and 19:46.81. Gabe Slifka came in 46th at 19:59.33 to complete the scoring for the boys.

Lucas Wuebker ran a 20:21.42 to place 53rd and Jarod Hart was 66th in 20:59.32.

Final team scores

Girls: 1. Roland-Story 32 points, 2. North Polk 40, 3. Gilbert 58, 4. Bondurant-Farrar 122, 5. DC-G JV 123.

Boys: 1. North Polk 17, 2. Gilbert 62, 3. Bondurant-Farrar 71, 4. Roland-Story 111, 5. DC-G JV 121.

Individual results (5-kilometer) - Roland-Story

Girls: 1. Reece Johnson, 19:52.51; 4. Elizabeth Ihle, 20:46.51; 8. Moriah Bates, 21:33.23; 9. Lauryn Kilstofte, 21:33.63; 10. Makenna Carlson, 21:37.11; 15. Baylie Janssen, 22:00.09; 42. Caden Thoreson, 23:55.48.

HUXLEY - The Roland-Story girls’ cross country team is continuing to make a name for itself.

After winning its first meet of the season - the Lynx Invitational in Webster City on Sept. 1 - the Norse placed second in Class B at the Mike Carr Invitational held on the Ballard Golf and Country Club course in Huxley Monday.

Roland-Story, the 12th-ranked team in Class 2A, scored 69 points to beat all but one of the nine teams in Class B. Solon, the seventh-ranked team in 3A, was the Class B champion with 46 points.

Reece Johnson kept up the hot start to her first year of running for the Norse. She finished fifth individually with a 5-kilometer time of 21 minutes, 9.7 seconds. 

It was just the second meet of her high school career. Johnson played volleyball her first two years of high school.

“I’ve done volleyball the last four years and I really like volleyball, but I just felt if I came out for cross country I could make much more of a contribution to the team,” Johnson said. “I do like running since I’ve run track since middle school, so I just thought I’d try it since I only have two more years of high school.”

She admits running cross country has been challenging at times. But having an outstanding freshman class led by Ihle to run with has eased the transition.

“I love running with Elizabeth,” Johnson said. “It makes it a lot more bearable.”

Ihle came in right behind Johnson with a sixth-place time of 21:36. She was the first of four freshmen to cross the finish line from Roland-Story.

“We trained really hard over the summer and all the freshmen - we work together really well,” Ihle said. “I’m really excited for this season.”

Moriah Bates placed 16th, Lauryn Kilstofte 23rd and Makenna Carlson 24th as the other freshman runners competing for Roland-Story at the Mike Carr Invite. Bates ran a  22:18.2, Kilstofte a 23:23.9 and Carlson a 23:34.2.

Junior Baylie Janssen joined Johnson, Ihle, Bates and Kilstofte in scoring points for Roland-Story at the meet. Janssen came in 22nd at 22:18.3.

Sophomore Caden Thoreson also ran varsity for the Norse. She placed 35th with a season-best time of 24:50.1.

Iowa Falls-Alden/AGWSR’s Ellie Meyer, the fifth-ranked runner in 3A, easily won the Class B girls’ individual title with a time of 19:31.9. Creston’s Braelyn Baker was a distant second in 20:28.9.

In the Class B boys’ competition Roland-Story finished sixth out of 11 teams with 150 points. Madrid, the top-ranked team in Class 1A, defeated a Solon team rated sixth in 3A by tiebreaker for the team title after both teams scored 43 points thanks to having the faster No. 6 runner.

Zane Haglund kept up a great start to his senior season by placing in the top 20 for the Roland-Story boys.

“I’ve been putting in more miles each week,” Haglund said. “Just putting more time into it.”

Haglund said it was a challenging race, but he found enough in the end to finish 19th with a time of 18:28.6.

Zane Haglund led the Roland-Story boys with a 19th-place finish in Class B at the the Mike Carr Invitational cross country meet Sept. 14 in Huxley.

“It was rough,” Haglund. “The first mile was really slow and that last hill really killed me.”

Haglund credited teammate Nathan Limas with helping push him to run well. Limas came in 21st with a time of 18:40.3.

“We run together,” Haglund said. “We push each other. Without him I would not be where I’m at.”

Jay Sanderson took 32nd in 20:05.0, Levi Webb 35th in 20:26.1 and Isaiah Bates 43rd in 20:53.7 to complete the scoring for Roland-Story. Gabe Slifka finished 44th in 20:55.3 and Sam Skaar 545th in 22:14.0 as the other Norsemen varsity competitors running at the meet.

Madrid’s Jason Renze and Clay Pehl - the second and sixth-rated runners in 1A - were the first two runners to cross the finish line in the Class B boys’ race. Renze won in 16:35.3 and Pehl finished in 16:36.8.

Final Class B team scores

Girls: 1. Solon 46 points, 2. Roland-Story 69, 3. Atlantic 84, 4. Creston 108, 5. IFA/AGWSR 137, 6. Nevada 144, 7. Nodaway Valley 147, 8. Madrid 198, 9. Woodward-Granger 252.

Boys: 1. *Madrid 43, 2. Solon 43, 3. Atlantic 82, 4. Nodaway Valley 102, 5. Nevada 128, 6. Roland-Story 150, 7. Eagle Grove 187, 8. IFA/AGWSR 226, 9. Creston 261, 10. Woodward-Granger 274, 11. Perry 298.

*Madrid won the tiebreaker with Solon because of a faster time from its sixth runner.

Individual results (5-kilometer) - Roland-Story 

Girls: 5. Reece Johnson, 21:09.7; 6. Elizabeth Ihle, 21:36.0; 16. Moriah Bates, 22:18.2; 22. Baylie Janssen, 22:18.3; 23. Lauryn Kilstofte, 23:23.9; 24. Makenna Carlson, 23:34.2; 35. Caden Thoreson, 24:50.1.

Boys: 19. Zane Haglund, 18:28.6; 21. Nathan Limas, 18:40.3; 32. Jay Sanderson, 20:05.0; 35. Levi Webb, 20:26.1; 43. Isaiah Bates, 20:53.7; 44. Gabe Slifka, 20:55.3; 54. Sam Skaar, 22:14.0.