Roland-Story girls, Limas returning to state in cross country
The Roland-Story girls' cross country team and Norsemen individual boys' runner Nathan Limas qualified for the state cross country meet after impressive performances at the Class 2A qualifying meet in Dike Thursday.
The Norse girls, ranked 15th in 2A, placed third with a score of 110 to punch a ticket to state for the second year in a row. Second-ranked Denver won the girls' team championship at Dike with 32 points and sixth-ranked Jesup was second with 60.
Limas will also be heading back to Fort Dodge, where he placed 25th in 2A a year ago. Limas was the third individual runner to cross the finish line in the boys' race.
The Roland-Story boys took 11th out of 14 team with 296 points. Waukon, Oelwein and Jesup were the three boys' teams from the meet to advance to state after they finished with respective scores of 73, 80 and 106.
Here is what we learned from how Roland-Story performed at the qualifying meet:
Norse girls take care of business
The Roland-Story girls received a top-notch performance from Lauryn Kilstofte and had great balance behind her to punch their ticket to state. The Norse fended off Dike-New Hartford by 29 points for the final qualifying spot.
"We were a little worried about Dike since they were ranked just below us the week before, but the ladies came out and really took care of business," Roland-Story head coach Brad Dedic said. "Considering the cool and windy conditions, I felt that they all ran really well."
Kilstofte, ranked 18th individually in 2A, was an individual state qualifier. She completed the 5-kilometer course in 20 minutes, 13.60 seconds to place 10th.
Claire Truesdell and Reece Johnson also placed in the top 20 for Roland-Story. Truesdell took 16th in 20:44.48 and Johnson 18th in 20:53.22.
Elizabeth Ihle finished 34th in 22:03.59 and Makenna Carlson 36th in 22:05.54 as the other runners to earn points for the Norse girls. Ellie Erickson was 40th in 22:45.43 and Brooke Thompson ran 41st-place time of 22:46.39.
Osage's Katelyn Johnson, ranked No. 2 in 2A, won the girls' race in 18:38.21.
Limas leaves it all out on the course
Limas was phenomenal for the Roland-Story boys. He broke 17 minutes for the first time after crossing the finish line in 16:52.67.
"Nathan ran a fantastic race!," Dedic said. "He got out very quickly and stayed with the front runners for nearly two miles. That pack broke away from the rest of the group and had such a nice lead, I was confident he had state in the bag by that point."
Limas, ranked 22nd individually, trailed only seventh-ranked Joey Hovinga of Forest City and ninth-ranked Nolan Evans of Jesup in the final individual boys' standings at Dike. Hovinga won in 16:16.14 and Evans was right behind him in 16:17.45.
Jay Sanderson finished 58th in 19:10.96, Lucas Wuebker 70th in 19:47.92, Evan Voga 81st in 20:32.87 and Colten Lucchesi 84th in 20:38.1 for the Roland-Story boys. Lucas Hart was 87th in 21:04.05 and Donavan Hanson 90th in 21:13.36.
Norse to run a state Saturday
The 2A competition at the state cross country meet will take place next Saturday at Kennedy Park in Fort Dodge.
"We are certainly hoping to place above projections at the state meet," Dedic said. "The dynamics are so different for team scoring since only a few seconds can make a huge difference, especially in the middle of the pack. The girls seem pretty confident and have practiced well all season. I see no reason for that to change and I look forward to seeing how well they can do. Nathan has worked very hard this season, so I feel that he really deserved what he earned. I'm hoping he can repeat this feat at state and earn a top-30 place and possibly make the top 20."
Saturday's competition will begin with the girls' race at 10:30 a.m. and the boys will follow at 11:15.