Roland-Story girls, Limas kept running strong in 2021: Norse girls place 15th, Limas 24th at state

Joe Randleman
Ames Tribune
Lauryn Kilstofte turned in a banner sophomore season for the Roland-Story girls' cross country team in 2021. Kilstofte ended the season placing 24th at state and she helped the Norse girls take 15th as a team in Class 2A.

The Roland-Story girls' cross country program and boys' runner Nathan Limas turned in another fantastic season in 2021.

The Norse girls followed up last year's 14th-place finish in Class 2A at the state cross country meet by finishing 15th in 2A this year. After finishing 25th in the 2A boys' race in 2020 Limas finished 24th at state in 2021.

"We had a great season overall with the ladies earning another state berth and Nathan Limas qualifying as an individual as well as the ladies winning conference and Nathan earning all-conference honors," Roland-Story head coach Brad Dedic said. "We were very competitive all season even when we were down an athlete or two."

The Roland-Story girls won the HOIC meet in Jewell with 25 points, easily outdistancing South Hamilton's 62 for the victory. At the 2A qualifying meet in Dike the Norse place third with 110 points, only trailing second-ranked Denver and sixth-ranked Jesup in the team standings to earn another spot at state.

The Norse girls ended the season ranked 15th in 2A. That's exactly where they ended up at state, scoring 318 points to finish just off their 2020 state point total of 312.

"Highlights were the state berths, winning conference, winning our first meet at Belmond winning our home meet and also winning at South Hamilton," Dedic said. "They worked hard and had a very successful season despite some of the challenges."

Sophomore Lauryn Kilstofte was the lead runner for the Roland-Story girls throughout the season. 

Kilstofte won the HOIC girls' race with a 5-kilometer time of 20 minutes, 28 seconds. She placed 10th at the qualifying meet in 20:13.60 and 24th at state in 20:20.37.

"Lauryn was a great surprise!" Dedic said. "She worked very hard all summer to get into great shape and was a leader for our team most of the season."

Freshman Claire Truesdell stepped up to become the second runner on the team for most races. Truesdell finished second at the HOIC meet in 20:56, 16th at the qualifying meet in 20:44.88 and 73rd at state in 21:21.45.

Last year's top runner, senior Reece Johnson, finished third at the HOIC meet in 21 minutes flat, 18th at the qualifying meet in 20:53.22 and 91st at state in 21:52.34.

Makenna Carlson joined the team a little later in the season. The talented sophomore took eighth at conference in 22:24, 36th at the qualifying meet in 22:05.54 and 112th at state in 22:52.32.

Elizabeth Ihle, also a sophomore, wound up 11th at the HOIC meet in 22:42, 34th at the qualifying meet in 22:03.59 and 122nd at state in 23:32.14.

Ellie Erickson stepped up during her senior year to take 13th at conference in 23:02, 40th at the qualifying meet in 22:45.43 and 113th at state in 22:55.87.

Freshman Brooke Thompson placed 14th at conference in 23:03, 41st at the qualifying meet in 22:46.39 and 117th at state in 23:08.11.

Senior Baylie Janssen was also a valuable runner for the Norse girls during the season. She took 39th at the Nevada Invitational in 24:57.

Johnson, Erickson, Janssen, Lizzy Danielson and Rachel Elsberry are the only runners the Roland-Story girls lose off their top eight heading into 2022.

"The ladies have the potential to be very competitive again," Dedic said. "I look forward to seeing what they will accomplish."

On the boys' side Roland-Story took third at the HOIC meet with 91 points. The Norsemen placed 11th at the qualifying meet with 296 points.

At the conference meet senior Jay Sanderson placed 12th with a 5k time of 19:19. He was 58th at the qualifying meet in 19:10.96.

Levi Webb ran a 22nd place time of 19:54 at the HOIC meet. Lucas Wuebker ended up 26th in 20:14 at the conference meet and 70th at the qualifying meet in 19:47.92.

Evan Voga ran a 20:20 at the HOIC meet to place 29th and he was 81st at the qualifying meet in 20:32.87. Colton Lucchesi finished 34th at the HOIC meet in 20:45 84th at the qualifying meet in 20:38.1.

Donavan Hanson took 41st at the conference meet in 21:11 and 90th at the qualifying meet in 21:13.36. Lucas Hart was 87th at the qualifying meet with a time of 21:04.05.

Limas was amazing during his final season. He ran a PR time of 16:48 at Gilbert, a 16:52.67 at the qualifying meet to place third and a 17:16.12 at state, beating his 2020 state time by 36 seconds.

Limas also took second at the conference meet in 17:28.

Roland-Story's Nathan Limas placed in the top 25 at state in Class 2A for the second year in a row and also broke 17 minutes during muliptle races for the Norsemen boys' cross country team in 2021.

"Nathan put in well over 1,000 miles over the summer," Dedic said. "(His) efforts clearly paid off in the end!"

It will be tough for Dedic to replace Limas along with Sanderson and Logan Ihle next season.

"Logan Ihle is a senior who is a quiet kid most of the time, but he has great character and integrity and kids really look up to him," Dedic said. "Jay has been a core part of our varsity team the past few years and Nathan has been our team anchor the last couple seasons. All of these seniors will be missed for a variety of reasons for their contributions and leadership."

But Dedic is still optimistic about the 2022 season for his boys' team.

"The guys are relatively young and I can see great potential in them," Dedic said. "It will boil down to how much off-season work they do. It's very difficult to come into the regular season with few miles under your belt and then run the harder workouts. It causes the body to break down. Hopefully, we will have great participation again next summer."