Tjernagel, Kilstofte make all-conference at HOIC meet

Joe Randleman Staff Writer
Roland-Story’s Kylie Tjernagel sprints toward the finish line during the varsity girls’ race at the Heart of Iowa Conference cross country meet Oct. 14 in Alleman. Tjernagel placed second with a personal-record time of 19 minutes, 58 seconds to earn all-conference honors.

ALLEMAN — The Roland-Story girls had two runners make all-conference and the Norsemen boys placed fourth as a team at the Heart of Iowa Conference cross country meet Monday at North Polk High School.

Kylie Tjernagel and Katilyn Kilstofte were the two Norse girls to earn all-HOIC recognition. The top eight individual runners were named all-conference and Tjernagel an Kilstofte made the cut with ease thanks to personal-record runs.

Tjernagel broke a 5-kilometer time of 20 minutes for the first time in her career. A strong sprint across the finish line gave her a time of 19:58 to place second behind the 18:59 run by North Polk’s Liza Schaffer — the No. 26 individual runner in Class 3A.

“I used her to push me the whole time,” Tjernagel said of running with Schaffer. “I had her in my sight when I turned the corners. I’d chase after her, she’d turn then I’d have to go get her again.”

Tjernagel, the No. 20 runner in 2A, was glad she had enough left in the tank at the end for a great final kick to achieve her goal of beating 20 minutes.

“I was sprinting at the end to get under it,” Tjernagel said. “It worked out.”

Both Tjernagel and Kilstofte handled the unique course well. It was a flat course that featured a lot of turns.

“Not too hilly, so that’s good,” Tjernagel said. “It was weird because we had to run onto baseball diamonds. Never done that before, so that was interesting.”

Kilstofte came in fifth behind Schaffer, Tjernagel, Prairie City-Monroe’s Paige Steenhoek and Gilbert’s Sophie Vanderpool. Kilstofte broke 21 minutes for the first time, crossing the finish line in 20:51.

“Just before the race Kylie and I were kind of freaking out - the course is really awkward and we didn’t know where to go,” Kilstofte said. “When we heard it was only placing eight (all-conference runners) and not 14 I was kind of unsure I’d get it, but at the start of the race I just felt good — my legs were feeling good — and it was just exciting to place in the top five. I had a good run.”

Kilstofte picked a great time finish under 21 minutes for the first time. She did it on her 18th birthday.

“Throughout the day I was happy and looking forward to tonight,” Kilstofte said.

As a team the Roland-Story girls scored 92 points to place fifth out of eight teams, coming in just one point behind Nevada. North Polk, the No. 12 team in 3A, scored 50 points to win the girls’ team championship, Gilbert was runner up with 56 points and PCM took third with a score of 85.

In the boys’ competition Roland-Story finished fourth with 105 points. The Norsemen also finish just behind Nevada, with the Cubs scoring 102 points.

North Polk and Gilbert went first and second in the boys’ race as well after each scoring 32 points. North Polk, the No. 6 team in 3A beat the No. 4 Tigers for the conference title on a tiebreaker after having the faster No. 6 runner.

“I think we ran good,” Roland-Story senior Dylan Ihle said. “Seth (Halleland) and I both PR’d, Nathan Limas PR’d and I know Blake Lebeke PR’d. We’re getting ready next Thursday for (the 2A qualifying meet) — I think we can be a pretty scary team to look out for.”

Ihle ran the fastest 5-kilometer time for the Roland-Story boys at 18:04, Halleland was right behind him in 18:08 and Limas finished in 18:35. Ihle placed 13th, Halleland 14th and Limas 23rd.

“My strategy was to keep up with Dillon,” Halleland said. “Nate and I are very close together, so staying up with Dillon really helps us out.”

Lebeck came in 26th with a time of 18:50. Zane Haglund also scored points for the Norse boys, placing 29th in 19:08.

Jay Sanderson was right behind Haglund with a 31st-place time of 19:09 and Levy Webb ran a 19:30 to finish 37th as the other varsity competitors for the Roland-Story boys.

North Polk’s Zach Sporaa, the No. 9 boys’ runner in 3A, won the boys’ individual title in 16:18. South Hamilton’s Quinton Grove, ranked ninth in 2A, took second in 16:34.

Final team scores

Girls: 1. North Polk 50 points, 2. Gilbert 56, 3. PCM 85, 4. Nevada 91, 5. Roland-Story 92, 6. South Hamilton 164, 7. Greene County 176, 8. Saydel 224.

Boys: 1. North Polk 32, 2. Gilbert 32, 3. Nevada 102, 4. Roland-Story 105, 5. South Hamilton 123, 6. PCM 164, 7. Greene County 172, 8. Saydel 219.

Individual results (5-kilometer) - Roland-Story

Girls: 2. Kylie Tjernagel, 19:58; 5. Kaitlyn Kilstofte, 20:51; 24. Baylie Janssen, 22:37; 30. Caden Thoreson, 23:11; 31. Bekah Strobl, 23:11; 46. Natalie Omundson, 26:26; 47. Jordyn Ramus, 26:46.

Boys: 13. Dylan Ihle, 18:04; 14. Seth Halleland, 18:08; 23. Nathan Limas, 18:35; 26. Blake Lebeck, 18:50; 29. Zane Haglund, 19:08; 31. Jay Sanderson, 19:09; 37. Levi Webb, 19:30.