The varsity women's cross country team had a perfect day to run at the State Cross Country Meet in Fort Dodge on Saturday in quest for a state championship. The Bombers would place 4th overall as a team finishing with 173 team points only two points away from placing third. Dubuque Wahlert would win the women's class 3A title with 56 team points.
Ellie Twedt led the Bombers finishing 5th with a time of 19:00.2 and making the awards stand. Rachel Wohlgemuth (32nd - 20:15.8), Caitlin Maher (33rd - 20:15.9), Brooke Loewe (94th - 21:22.7), Meg Rietz (101st - 21:30.9), Hailey Cole (106th - 21:34.4), and Josie Fleischmann (114th - 21:45.3) rounded out the Bomber racers. Janette Schraft of Glenwood won the race finishing in a time of 18:22.5.
Comments From Head Coach Scott Barth:
"It was a beautiful day for a state meet and we ran a solid race as a team. After placing 14th and 10th in the state meet the last two seasons, we moved up and finished in the 4th spot this season. So, we are making progress and moving in the right direction as a program. This is the best finish ever by a Ballard women's cross country team."
"Junior Ellie Twedt ran an amazing race to finish 5th overall and 3rd in the team scoring. Clocking a 19:00.2 in the 5K race, she showed that she is an elite runner in class 3A. It's awesome seeing her develop the mental toughness and confidence to compete at this level. She has had the ability all of the way through, the difference this year is that she had the experience to know how to handle the pressure of the competition at high levels. The time she ran is her season and career best time.
Junior Rachel Wohlgemuth delivered a key race for us finishing 2nd on team with a 17th place finish in team scoring. She really started performing well in the last ⅓ of the season and we had the feeling that state would be a great meet for her, and it was. She delivered a time of 20:15, her season and career best time.
Sophomore Caitlin Maher, finished 3rd on the team and 18th place overall in the meet. Caitlin ran a nice race for us finishing with a time of 20:15 - being edged out closely by Rachel. She improved her place in the state meet from last season. I know she was a little disappointed in her race, but she is on the right track in her development. She is a great runner and I expect her to use this year's experience to move up in the standings again next year.
Freshman Brooke Loewe and Meg Rietz closed out our scoring with 64th and 71st team score placements. I know they were also disappointed in their first experiences at the state meet. They had been competing all season with Rachel Wohlgemuth who finished in the 17th spot, so I know they were expecting the same. They will learn and mature in this experience and make great strides next season. They had shown during the season that they are two of the best freshman runners in the state 3A. The state pressure this season got them, but they are competitors and will use this to grow. Expect great things from them next season.
Junior Hailey Cole and Sophomore Josie Fleischmann closed out the varsity competition this season placing 76th and 82nd in team scoring. Hailey was just coming back from injury and got the job done on the course. Josie really got out and competed very hard for us. They return next season also, and I know they will be working hard.
We are a very young team. We ran 2 freshmen, 2 sophomores and 3 juniors at the meet today. Our top 4 alternates were 2 freshmen (Kate Huisinga and Mya Ehresman), a sophomore (Ashley Wuestenberg) and a junior (Abbey Ross). Returning our top 11 runners from this 4th place team is a good indicator of how next season could go."
"I can honestly say that working with these girls is a privilege. They are focused and hardworking and deserve every bit of the success they receive. That being said, the thing that sticks out to me about this group is that they are pleased with placing 4th at the state meet but NOT satisfied. They want more and have the talent to do more next season. That's what makes a good team - being able to see the great things that they have accomplished, yet recognizing that there is still more work to do."
So, we look forward to next season when we return most of our team and add in a very solid group of 8th grade girls that just won the state middle school cross country title a couple of weekends ago. We will have the experience and the depth to be even better next year and I expect we will be competing for our spot on the podium."
The Bomber's season has concluded.
To view the results, CLICK here.
STATE MEET TEAM SCORES
1. #1 Dubuque Wahlert, 56
2. #3 Dallas Center-Grimes, 85
3. #7 Glenwood, 171
4. #2 Ballard, 173
5. #4 Bishop Heelan, 180
6. #5 Pella, 190
7. #13 Atlantic, 210
8. #6 Harlan, 216
9. #11 Grinnell, 222
10. #10 North Polk, 229
11. #12 Solon, 241
11. #9 Charles City, 241
13. #8 Decorah, 245
14. Norwalk, 275
15. #15 Spencer, 304
STATE MEET INDIVIDUAL TIMES
5 Ellie Twedt, 19:00.2
32 Rachel Wohlgemuth, 20:15.8
33 Caitlin Maher, 20:15.9
94 Brooke Loewe, 21:22.7
101 Meg Rietz, 21:30.9
106 Hailey Cole, 21:34.4
114 Josie Fleischmann, 21:45.3