The women's cross country team won the Class 3A state championship on Saturday at Lakeside Golf Course in Fort Dodge. Freshman Shewaye Johnson and Paityn Noe finished 2nd and 3rd overall running in a time of 18:40.3 and 18:44.4 respectively. Senior Ellie Twedt finished 9th running in a time of 19:15.6. Caitlin Maher (20th - 19:49.6), Kate Huisinga (23rd - 19:53.6), Brooke Loewe (30th - 20:08.3), and Josie Fleischmann (34th - 20:12.4) rounded out the Bomber's scoring on the day.
Johnson, Noe, and Twedt were also named individual medalists and all-state. This is the first title for the Ballard women's cross country team is school history.
Comments From Head Coach Scott Barth:
"I am thrilled to be typing 3A State Girls Cross Country Champions! We ran a near-perfect race on Saturday in Fort Dodge and we are all exceedingly pleased to have reached the pinnacle of high school cross country with this state championship.
We were led by the two best freshmen in the state in Shewaye Johnson, who finished in 2nd place and Paityn Noe who finished in 3rd. Shewaye was confident and took out with prohibitive favorites Katcher and Erzen and never looked back finishing around 10 seconds behind 3-time state champion Katcher. Paityn was a bit more reserved in her strategy and used her typical run from behind and getting progressively closer to the front as the race progressed. She moved strongly into the 3rd spot and finished within 4 seconds of Shewaye. Coming in 3rd for the Bombers, and 9th in team scoring was senior Ellie Twedt. She used a similar strategy as she did last year to claim her second consecutive 3A all-state designation. Much like Paityn, she improved her spot every mile in the race and put us in a commanding position in the team scoring being the only team to have 3 all-state runners. No other team had more than one athlete achieve that prestigious designation. Junior Caitlin Maher and Sophomore Kate Huisinga closed out our scorers in 20th and 23rd in team scoring. Caitlin improved over 25 seconds from her state appearance last season and Kate ran in only her 2nd varsity race of her career. Sophomore Brooke Loewe and Junior Josie Fleischmann closed out or competition with 30th and 34th pace finishes. They both ran well over a minute faster in 2019 state meet than they did in 2018.
We entered this meet very calm and confident. We knew that most experts were picking defending state champion Dubuque Wahlert to win again. We also knew that Dallas Center-Grimes was an excellent team and they would have the state title in their sight also. We stepped up and ran the race phenomenally. All in all, we had:
career PRs by 6 of our athletes in this meet
the best scoring average in Ballard Girls CC history with a 19:16 average for our 5 scorers
freshman Shewaye Johnson and Paityn Noe etch their names in the all-time record books with Ellie Twedt, Caitlin Maher, and University of Minnesota runner Abby Kohut-Jackson for the current 5K race distance
Shewaye, Paityn, and Ellie earned all-state honors with their top 15 finishes
Shewaye and Paityn earn Elite all-state designation with their 11th and 13th places among all runners in any of the 4 classes
times that would have placed us 3rd out of all 60 teams in a combined meet including all 4 classes. The only 2 schools that would have edged us out were 4A teams Johnston and Dubuque Senior.
most importantly, earned first state team cross-country title for Ballard Community Schools
I am extremely proud of these girls. They all work exceedingly hard and maintain unparalleled focus. They are as mentally tough as any team that I have ever coached and they deserve every accolade they get. They are now officially the best cross country team in Ballard athletic history. I couldn't be more proud."
The Bombers finish the season as the Class 3A state champions.
To view the state cross country results, CLICK here.
STATE MEET TEAM SCORES
1. Ballard, 57
2. Dallas Center-Grimes, 80
3. Dubuque Wahlert, 125
4. Harlan, 168
5. Bishop Heelan, 193
6. Center Point-Urbana, 198
7. Solon, 227
8. Pella, 236
9. Decorah, 240
10. Grinnell, 240
11. Spencer, 245
12. Norwalk, 255
13. Charles City, 269
14. Glenwood, 308
15. ADM, 321
STATE MEET INDIVIDUAL TIMES
2 Shewaye Johnson, 18:40.3
3 Paityn Noe, 18:44.4
9 Ellie Twedt, 19:15.6
20 Caitlin Maher, 19:49.6
23 Kate Huisinga, 19:53.6
30 Brooke Loewe, 20:08.3
34 Josie Fleischmann, 20:12.4