Colo-NESCO girls bring experience, boys focused on rebuilding heading into 2021 cross country season

Joe Randleman
Ames Tribune
Senior Hannah Jamison will be a senior leader for an experienced Colo-NESCO girls' cross country team entering the 2021 season.

The Colo-NESCO girls' cross country team is bring back quality experience and the Royal boys are bringing in several fresh faces in 2021.

Senior Hannah Jamison and junior Callie Kohlwes lead the group of returning runners for the Royal girls. Juniors Katie Spalding, Mia Lundquist, Sarah Brinkman and Mea Skinner are also back and the Royals get back sophomore Gemma Bower, who missed her freshman year with an injury, and also add freshman Lily Stalzer.

"We are excited to get the season started," Colo-NESCO head coach Tony Stalzer said. "We have a range of experience on this team and I hope that helps us progress through the season. Year by year we are getting more experience. This group of girls have been working hard to realize how to be a competitive team."

Last season Kohlwes ran a 5-kilometer time of 23 minutes, 25.38 seconds at the Iowa Star Conference meet and Jamison finished in 24:46.89. Spalding ran a 25:32.32, Lundquist a 26:14.80, Brinkman a 26:24.77 and Skinner a 33:37.85.

"Staying healthy and staying competitive will be our biggest challenge," Coach Stalzer said. "There are some meets we run in that we won’t score high in but if we can keep our focus on what our end goals are we will be fine."

The Colo-NESCO boys will be doing some rebuilding after losing top runners Jacob Reischauer, Ryan Wonders and Chevy Dunlap.

"The boys season will be interesting," Coach Stalzer said. "We have some solid returning runners and some new faces that will be important parts of the team."

 Alex Rouse, Ben Rouse and Brad Thomas are the senior leaders for Colo-NESCO entering the season. Alex Rouse ran a peak 5-kilometer time of 20:10.57, Ben a 19:38.95 and Thomas a 21:59.39 last season.

Sophomore Drew Banks is coming back from an arm injury suffered during baseball. He topped out at 20:31.87 last year.

Sophomore Caleb Roberts, juniors Ashter Grover and Nathan McFarland and freshman Laine Golly will provide depth. 

"Our top five runners are really close," Coach Stalzer said. "That will help us do more pack running, both at practice and in meets."

Stalzer said his teams are shooting to peak at the ISC and state qualifying meets. The Royals are also looking forward to their home meet Sept. 16 at Dakins Lake Park.

Both Colo-NESCO teams open the season Thursday at the Spartan Earlybird Invitational Thursday at the Center Grove Orchard near Maxwell. The meet starts at 4:30 p.m.