Colo-NESCO cross country teams showed growth in 2021: Both teams placed fifth at ISC meet

Joe Randleman
Ames Tribune
Sophomore Caleb Roberts was the top varsity runner during much of the season for the Colo-NESCO boys cross country team in 2021.

The Colo-NESCO cross country teams used the 2021 season to gain valuable experience.

The Royal boys placed third at the Spartan Earlybird Invitational to open the season at the Center Grove Orchard near Maxwell. They took sixth at Madrid, eighth at Colfax, 10th at South Tama, fifth at the Colo-NESCO Invitational near Zearing, sixth at West Marshall, 12th at Nevada and eighth at South Hamilton.

The Royal boys placed fourth out of seven teams at the Iowa Star Conference meet with 115 points. Fourth-ranked Valley Lutheran won the conference title with 21 points.

At the Class 1A state qualifying meet in Pekin Colo-NESCO took 13th out of 15 teams Oct. 21. The Royals scored 304 points at the qualifying meet.

Sophomore Caleb Roberts, senior twins Alex and Ben Rouse, sophomore Drew Banks, senior Brad Thomas, juniors Asher Grover and Nathan McFarland and freshman Laine Golly were the top runners for the Colo-NESCO boys.

Alex Rouse was the fastest runner at the conference meet with a 21st-place 5-kilometer time of 19 minutes, 58 seconds. He was 46th at the qualifying meet in 20:29.

Roberts was the lead runner for most of the season. He took 25th at the ISC meet with a time of 20:13, 45th at the qualifying meet in 20:14 and his fastest time was 20:07 at West Marshall.

Ben Rouse finished 32nd at the ISC meet in 21:06 and he placed 70th at the qualifying meet in 21:59. His top time was 20:08 at Madrid.

Banks took 36th at the ISC meet in 21:42 and ran a time of 22 minutes flat at the qualifying meet to place 72nd. His fastest time was 21:39 at Colfax.

Thomas took 35th at conference in 21:39 and 78th at the qualifying meet in 22:24. Thomas' ISC meet time beat his Madrid meet time by one second for his fastest effort of the year.

Grover took 47th at the ISC meet in 22:52. Golly's best time was 23:36 at South Hamilton and McFarland's fastest time was 28:11 at the ISC meet.

The Colo-NESCO girls took fourth at the ISC and home meets. They placed fifth at the Spartan Earlybird, sixth at Madrid and Colfax, eighth at the South Hamilton and qualifying meets, ninth at South Tama and 13th at Nevada.

Junior Callie Kohlwes and sophomore Gemma Bower were the top runners all season for the Colo-NESCO girls.

Kohlwes took 22nd at the ISC meet with a season-best 5k time of 24:33 and 49th at the qualifying meet in 25:04. Bower ran a season-best 24:36 at the conference meet to place 23rd and she led the team with 48th-place time of 25 minutes even at the qualifying meet.

Gemma Bower had an excellent sophomore season for the Colo-NESCO girls cross country team in 2021.

Senior Hannah Jamison ran her season-best time of 25:34 both at the ISC and qualifying meets. Jamison took 29th at conference and 56th at the qualifying meet.

Junior Maia Lundquist ran her season-best time of 25:45 at the ISC meet, where she placed 30th. Lundquist completed the qualifying meet in 27:01.

Juniors Katie Spalding and Sarah Brinkman finished 64th and 65th at the qualifying meet with respective times of 26:22 and 26:25. Spalding was also 38th and Brinkman 37th at the ISC meet with respective times of 27:21 and 27:06.

Senior Mea Skinner and freshman Lily Stalzer also ran varsity for the Royal girls. Skinner's best time was 30:08 at the ISC meet and Stalzer ran a 28:59 at Madrid.

Next season the Colo-NESCO boys will have a little rebuilding to do with the loss of the Rouse twins and Thomas. But with Roberts and Banks back to lead the way they have the potential to take a step forward in 2022.

The Royal girls should also be a lot stronger next season. Colo-NESCO will miss Jamison and Skinner, but the Royals will also have two strong lead runners returning in Kohlwes and Bower plus a strong upcoming senior class that will give them quality depth and experience for 2022.