HUXLEY - The temperatures have finally started to drop, and so have the times.
Cole Silver's medalist performance paced the BCLUW boys' cross country team to a team title in the Class D portion of the 33rd annual Ballard Invitational on Monday at the Ballard Golf and Country Club. The Comets had four of the top 13 finishers and finished with 74 points to distance themselves from runner-up South Hamilton and third-place finisher Earlham, both of which had 92 points.
Silver's winning time of 17 minutes, 25 seconds, was 37 seconds ahead of the second-place finisher. Colo-NESCO sophomore Jordan Combes was fourth in 18:10, Grundy Center's Espen Cleveland came in fifth (18:17), and a pair of Comets followed. Derek Coulter was sixth (18:18) and Ben Kuhl seventh (18:35).
Grundy Center (172) came in seventh as a team and Colo-NESCO (199) was eighth in the 12-team field.
BCLUW's girls had a pair of top-12 finishers on their way to fourth in the eight-team Class D ranks. Becca Steckelberg was ninth in 16:45 and Amelia Tonner took 12th in 17:11 to pace the Comets.
Grundy Center finished in sixth, led by Harper Wells in 26th (19:02). Colo-NESCO's seventh-place finish was paced by Grace Stalzer, who came in 31st (19:28).
In Class C competition, the South Hardin girls slipped into second place amongst a ranked field of teams. Class 2A No. 11 Panorama won with 79 points, South Hardin was second with 94, No. 13-ranked North Polk was third with 105, and No. 14 Roland-Story (118) was fourth.
Eagle Grove's third-ranked Tiffany Christensen was the meet champion in a time of 15:29, while South Hardin's Claire Damon won a sprint for second in 16:15. Interstate 35's Holly McKinney, ranked 24th in 2A, was credited with the same time in third place.
The Tigers had two more top-10 finishers in Megan Carr, who was seventh (16:57), and Miquela Teske, who took eighth (16:59).
South Hardin senior Tim Rose was the Class C runner-up, leading the Tiger boys to seventh place. North Polk's Peter Smith, rated fifth in 2A, won the race in 16:22, and Rose was next to cross in 17:05.
The 2A No. 10-ranked Comets were comfortable winners, placing four in the top 11 on their way to just 41 points.
For South Hardin, Zac Ferrell took 12th in 18:43. The Tigers totaled 150 points.