Alex Jackson earned his Top-10 finish at the Fort Dodge Invitational at Lakeside Golf Course Thursday.
In a field that included numerous ranked individuals, Jackson placed eighth to lead the Dodger boys cross country team.
Johnston, ranked No. 1 in Class 4A, edged third-rated Waukee by eight points for overall honors.
Valley was third, followed by the top-ranked team in 3A, Boone.
The Toreadors went 1-2 atop the podium, as Austin Meier crossed just in front of teammate Chandler Austin.
The two are ranked first and second individually in 3A.
No. 4 Daniel Soto of Valley was third, followed by Ryan Tunink from Waukee, Drew Hershey of Johnston and Daniel Lee from Ames. All three are ranked in the 4A poll.
"I came in wanting a time in the 16s," said Jackson, who crossed in 16:28 with a group of two other runners. "The wind was brisk out there and made the course feel long.
"It was a great course, though; the state meet course. It was just a difficult one."
Jackson placed 78th at state last year and was the lone FDSH qualifier. He is hoping that his entire team can make it this season.
"We know what we need to do (to qualify)," Jackson said. "It's going to take a lot of hard work in practice to get us there, but we know what it will take, especially after competing in this meet."
Fellow junior Thomas Thompson was 25th in 16:58, while Austin Read placed 58th. Ryan Wagner was 65th and Nic Ganzeveld 70th for the Dodgers, who placed ninth overall - one point behind Ankeny Centennial.
"I think we saw (Thursday) what we need to do to qualify," FDSH head coach Tim Hanson said. "We had a little trouble running in a pack, but if we want to run at state, we're going to have to get used to that because it's only more packed together out on the course."
The Dodgers are back in action at the CIC Invitational in Ames next Thursday.
"It's going to be another tough meet, just like this one was," Hanson said. "Plus, it will be the hardest course we run all year.
"We've got to figure things out and get everything set for districts, which should be released (today)."
St. Edmond placed 13th overall, besting Indianola and fellow North Central Conference rival Webster City. Casey McEvoy was the top finisher for the Gaels, placing 51st in 17:46.
"It was nice for the kids to run at home, as we had a lot of support," SEHS head coach Mike Szalat said. "But there is a reason the state divides the schools by class and we found that out (here Thursday).
"This was a difficult meet - which we knew going in - but we just wanted to improve times."
Jacob Hamilton was 55th, followed by Harrison Mayer (66th), John Eide (85th), Nate Yetmar (86th) and Devin Camamo (90th).
Next action for the Gaels is Tuesday in Eagle Grove at the NCC meet.
Webster City was led by Brandon Arkland, who finished 72nd.