IOWA CITY — It was Iowa City High’s home invitational, and the Little Hawk cross-country teams treated like a home celebration.
That didn’t mean, however, that the Ottumwa and Pekin cross-country teams didn’t have plenty of positives to take out of the Bud Williams Invite on Thursday. While Iowa City High put up a perfect score in the boys race, both junior varsity races and claimed all four team championships, the Bulldogs and Panthers left the University of Iowa cross-country course feeling good about the effort given with just three weeks to go before the two teams compete for state meet berths.
The second-ranked (1A) Pekin girls, in fact, just missed out on preventing a City High sweep of the varsity team titles. The Panthers got top-five runs by Taylor Lock (third in 15:45), Gwynne Wright (fourth in 15:50) and Shae Dalhstrom (fifth in 15:52) to counter a top-two sweep by Little Hawk teammates Mollie Shepherd and Mary Arch as Pekin’s final total of 43 came up just eight points shy of City High’s winning total.
The Ottumwa girls, meanwhile, got a top-10 run by Daylin Latham. The 10th-place finish for the Bulldogs’ top female runner in a time of 16:34 led OHS to a fourth-place finish as a team with 90 total points.
“This is the best race we’ve run as a team and as individuals, which is perfect timing as we’re getting late in the season,” Ottumwa head girls’ cross-country coach Angela Chaney said. “We’re starting to get to that championship portion of the season. I really commended the girls. Every time I asked them to do something strategic on the course, they did it. It’s really a positive thing to see all the hard work of the entire season really starting to pay off.”