Bulldog head boys’ cross-country coach Jeff Smith was also very pleased with the efforts of his team Thursday in Iowa City. The 13th-ranked Little Hawk boys also earned the team title with a perfect score of 15 points, placing 13 runners in the top 16.
One of the few boys to break into the top 10 not wearing an Iowa City High jersey was Bulldog senior Cody McConnell, who came home seventh in the race in a time of 17:31. Collin McConnell followed up his brother’s run with a 27th-place finish in a time of 18:33 as the Ottumwa boys finished third as a team with 98 points.
Cody knocked 30 seconds off his time. Colin knocked over 40 seconds off,” Smith said. “I thought we ran well as a team. Those second tier of runners really push each other and cluster together, which really helps our team scoring. Overall, I thought it was a really productive meet.”
Pekin produced 128 points to finish fifth as a team in what was the second trip to the home course of the Iowa Hawkeyes this week. On Tuesday, the Panther cross-country teams competed at Iowa City West with the Pekin girls scoring a 10th-place team finish while the Panther boys finished 13th.No boys team was going to take the title away from Iowa City High. Ryan Dorman’s winning time of 16:38 led five straight Little Hawk runners across the finish line to lock the team title down with the best possible finish for a team with a maximum 15 team points scored.
“This meet was a little bit different because you could run up to 14 runners and Iowa City High took advantage of that,” Smith said. “That gives you a good indication of how talented a team they are. We welcome that. We want to face the best teams in the state. I can definitely say we got better.”