JOHNSTON — When they were boarding the bus for Johnston on Tuesday afternoon, the Ottumwa girls track team was basking in beautiful 70-degree sunny southeast Iowa weather.
By the time the got off the bus in Johnston, they found themselves preparing to compete in the Craig Oldham Invitational in much different conditions.
"When we stepped off the bus it was already 46 and it only got colder," Ottumwa head girls track coach Steve Green said. "The girls had to readjust to how the warmed up and how the conditions kept changing, but for a young team the girls did a great job adjusting to those type of challenges for this early in the season."
The Bulldog girls adjusted well enough to score 71 points in a field filled with elite competition from the biggest schools in the state, finishing fifth overall in the Oldham Invite. Waukee scored the team title easily, beating out Dowling Catholic with 194 points to beat out the Maroons by 59.
The Bulldogs had 13 top-five finishes throughout the night, highlighted by a winning run from Sydney Strunk in the 400 meter dash. Strunk crossed the finish line first in a time of 1:02.56 as the sprinters shined throughout for the Ottumwa girls.
"Looking at our sprinters generally speaking from the individual runs to the relay runs, running against some very elite teams who are known for having some very elite sprinters our girls really met the challenge," Green said. "We were a little short-handed for this meet with some kids dealing with illness in this meet. We had girls step up for us early in the season."
The Ottumwa girls track team is back in action on Thursday in Indianola at the Ron Werling Relays.
Craig Oldham Invitational
at Johnston Stadium
Team scores — 1. Waukee 194, 2. Dowling Catholic 135, 3. Boone 91, 4. Johnston 77, 5. Ottumwa 71, 6. North Polk 37, 7. Des Moines North 13.