Ottumwa girls set personal best times
By Courier sports staff
PELLA — It was a memorable night of personal bests for the Ottumwa girls track and field team at the Pella Invitational Thursday.
The Bulldogs had a mind-boggling 11 girls record their personal best times at the invite.
"Hey, looks what happens when you get good weather," Ottumwa girls track and field coach Steve Green said after the invite.
In addition, Sydney Strunk added two more first places finishes to what has already been an impressive season. Strunk took first in the 200-meter dash and she, along with Charlette Flanders, Ellie Hammack and Ashlyn Thompson took first in the 4x100 relay race; a race the Bulldogs have consistently placed well in this season. Strunk also turned in a strong performance in the 400-meter dash, as she motored to a second place finish.
"Sydney had an exceptionally solid night," Green said. "She did a phenomenal job running leadoff leg in that relay."
Sarah Schulz leapt to a first place glory in the long jump and was part of two relay teams -- the 4x100 and 4x200 -- that placed second. Green singled out Sarah Thordarson for praise for her performances in the aforementioned relays.
"It's just electric to watch her run," he said. She's like a sparkplug out there. She brings a lot of energy to the team and the team feeds off of her. She's an outstanding relay runner."
Sarah Keith took third in the 800 meters and Keith, along with Claire Carlson, Ashley Capetillo and Andrea Martinez snared third place in the 4x800 relays. Because of scoring problems, not all of the times were available as of press time.
Nonetheless, coach Green did have some of the girls personal best times. Thompson ran her career-best time in the 400 leg of the distance medley relay, finishing in 61.55 seconds and Flanders recorded a personal best time of 61.80 in the 400-meter dash.
For many reasons, it was an special night for Ellie Hammack. First, she ran her career-best leg in the 4x200, finishing in 26 seconds. Also, Hammack ran in the 4x100 for the first time since she suffered a hamstring injury at the Iowa State indoor meet in March. Her team, which also consisted of Schulz, Erin Sheehy and Thordarson, blazed to a personal-best time.
"Ellie Hammack had a big breakthrough night," Green said. "She ran three solid races."
The girls will compete again Thursday at the CIML Metro Conference Championships at Des Moines East.
Ottumwa girls set personal best times
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