The Ottumwa cross country teams ended their season on a cold, dreary Tuesday at the Class 4A State qualifying meet.
The girls team finished eighth out of nine teams with 204 points and the boys squad placed last out of nine teams with 212 points.
Senior Charlie Altfillisch finished first for the Ottumwa boys and 19th overall with a time 17:14.
Coach Jeff Smith said he was proud of the vast improvements Altfillisch made this season compared to last. He attributed some of this success to all the hard work Altfillisch put in to improving his times in the off-season.
Finishing second among the Bulldog boys was Cody McConnell, who claimed 29th with 17:35.
Smith said McConnell was hindered by a right calf muscle injury. McConnell originally injured his calf muscle during track season last spring. The injury didn’t hinder McConnell much earlier in the season, but it flared up again over the last two weeks, Smith said.
Still, Smith was proud of the effort McConnell exerted in the race.
“It was a gutsy performance, going out and practically running on one leg,” Smith said.
While Ottumwa will not send a qualifier to compete in the Class 4A state meet, Oskaloosa will send three runners to compete in 3A. Sophomores Skylar and Spencer DeJong qualified for the Indian boys in Pella while Bailey Blythe advanced on to the girls state meet.
“All three have had outstanding seasons and it’s awesome to see them get rewarded with a trip to the state meet,” Oskaloosa head cross country coach Keith Comfort said.
Skylar DeJong and Blythe both finished third for Keith Comfort’s squad in the regional races. DeJong finished just 15 seconds behind boys champion Wick Cunningham of Knoxville and four seconds behind Pella senior Evan Jones while Blythe qualified in a time of 16:07, 10 seconds behind Grinnell’s Olivia Gallo and 17 seconds short of Pella’s regional champ Gabi Meirick.
”Bailey had her usual strong race gettting up in the top group early in the race and steadily moving up to third,” Comfort said. “Skylar pretty much ran the same way, getting in the top group early in the race and just running a solid race.”
Spencer DeJong came home seventh in the boys race in a time of 17:22. The Oskaloosa boys finished in a tie for fifth place with 143 points as a team, 49 behind Knoxville for the final qualifying berth, while the Indian girls finished in eighth with 209 points as a team.
“Spencer had a really strong second half of the race and kept moving up,” Comfort said. “He has improved steadily all season long and I’m really glad to see his effort pay off.”
Just two seconds behind Blythe in the girls race was Fairfield’s lone state qualifier. Jessica Lamb came home in fourth place to qualify for state for the Trojan girls in a time of 16:09. The Fairfield girls finished fifth as a team with 152 points, 72 behind Williamsburg for the third and final team qualifying berth while the Trojan boys scored 313 points to finish in 12th place.
Centerville will send a runner to compete both the boys and girls Class 3A state meet. Senior Peyton Busch finished fifth in the regional race in a time of 17:19 to qualify while Cassidy Schacher advanced to her first state meet with an eighth-place finish in 16:31.
Both Centerville’s teams scored 10th-place finishes as a team. The Big Reds scored 288 points to finish 10th outright among boys’ teams while the Redettes tied Carlisle with 291 points in the girls race.
The Chariton girls finished 12th as a team with 328 points in their final race of the season. The Charger boys finished 13th with 381 points.
Finishing first for the Ottumwa girls and 27th overall was Daylin Latham, who finished with a time of 16:45. She was followed by Caroline Owens, who claimed 40th with 17:26 and Sydney Strunk, who took 42nd with 17:38. Ashlyn Thompson snagged 44th with 17:43, Charlette Flanders took 51st with 17:59 and Kelsey Howard claimed 62nd with 18:40. In addition, Katy Fish came in 63rd with 18:43.
Coach Angela Chaney said it was about 50 degrees warmer than the last time the girls ran at Marshalltown.
“They stayed focused and they went out and ran as hard as they could,” she said. “They ran with a lot of heart and desire and as a coach that’s all you can ask for, that they run hard and have no regrets.”
For the boys, Collin McConnell took 45th with 18:34 and Shane Riley placed 59th with 19:44. Jianwa Bennett snagged 60th with 19:59, Curtis Ford grabbed 61st with 20:18 and Sebastian Silva finished 62nd with 20:35.
Several more cross country teams will still have an opportunity to send athletes to the Class 1A and 2A state meets next week. Rainy weather throughout southern Iowa forced regional meets to be postponed until Monday, including Class 2A’s regional race in Columbus that will include the seventh-ranked Davis County girls and 13th-ranked Albia boys.
Pekin, and their two-time defending state champion girls team, will look to qualify as will runners from Cardinal, Van Buren, North Mahaska, Sigourney, Twin Cedars, Tri-County and Moravia on Monday afternoon in the Class 1A regional meet at Wildwood Park in Ottumwa.
CLASS 4A REGIONAL CROSS-COUNTRY MEET
Team scoring (Top three qualify for state) — 1. Linn-Mar 35, 2. Cedar Falls 44, 3. Waterloo-West 86, 4. Ankeny 125, 5. Mason City 152, 6. Southeast Polk 164, 7. Newton 172, 8. Marshalltown 210, 9. Ottumwa 212.
Top Ten (State Qualifiers) — 1. Jamie Zarate (Cedar Falls) 16:07, 2. Josh Evans (Linn-Mar) 16:08, 3. Timothy Sevcik (Cedar Falls) 16:31, 4. Tanner Rathie (Linn-Mar) 16:37, 5. Chase Gravau (Linn-Mar) 16:38, 6. Anthony Ohl (Waterloo-West) 16:39, 7. Ethan Tellegrino (SE Polk) 16:42, 8. Cooper McDermott (Newton) 16:44, 9. Jonathan Smith (Cedar Falls) 16:48, 10. Jared Failor (Cedar Falls) 16:53.
Ottumwa Runners — 19. Charlie Altfillisch 17:14, 29. Cody McConnell 17:35, 45. Collin McConnell 18:34, 59. Shane Riley 19:44, 60. Jianwa Bennett 19:59, 61. Curtis Ford 20:18, 62. Sebastian Silva 20:35.
Team scoring (Top three qualify for state) — 1. Linn-Mar 25, 2. Cedar Falls 63, 3. Ankeny 84, 4. Southeast Polk 136, 5. Newton 144, 6. Waterloo-West 151, 7. Marshalltown 168, 8. Ottumwa 204, 9. Mason City 220.
Top Ten (State Qualifiers) — 1. Stephanie Jenks (Linn-Mar) 14:00, 2. Allison Gregg (Cedar Falls) 14:44, 3. Amber Decker (Linn-Mar) 15:19, 4. Maddie Saville (Linn-Mar) 15:34, 5. Brianna King (Cedar Falls) 15:37, 6. Taylor Brown (Ankeny) 15:40, 7. Grace Coen (Newton) 15:42, 8. Rachel Perry (Linn-Mar) 15:43, 9. Morgan Garcia (Linn-Mar) 15:47, 10. Sammie Stroul (Waterloo West) 15:55.
Ottumwa Runners — 27. Daylin Latham 16:45, 40. Caroline Owens 17:26, 42. Sydney Strunk 17:38, 44. Ashlyn Thompson 17:43, 51. Charlette Flanders 17:59, 62. Kelsey Howard 18:40, 63. Katy Fish 18:43.
CLASS 3A REGIONAL CROSS-COUNTRY MEET
Team scoring (Top three qualify for state) — 1. Pella 40, 2. Grinnell 86, 3. Knoxville 94, 4. Williamburg 136, T5. Oskaloosa 143, T5. Benton Community 143, 7. South Tama 173, 8. Nevada 200, 9. Carlisle 248, 10. Centerville 288, 11. Clarke 312, 12. Fairfield 313, 13. Chariton 381.
Top Ten (State Qualifiers) — 1. Wick Cunningham (Knoxville) 16:44, 2. Evan Jones (Pella) 16:55, 3. Skylar DeJong (Oskaloosa) 16:59, 4. Luc Moisan (Grinnell) 17:15, 5. Payton Busch (Centerville) 17:19, 6. Tyler Steele (Benton) 17:20, 7. Spencer DeJong (Osky) 17:22, 8. Michael Schemm (P) 17:26, 9. Wade Pingel (P) 17:32, 10. Ben Warner (P) 17:44.
Oskaloosa Runners — 3. Blythe 16:07, 39. Lesley Roquet 18:07, 53. Brey Hill 18:55, 55. Melanie Harvey 18:58, 59. Kelsey Roquet 19:04, 61. Riley Berg 19:13, 62. Meghan Toubekis 19:17.
Team scoring (Top three qualify for state) — 1. Pella 52, 2. Grinnell 62, 3. Williamsburg 80, 4. Benton Community 137, 5. Fairfield 152, 6. Nevada 161, 7. South Tama 192, 8. Oskaloosa 209, 9. Knoxville 255, T10. Carlisle 291, T10. Centerville 291, 12. Chariton 328.
Top Ten (State Qualifiers) — 1. Gabi Meirick (Pella) 15:50, 2. Olivia Gallo (Grinnell) 15:57, 3. Bailey Blythe (Oskaloosa) 16:07, 4. Jessica Lamb (Fairfield) 16:09, 5. Victoria Kleven (P) 16:12, 6. Kelsey Kupka (South Tama) 16:14, 7. Miranda Hammes (Benton) 16:29, 8. Cassidy Schacher (Centerville) 16:31, 9. Ashley Kirland (P) 16:35, 10. Shannon Mullnix (Williamburg) 16:35.
Oskaloosa Runners — 3. Sk. DeJong 16:58, 7. Sp. DeJong 17:21, 28. Kamron VanHulzen 18:26, 44. Jared Boggess 19:07, 61. Caleb Fisher 20:10, 66. Gerrit VanMaanen 20:24, 78. Logan Gross 21:20.
Osky trio among six area state qualifiers in Class 3A
The Ottumwa cross country teams ended their season on a cold, dreary Tuesday at the Class 4A State qualifying meet.
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