DES MOINES – Less than two weeks before running in the Class 4A state qualifying meet, Ottumwa hopefuls secured top-five finishes at Ewing Park during the 66th East Augustine Invitational on Thursday.
The Ottumwa girls placed second with 33 total points, falling just 11 points shy of Marshalltown for the team title. Bobcat teammates Micah Blevins (22:58.5), Veronica Herrara (22:59.3) and Rachel Smith (23:45.9) crossed the finish line as the top three varsity female runners in the meet.
Lina Newland edged Jasmine Luedtke for the fastest time in the girls race among the Ottumwa varsity runners. Newland finished fourth in 24:06 while Luedtke finished fifth in 24:06.3.
Mariah Frueh (25:36.3), Eve Rust (25:44) and Sarah HUnger (25:45.1) cracked the top 10 for the Bulldog girls finishing seventh, eighth and ninth, respectively. Emily Lord rounded out the Augustine Invite for the OHS girls, finishing 12th in 28:41.6.
The Bulldog boys collected 70 points, finished fourth at Ewing Park. Asa Canny, who will be seeking to capture an elusive bid to state on Oct. 20, led the Bulldogs by finished fifth in the varsity boys race in 19:25.6.
Noah Trucano finished 12th in 20:38.1 while Anthony Reyman placed 16th in 20:58. Jacob Mellin crossed the finish line 19th in 21:34.3, Waulfert Morales placed 20th in 21:50.4, Zander Proctor finished 25th in 22:41.1 and Elijah Menninga rounded out the race for the Ottumwa varsity boys with a 27th-place run of 23:36.8.
Ottumwa was the only school to finish with a team score in the girls junior varsity race, scoring 15 points with eight of the top 10 individual times. Vanessa Simmons won the girls junior varsity race in 27:36.1, beating Bulldog teammate Lilly Mitchell by 29.4 seconds for the win while Olivia Palen placed third for OHS in 29:08.1.
The Ottumwa junior varsity boys finished in third place with 80 points on Thursday. Daniel Steele led the Bulldog JV boys by posting a time of 25:55.4, finishing 18th overall.
Luke Mellin (21st, 26:09.3), Quenten Mitchell (22nd, 26:11.1), Htoo Wah (32nd, 29:10.8), Trevor Shelton (36th, 30:00.8), Tyler Lowenberg (41st, 31:17.6) and Fernando Guerrero (44th, 34:41.6) rounded out the Ottumwa junior varsity boys lineup. The rest of the Ottumwa girls junior varsity lineup included Isabelle Henderson (fourth, 29:27.1), Alaina Raleen (sixth, 30:14), Jocelyn Maw (seventh, 30:35.4), Lydia Swarney (eighth, 30:35.4), Kara Lockwood (10th, 31:30.7) and Oradie Kalunda (13th, 34:44.9).