AMES – The realities of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic means the Ottumwa girls cross-country team will have to wait until 2021 to try and win a second straight CIML Metro Conference team title.
In 2020, both the Ottumwa boys and girls ran in the CIML Iowa Conference meet on Thursday hosted by Iowa State University. Meghan Coulter, running for the last time in a CIML regular-season meet, finished fifth running against the best in the Iowa conference finishing the race in 19:44.5 in a meet dominated the cross-town rivalry of Ankeny and Ankeny Centennial.
Centennial edged Ankeny for the girls CIML Iowa girls cross-country team title by five points (28-33) as the two programs combined to put nine runners in the top 10. Only Coulter was able to prevent an Ankeny/Centennial top-10 girls sweep in the conference meet.
"Meghan ran her best time by one minute," Ottumwa head girls cross-country coach Kristin Mitchell said. "This was another big confidence booster. It's good to see our training paying off at this time of the season."
The Ottumwa girls finished with 116 points as a team, placing fourth overall edging out Ames by two points. Jasmine Luedtke helped hold off the Little Cyclones by placing 18th in her first high school conference varsity run, finishing the race in 20:59.4.
"We are right on track to where we want to be at heading into regionals," Mitchell said. "Almost the entire team ran their best times."
The Ottumwa boys finished seventh in the CIML Iowa Conference meet with 149 points. Asa Canny led the charge for the Bulldogs boys, finishing 14th overall in 17:05.
The Ottumwa junior varsity girls finished third with 99 points, led by junior Chloe Shaw who finished 26th in 23:31.5. The Ottumwa boys junior varsity boys scored 189 points, placing seventh as a team, with freshman Zander Proctor edging out senior teammate Noah Turcano by 2.1 seconds for 90th place in a time of 20:48.4.
Both Ottumwa cross-country teams will compete next Wednesday afternoon in the Class 4A state cross-country qualifying meet hosted by Southeast Polk. Action gets underway at 4 p.m.