The Ottumwa cross country teams finished third and fourth at the Fairfield Invitational Thursday.
The Ottumwa boys finished with a score of 68 and the girls overall score was not available at press time, but coach Angela Berry confirmed that Ottumwa took fourth.
Cody McConnell claimed third overall at the meet with a time of 16:33 and Charlie Altifillisch followed him in fourth with 17:02.
Coming in third among Bulldog runners was freshman Collin McConnell, who finished 19th with 19:06. Curtis Ford came in 21st with 19:09, and Shane Riley finished 22nd with 19:13.
Coach Jeff Smith said he was happy to see how his three, four and five runners had stayed together throughout the meet, noting that there was only seven seconds between his three runners.
“Now our next objective is to get them cutting their times,” Smith said. “Overall I’m really happy with the way they ran and really pushed each other and clustered together.
“I told them the best teacher is experience. They are improving with each race.”
Jianwa Bennett was 28th with 19:30 and Seth White was 32nd with 20:03.
Daylin Latham finished first among the Bulldog girls and fifth overall with a time of 16:50. She was followed by Caroline Owens, who finished seventh with 16:55. Ashlynn Thompson, filling in for an injured Sydney Strunk, came in 18th with 18:28.
“Ashley knocked a minute off of her previous best time,” Berry said.
The coach said her team is starting races well, they just have to get better at finishing.
“From the minute we get there we need to mentally prepare ourselves from the start thinking about the race and staying focused that entire time, through the race until we cross the finish line,” Berry said. “Hopefully we can keep progressing the way we want to.
Team scoring — Fort Madison 26, Mount Pleasant 62, Ottumwa 68, Fairfield 82, Burlington-Notre Dame 143, Washington 175, Central Lee 192, Chariton 195
Ottumwa Runners — 3. Cody McConnell 16:43, 4. Charlie Altfillisch 17:02, 19. Collin McConnell 19:06, 21. Curtis Ford 19:09, 22. Shane Riley 19:13, 28. Jianwa Bennett 19:30; 32. Seth White 20:03.
Ottumwa Runners — 5. Daylin Latham 16:50; 7. Caroline Owens 16:55; 18. Ashlynn Thompson 18:28; 21. Madison Zesiger 18:42; 23. Charlotte Flanders 18:45; 26. Katy Fish 19:06; 27. Sarah Keith, 19:09;
JV — 3. Sydnedy Cloyd 19:04; Kelsey Howard 19:41; 18. Georgia Garrett 21:06; 20. Damaris Toom 21:17; 23. Estefany Guido 21:30; 24. Kathy Lopez 21:34; 26. Daisy Cuautle 21:52; 28. Sam Saunders 22:38; 37. Abby Walker 24:14; 40. Kim Garcia 24:37; 43. Ashley McMullin 26:51.