OHS Boys Track: McConnell Heartbroken, No State Qualifiers

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The young Ottumwa High boys track team wasn’t expected to do all that much at this year’s state qualifying meet, but the Bulldogs’ best chance to qualify a runner for the state track meet came to a sudden, heartbreaking end.

Senior Cody McConnell entered the 800-meter race with high hopes of either finishing in the top two to qualify for state, or posting a strong enough time to earn an at-large berth.  Those hopes came crashing down near the end of the first lap.  Ames High runner Daniel Chan, while attempting to pass McConnell for third place, cut in front of the Bulldog star and into his stride.  Both runners fell to the infield as their feet clipped.  Chan made no effort to continue, and while McConnell immediately got up and continued the race, he could only manage a 7th-place finish.

OHS head coach Jim Nickerson tried to console a heartbroken McConnell after the race, but later admitted it was tough to find the words.

“What do you say, as a coach, to your senior athlete who’s not going to be running high school track ever again?”  Nickerson said.  “The only good thing is that his career’s not done.”

McConnell has signed a letter of intent to run cross country at Indian Hills Community College.

As a team, the Ottumwa boys finished in 7th place at the meet.