Track and field athletes have battled miserable weather conditions during the first couple weeks of the outdoor season.

Chilly temperatures, high winds and rain have prevented substantial time drops.

Mother Nature cooperated Friday at Pleasant Valley. The runners capitalized.

Powered by eight victories, including five meet records, Iowa City West staved off PV for the team title at the eight-team Spartan Invitational to remain undefeated on the season.

"Weather does affect people's moods more than you think it does," PV senior Addie Swanson said. "When you have a nice, sunny day like this, it just boosts the positivity and makes everybody more excited to run."

There were 11 new meet marks established as runners were treated to temperatures in the upper 50s and minimal wind. West, expected to contend with Waukee for the Class 4A state title next month, finished with 124 points — nine clear of PV. Bettendorf was third place with 87 points.

PV graduated four stalwarts from last year's state runner-up squad in Carly Donahue, Kelli DeGeorge, McKenzie Yanek and Emily Paul. It also has 60 freshmen and sophomores on its roster this spring.

Still, the Spartans showed plenty of competitive fight. They won four events — Swanson (400) and Ellie Spelhaug (100 hurdles) along with the distance medley and 1,600 relays.

"It was one of those coming-of-age moments," PV co-coach Kenny Wheeler said. "We have a really young team and a lot of kids are still learning the ropes right now.

"There were a lot of nerves coming into this meet, running at home in front of family and friends and good competition. Sometimes we need those environments to test our character and competitive fire to see what we're made of."

PV's shuttle hurdle relay, with two new members this season, ran a season-best time 1:06.56.

Spelhaug won the 100 hurdles in a season-best 15.31, and later teamed with sister, Carli, Rachel Tebbe and Swanson to win the 1,600 relay in 4:01.08.

"We did lose a lot of people and you can never replace individuals, but we're doing everything we can," Spelhaug said. "We're working so hard in practice to fill roles, accept roles and hopefully perform well at Drake and state."

Swanson compared the track season to doing a jigsaw puzzle. You find a few pieces that work each meet and continue to build on it until mid-May.

"Being apart of this for four years, we'll get there somehow," Swanson said. "I don't know how it will happen, but at the end we always show up at the right times and the right places."

Bettendorf earned victories in the sprint medley and 400 relays along with second-place finishes from Trinity Borland (3,000), Emma Johnson (400) and the 800 and 1,600 relays.

The sprint medley of Maddi Banks, Emma Ostrom, Erin McQuillen and Alli Wroblewski posted a 1:49.13, currently No. 2 in the state this season. The Bulldogs ran 1:48.88 at last year's state meet.

"A lot of our past meets we have been running by ourselves," Wroblewski said. "It was more like racing the clock but that can be hard to do when you don't have anybody to push you.

"This definitely helped us step up our game and push ourselves to see what we're capable of doing."

Bettendorf is among the state's top 10 in four different relays.

"Our team gets along really well," Wroblewski said, "and we have good team chemistry in our relays. We want to do it for each other."

Erica Loussaert led the Lancers with runner-up finishes in the high jump and 100 hurdles. Kayla Slowick was second in the shot put and discus.

PV Spartan Invitational

Team scores -- 1. Iowa City West 124; 2. Pleasant Valley 115; 3. Bettendorf 87; 4. North Scott 67; 5. Dubuque Wahlert 65; 6. Linn-Mar 61; 7. Iowa City High 44; 8. Cedar Rapids Kennedy 26

Discus — 1. Leah Dusterhoft (IC West) 130-1; 2. Kayla Slowick (NS) 126-4; 3. Chandler Haight (IC West) 120-10; 4. Luci Murphy (City High) 119-1; 5. Morgan Montgomery (Wahlert) 113-5

Shot put — 1. Chandler Haight (IC West) 41-5 1/4; 2. Kayla Slowick (NS) 38-0; 3. Luci Murphy (City High) 36-5 3/4; 4. Shelby Schmidt (NS) 33-11 1/2; 5. Morgan Montgomery (Wahlert) 32-5

High jump — 1. Skyler Presler (Linn-Mar) 5-6; 2. Erica Loussaert (NS) 5-2; 3. Katie Beer (Kennedy) 5-0; 4. Megan Renner (Linn-Mar) 4-10; 5. Sara Hoskins (PV) 4-10

Long jump — 1. Valerie Welch (IC West) 18-10 1/4; 2. Kitra Bell (IC West) 17-11; 3. Carli Spelhaug (PV) 16-7 1/2; 4. Erin McQuillen (Bett) 16-7 1/4; 5. Dimia Burrell (Linn-Mar) 16-4 1/4

Sprint medley relay — 1. Bettendorf (Banks, Ostrom, McQuillen, Wroblewski) 1:49.13; 2. Iowa City High, 1:53.27; 3. Dubuque Wahlert, 1:53.76; 4. Linn-Mar, 1:54.62; 5. Pleasant Valley (James, Ramirez, Tebbe, Ruff) 1:57.84

3,000 — 1. Bailey Nock (IC West) 10:22.24; 2. Trinity Borland (Bett) 10:41.34; 3. Emily Bywater (City High) 10:54.98; 4. Ally Gallagher (Bett) 10:57.93; 5. Presley Case (NS) 11:13.90

3,200 relay — 1. Dubuque Wahlert (McDonald, E. Osterberger, K. Osterberger, Huseman) 9:49.67; 2. Pleasant Valley (Swanson, Brown, Riley, Lafever) 9:53.91; 3. Bettendorf (Nickles, Vermeer, Ramstack, Block) 9:57.12; 4. Iowa City High, 10:01.17; 5. Iowa City West, 10:12.48

Shuttle hurdle relay — 1. Iowa City West (Bell, Steva, Cannon, Welch) 1:04.98; 2. Pleasant Valley (E. Spelhaug, C. Spelhaug, Park, Arthofer) 1:06.56; 3. North Scott (Rowlands, Junker, Kuehl, Loussaert) 1:09.30; 4. Bettendorf (Bruty, Erpelding, Lee, Behning) 1:09.91; 5. Cedar Rapids Kennedy, 1:10.92

100 — 1. Jill Bennett (Linn-Mar) 12.48; 2. Amaria Kirby (PV) 12.64; 3. Jackie Ganshirt (Wahlert) 12.96; 4. Cheyenne Mitchell (Kennedy) 12.98; 5. Libby Wedewer (Wahlert) 12.98

Distance medley relay — 1. Pleasant Valley (Foley, Whitfield, Hartz, Minard) 4:31.40; 2. Iowa City West, 4:33.30; 3. Dubuque Wahlert, 4:33.68; 4. North Scott (Alexander, Kruse, M. Case, Lafrenz) 4:34.58; 5. Cedar Rapids Kennedy, 4:35.87

400 — 1. Addie Swanson (PV) 59.17; 2. Emma Johnson (Bett) 1:05.22; 3. Camryn Hanson (NS) 1:06.14; 4. Kaelyn Ryan (Kennedy) 1:06.24; 5. Celia Daniels (IC West) 1:07.76

800 relay — 1. Iowa City West (Severt, Gravelin, Bell, Welch) 1:45.59; 2. Bettendorf (Banks, McQuillen, Ostrom, Wroblewski) 1:45.95; 3. Linn-Mar, 1:47.44; 4. Iowa City High, 1:48.61; 5. Pleasant Valley (Ramirez, A. Arthofer, Tebbe, James) 1:49.15

100 hurdles — 1. Ellie Spelhaug (PV) 15.31; 2. Erica Loussaert (NS) 15.36; 3. Bailey Vance (Wahlert) 16.03; 4. Claire Park (PV) 16.54; 5. Taylor Cannon (IC West) 16.56

800 — 1. Payton Wensel (Linn-Mar) 2:13.22; 2. Bailey Nock (IC West) 2:20.64; 3. Sydney Spranger (Bett) 2:23.12; 4. Olivia Hamblin (Kennedy) 2:26.74; 5. Olivia Moore (IC West) 2:27.93

200 — Jackie Ganshirt (Wahlert) 26.29; 2. Amaria Kirby (PV) 26.54; 3. Libby Wedewer (Wahlert) 26.57; 4. Kira Arthofer (PV) 27.08; 5. Hanna Saville (Linn-Mar) 27.38

400 hurdles — 1. Valerie Welch (IC West) 1:05.89; 2. Jessica Junker (NS) 1:08.66; 3. Hailey Behning (Bett) 1:08.88; 4. Kelsey Ruff (PV) 1:11.00; 5. Cecelie Schieffer (PV) 1:11.12

1,500 — 1. Gabby Skopec (IC West) 4:54.68; 2. Gabriel McCormick (City High) 5:08.89; 3. Mallory Lafever (PV) 5:11.98; 4. Maddy Minard (PV) 5:13.29; 5. Abbi Lafrenz (NS) 5:14.20

400 relay — 1. Bettendorf (Erpelding, Wroblewski, Ostrom, Banks) 50.17; 2. Linn-Mar, 50.41; 3. Pleasant Valley (A. Arthofer, Kirby, Ramirez, K. Arthofer) 50.78; 4. Iowa City West, 51.51; 5. Dubuque Wahlert, 52.99

1,600 relay — 1. Pleasant Valley (C. Spelhaug, E. Spelhaug, Tebbe, Swanson) 4:01.08; 2. Bettendorf (McQuillen, Nickles, Spranger, Wroblewski) 4:04.46; 3. Dubuque Wahlert, 4:05.49; 4. Linn-Mar, 4:15.51; 5. Iowa City High, 4:22.49

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Prep sports editor, with emphasis on covering the Mississippi Athletic Conference and Iowa area high schools. I've been in sports journalism for 17 years, the last five at the Quad-City Times.