After a 4th place finish in the Little Hawkeye Conference and a 15th place finish at the 2005 State Championships, the Dutchmen hope to build on what they learned last season. The boys return all but one runner (Cory Fitzsimmons graduated) from a Varsity squad that finished with a 68-33 record. Returning runners are seniors Trey Behning, Walker Bell, and Jodaniel Gutierrez, junior Adam Verhoef, and sophomores Andrew Bentz and Josh Hones.
The squad has grown from 13 members in 2005 to 20 in 2006. Many new faces means greater competition for the seven spots available at Varisty races. Seven freshman are out this season, and several members of Pella Track and Field team have joined who have not run cross country in the past.
Coach Cutler believes that the potential of this year’s team will be determined by the limits the boys’ place upon themselves. “If we only had the guys from last year’s squad back I believe we would have improved from last season. To have an additional nine guys out this year is tremendous. When we find faith in our ability, and the guts to run to that potential, we are going to see some very fast times this season”
Many of the boys will say that making the state meet last year was the goal. This year just making state may not be enough to satisfy their drive. The team believes they can compete with the best and hope to experience even greater success at this year’s State Championships.