In 2005 the Lady Dutch placed 8th at their conference meet, 7th at their district meet and they didn’t have an athlete participate at the State Championships in Fort Dodge. Those facts didn’t sit well with Seniors Gracie Eggland, Kayli Hrdlicka and Michelle Renaud as 2006 began. Providing tremendous leadership for a strong incoming freshman class, the ladies made an improvement that few teams have probably ever had.

The girls’ cross country team at Pella finshed 12th at the State Championships this year after finshing 2nd at both their conference and districts meets. Madison Davis crossed the finsh line first for the Dutch in 18h place. This was the fifth best finish by a female Dutch runner in their history.

Michelle Renaud placed 45th in her first race at State and in only her second season running cross country. Michelle in the past had probably been better known around Pella for her soccer and basketball talents, but when injuries struck her fellow seniors, she stepped up to help a young team learn what competitive fire was all about.

Morgan Hiemstra finished 82nd for the Dutch. Morgan was followed by an inspired performance from Senior captain Kayli Hrdlicka in 88th, who ran despite struggling with mono the last few weeks of the season.

Hannah Schwab, Heidi Schulte and Gracie Eggland completed Pella’s squad in 92nd, 108th, and 117th respectively.

“The girls were able to accomplish in one season what it took the boys two years to accomplish,” proudly expressed Coach Cutler after the race. “That is to not only reach state, but at the same time find the confidence to envision themselves running with the best in the state. Trying to chase down a quality program like Knoxville this season helped with that a great deal, while the boys were forced to find that confidence a bit more abstractly.”nn

“I hope these girls understand how proud of them I am. It’s not just about victories, they have grown in so many ways in a short few months. The only thing I wish I could change were the injuries that Gracie and Kayli had to deal with their senior years. I admire each of them, and the leadership and effort they displayed while being injured was as valuble to this team as the talent the four freshman provided.”

The Lady Dutch finish their season with a 84-26 record. The team graduates six Varsity letter winners (Renaud, Hrdlicka, Eggland, Renee VanRoekel, Chloe Mathonet-VanderWell, and Kate Williamson).