Strong competition found its way to the starting line in Pella Saturday. Visiting Pella were two of the top 4A girl teams in the state, Waukee and Cedar Falls. While those two powerhouses ran away from most of the field, there was outstanding competition amongst the remaining schools.

Waukee finished first with 46 points, and Cedar Falls was a close 2nd with 62 points. Those two were then followed by Knoxville with 99 points, Grinnell 104 points, CMB 108, and Pella with 113 points.

Coach Cutler said after the race, “I’m very proud of the ladies today. When a #1 runner is unable to finish, you very often learn what some of the other runners are really made of.” Gracie Eggland, senior captain of the Dutch, was unable to finish her race due to muscle cramps in her quadriceps. “Gracie was having difficulties, and was determined to finish her race through any adversity, but I felt it best to have her stop. Continuing might have led to a more serious injury. I’m confident that she will bounce back and continue to help lead the team”, said Coach Cutler.

Freshman Maddy Davis then became Pella’s first finisher of the afternoon in 16th place with a time of 17:00. Davis was followed by a second freshman Heidi Schulte in 20th place with a time of 17:13. “Both Maddy and Heidi are only beginning to learn how fast they are capable of running. Heidi especially stepped up big for us this afternoon.”

A three-pack of runners finished soon after for the Dutch: senior Kayli Hrdlicka in 25th(17:26), freshman Hannah Schwab in 27th(17:29), and senior Michelle Renaud in 28th(17:30). Senior Renee VanRoekel rounded out the Pella team in excellent fashion in 44th place with a time of 18:37. Pella’s ability to run as a pack is one of their greatest strengths. While other teams were as spread out as 1:30 to 3:00, Pella’s top five runners were seperated by only 30 seconds.

“We are still learning a great deal about ourselves right now. As far as 3A Girls Cross Country is concerned, Knoxville is still the measuring stick for the area. However, we know we can compete right alongside of them this season, and it should be an outstanding race each time we meet. That is what makes great rivalries. The team from Grinnell was also outstanding today”

In the Junior Varsity race, several of the Pella Dutch also had fantastic races. Four athletes earned individual medals. Freshman Morgan Heimstra was the first finisher for the Dutch in 6th place(18:04). Sophie Metcalf finished in 9th(18:34), Kate Williamson in 11th(18:51), and Lauren Barrick in 15th(19:19). Finishing as the girls’ fifth runner, Alex Kleis finished in 20th place with a time of 19:41.

As a team, the JV placed 3rd behind Cedar Falls and Waukee. This was especially satisfying to their team and coaches because in previous seasons the Pella Dutch have be unable to field a full team at the JV level.

“We have tremendous competitors on the team this year. Our numbers and depth of talent is going to allow us to play with our roster a bit for a couple weeks. We want to give several young ladies an opportunity to race varsity. We aren’t going to lock ourselves into seven runners thinking they will be varsity every week. The hope is to inspire each athlete to achieve their very best all season long and keep us united as a team.”

TEAM SCORES

Varsity Girls: Waukee 46, Cedar Falls 62, Knoxville 99, Grinnell 104, CMB 108, Pella 113, Nevada 153, Pella Christian 232, Oskaloosa 255, Lynnville-Sully 272, Davis County 296, PCM INC

Junior Varsity Girls: Cedar Falls 39, Waukee 45, Pella 60, Knoxville 82, CMB INC, Grinnell INC, Lynnville-Sully INC, Oskaloosa INC, Pella Christian INC, Nevada INC

Complete Individual Results

Varsity

Maddy Davis 16th 17:00

Heidi Shulte 20th 17:13

Kayli Hrdlicka 25th 17:26

Hannah Schwab 27th 17:29

Michelle Renaud 28th 17:30

Renee VanRoekel 44th 18:37

Junior Varsity

Morgan Heimstra 6th 18:04

Sophie Metcalf 9th 18:34

Kate Williamson 11th 18:51

Lauren Barrick 15th 19:19

Alex Kleis 20th 19:41

Chloe Mathonet-VanderWell 27th 19:57

Megan Fetterman 30th 20:22

Ashley Swanson 37th 21:03

Anna Mansueto 38th 21:10

Karina L’Esperance 44th 21:57

Alexa VandeLune 54th 23:12