The Pella Dutch displayed the type of depth usually seen from larger 4A schools in winning the JV Conference race Tuesday evening. Pella finished with five runners in the top ten, and every athlete who competed set a personal best for the season.

“It was just the perfect way to end the season for many of these young men,” said Coach Cutler. “We have spoken a great deal this year about breaking down mental barriers. Everyone creates barriers for themselves in life. I believe that people who can go beyond their self-imposed limits are those who find the greatest personal satisfaction in life. Every member of this team showed today that they are people capable of experiencing that.”

Brandon Klassen led the Dutch and became the 2006 LHC individual champion in 18:15. This was an improvement of more than a minute from his previous personal best, and 1 minute and 18 seconds faster than he had run on the same course two weeks prior.

“Most young athletes begin to slow down when they are 75% exhausted,” shared Coach Cutler. “Brandon displayed today what you can do with that last 25% when you are willing to keep going after you begin to feel the pain.”

Jodaniel Gutierrez and Jake VanderHoek finished 5th and 6th respectively while breaking 19:00 for the first time this season. Neither had broken 20:00 prevously this year. Luke Elzinga and Alex Lopez helped complete Pella’s team score of 30 points. Luke and Alex broke 20:00 for the first time this season, giving the Dutch 13 members of thier team to do so this year. In 2005 only 8 athletes broke 20:00 in a 5000 meter race.

The Junior Varsity team completes their season with a 62-3 record. All three of their losses came to class 4A schools. One to Ankeny, and two losses to Indianola.

Complete Individual results

Brandon Klassen 18:15 1st

Jodaniel Gutierrez 18:48 5th

Jake VanderHoek 18:52 6th

Luke Elzinga 19:18 8th

Alex Lopez 19:37 10th

Max Wesemann 20:15 19th

Andrew Lopez 20:21 21st

Derek Boat 21:52 36th

Michael Fetterman 22:35 53rd

Devin Sietstra 23:09 58th