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4 Local Teams; 3 Individuals Make State Cross Country Meet Field


To no one’s surprise…Marion County will have outstanding representation at the State Cross Country Meet nest Saturday. The Knoxville boys, Pella boys and Girls and Pella Christian boys all qualified as teams. Knoxville finished second to Grinnell and Pella was third. Just 16 points separated first to third. Knoxville was led over the line by Jamie VanderVeer who placed second, Wick Cunningham continued his strong season in tenth. Pella was led by District Champion Zach Buchheit while Evan Jones placed eighth.


On the girls side, Pella and Benton had to go down to a sixth runner tiebreak to decide the Regional Champion, and thanks to Pella’s Hanna Martin’s 22nd place finish the Lady Dutch were declared Regional Champions. Gabi Meirick was individual Regional Champion while Mariah Vande Lune in sixth and Sarah Wittenberg in seventh made the top ten.

While the 3A races were paper-thin, the class 2A races did not disappoint either. The Pella Christian boys placed third to qualify for the State Meet behind North Polk and Shenandoah who were separated by just two points. Pella Christian’s Skylar Giddings was third and Josh Meyer was fifth. P-C-M was eight with Jake Potter winning the individual District championship. For the girls, North Polk completed a Comet sweep of the championship banners. Pella Christian was eighth while Sarah Brandsen came across in eighth earning her a state meet appearance.


While Pleasantville and P-C-M were incomplete teams, they were able to finish well as Pleasantville’s Delaney Jensen was 49th and Lainy Wilson from P-C-M was 52nd.

Twin Cedars went to the class 1A meet in Marshalltown. While the Saber girls had an incomplete team, Britany Roby had a solid finish of 13th in a time of 17 minutes even. The Pleasantville and Twin Cedars boys were at Marshalltown and the Trojan finished 15th as a team with Brian Koerselman crossing the line in 35th. Twin Cedars brought an incomplete team however, Eric Clarke led the Sabers with a 55th place finish.