The Pella High cross country delivered what was expected from them on Tuesday night, as they led a handful of Marion County teams competing at the Grinnell Invitational.
Pella’s varsity boys claimed 1st place in the team standings, led by a start-to-finish individual first place performance from Zach Buchheit. Little Hawkeye Conference rival Grinnell placed 2nd. On the girls’ side, the Lady Dutch finished in 2nd place in the team standings, narrowly being edged out of the top spot by Williamburg – another top 5-ranked Class 3A program.
Knoxville also performed well in their first meet of the season, as the Panther boys placed 5th in the team standings; with their female counterparts claiming 8th place. Knoxville’s top performers were Wick Cunningham – who placed 4th overall in the boys’ race – while Alissa VanKlootwyk and Hannah Wallace paced the Knoxville girls squad.
Pella Christian’s girls and boys cross country teams also competed, but due to the number of young and inexperienced runners, head coach Jocelyn Meinders elected to run the majority of her athletes in the JV races, meaning that neither Varsity side had enough members to field a full line-up. Still, the team performed well, led by Sarah Brandsen’s 54th place finish overall and Jacob Lensing and Ryen Van Vark finishing within two spots of eachother at 56th and 58th in the boys’ race.