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Knoxville, Pella Christian Cross Country Teams Find Successes at Centerville

Posted: Wednesday, October 5th, 2011 at 6:02 am
Author: KNIA/KRLS Sports-Eric Gotschall

A large field that included a number of talented large schools made for a more challenging meet than expected for the Knoxville and Pella Christian cross country teams, who ran at the Centerville Invitational yesterday evening.

In the boys’ race, the Panthers finished in second place in the team standings with 100 points, behind Fort Madison’s 50 point total. Wick Cunningham paced the Knoxville boys with a sixth-place finish. Pella Christian took 13th place in the team standings, led by Matt Spoelsstra – who placed 59th – to lead a tightly-packed bunch of runners for the Eagles.

In the girls’ race, Knoxville’s Alissa Van Klootwyk claimed an individual second-place finish to lead the Panthers to sixth place in the team standings. Knoxville head coach Mike Moats says he wants all of the girls to run with more intensity as the season winds down.

“I’ve asked them to get out there and race from the beginning to the end and not to back off, and they’ve responded well to that request,” said Moats. “It’s good to see them cracking down under nineteen minutes. We set an 18:30 target out there for the girls, and set if you can hit this target – pat yourself on the back – because that’s what it takes to be an automatic varsity letter-winner on our team.”

Pella Christian head coach Jocelyn Meinders said she was proud of the way both of her teams ran together and pushed each other throughout the race, despite having some key runners out with injuries or illness.

Pushed hard by freshman Marina Shannon – who was running in just her second race missing several weeks after surgery – Sarah Brandsen claimed a 37th-place finish to lead the Pella Christian girls.

Pella Christian:

Matt Spoelstra -59
Ryen Van Vark – 67
Craig Wilson – 83
Max Shannon – 86
Jonathan Beltman – 85
Ryan Van Kooten – 90
Caleb Van Zee – 107

Sarah Brandsen – 37
Marina Shannon – 44
Damaris Worthington – 52
Leah Breon – 55
Alec Breon – 62
Seo Hee Song – 78