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Big Night for Local State Track Qualifiers Headlined by Pella Districts Sweep at Home Track

Posted: Friday, May 12th, 2017 at 6:02 am
Author: KNIA/KRLS News - Andrew Schneider

Marion County will be more than well represented when local schools travel to Drake Stadium next week for the State Track and Field meet.

Numerous athletes from Pella, Knoxville, Pella Christian, PCM, Pleasantville, and Twin Cedars have their sights set on competing at the famous Blue Oval after a successful night in the district meets Thursday.

The evening–and their home track, belonged to Pella, as the Lady and Little Dutch swept up their respective district titles. The Lady Dutch scored 201 points and had 18 automatic state qualifying events, while Pella’s boys racked up 137 team points to take home the team banner, with ten automatic bids.

Pella’s girls also broke school records with Emily Vos in the 100 meters (12.12), Emma Thoreson in the 100 hurdles (14.69), 4×100 (49.38), and 4×200 (1:44.55) races.

Senior thrower for the Lady Dutch Elizabeth Jansen threw her way into her first ever state appearance in the shotput, and says she looks forward to the challenge.

“I’m really excited to go to the Blue Oval for the first time,” she says. “I watched my brother [Garret] there for a few years so I’m really excited to go there myself.”

Junior Sprinter and Hurdler Avery Van Zee will compete in four events next week, and his performance last night helped the team earn the district crown. Van Zee tells KNIA/KRLS Sports he didn’t expect the amount of success they achieved, but looks forward to see how it translates at state.

“Never in a million years would I have thought that this year’s team would have been district champs but we had a whole bunch of young guys this year that came in put in the hard work that needed to be done,” Van Zee says.

Knoxville was also at the Pella site and will be sending athletes from the boys and girls teams to state. Freshman Katie Keitges earned trips to the Blue Oval in all four races she competed in, including the 400, 800, and 1500 meters, as well as the distance medley relay. Trent Davis was 2nd in the 110 meter hurdles, long jump, and the distance medley for the Panthers boys.

Multiple athletes from Pella and Knoxville are close to earning at-large spots in races at state next week beyond those that automatically qualified. Those who made the time-driven cut will be released later today.

Click here for results from the Pella District meet.