WILLIAMSBURG — Pella Christian’s Kaden Van Wyngarden surprised himself when he finished 13th in the individual race at the Class 2A State Qualifying Cross Country meet at Williamsburg Thursday. The runners enjoyed the Raider flat track and they turned in some outstanding times. Van Wyngarden, a sophomore, ran the race of his life in punching his ticket to the big show.
“It feels great to make it to state,” Van Wyngarden said. “But it was totally unexpected. It is just a special blessing. Hopefully next year, I can take six other teammates with me.”
The Eagles were fourth as a team with 113 points and a team had to be in the top three to go as a team. There were three loaded teams ahead of the Eagles with Danville-New London taking the top spot with 36 points. Mid-Prairie was second with 59 point and Williamsburg took the third slot with 82 points. Another area team, Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont, was ninth with 228 points.
The same three teams dominated the girls race with Mid-Prairie winning with 21 points followed by Williamsburg with 49 and Danville-New London with 104. Pella Christian was fifth with 128 and EBF did not have enough runners to compete for team honors.
Pella Christian’s Jaclyn Holmes was hoping to punch her ticket to Fort Dodge, but after a courageous run, she finished 18th, three places shy of qualifying. EBF’s top runner was Shelby Akers in 35th place.
Pella Christian coach, Mike Buchiet, was pleased by his team’s effort.
“Both our girls and boys teams ran there best race today,” Buchiet said. “This is a tough region with the No. 1. No. 6, and No. 8 ranked teams here. We had to try and beat one of them, but finished fourth. The girls had to deal with the same ranked teams. This was the first time we had seven girls running. It has taken a while to get the program going, but we are getting there. The future is bright with four freshman and four sophomores returning. The boys have eight new runners and eight returning runners.”
The Class 2A State Cross Country meet will be run on Saturday morning, Oct. 31 at Lakeside Golf Course in Fort Dodge. The girl’s race will go at 10:30 a.m. and the boy’s race will follow at 11:00 a.m.
Pella Christian Girl’s Results: 18. Jaclyn Holmes 21:44.1, 23. Joslyn Terpstra 22:49.6, 27. Karis Fikkert 23:17.3, 29. Savannah Oosterheert 23:32.5, 31. Jenna Van Maanen 23:48.9, 47. Grace Vermeer 26:16, 51. Metje Mishmershuizen 27:24.6.
EBF Girl’s Results: 35. Shelby Akers 23:41.9, 50. Nicole Edgren 25:32.4, 64. Lillian Fairchild 28:54.9, 65. Samantha Rist 29:26.5.
Pella Christian Boy’s Results: 13. Kaden Van Wyngarden 18:00.5, 19. Ryan Natelborg 18:28.6, 22. Brayton Juffer 18:49.9, 27. Tyson DeVriese 19:06.1, 32. Micah DeHaan 19:26.2, 33. Brant VanderHart 19:41.1, 36. Ethan Milligan 19:55.3.
EBF Boy’s Results: 34. Sam Seddon 19:45.1, 35. Jackson Sheldon 19:54.1, 49. Noah Walker 21:03.8, 53. Reilly Flaig 21:14.3, 57. Caden Hall 21:21.6, 59. Carsen Wade 21:30.1, 68. Grant La Rue 22:56.9