By Perry Bell Sports Editor
The Pella Chronicle
---- — The 2013 Pella High varsity Lady Dutch track team will consist of 27 athletes on the squad.
Coach Dak Rasmussen’s squad returns 17 letter winners, 13 of them qualified for the state meet in Des Moines a year ago.
The Dutch are coming off a season where they won nine meets during the regular season. Pella also captured titles at the Little Hawkeye Conference Meet and the Class 3A District Meet along with an eighth place showing at state in 2012.
Missing from that powerful Lady Dutch contingent are Marielle Gaiser, Sierra Hrdlicka, Hanna Martin, Madeline Meyer, Katie Sunderman, Bailey Vande Weerd and Sarah Van Maanen.
“We’ve lost some depth, but the overall quality of the team has gone up,” states coach Rasmussen.
He added, “We should still do well during the regular season, but my hope is that we live up to our expectations for districts and state.”
Pella senior letter winners back on the 2013 roster include Victoria Kleven, Lauren Manecke, Avis Van Zomeren and Nadine Van Zomeren.
Larissa Downs, Abby Fyfe, Larissa Michalek, Sydney Swanson, Becky Visser and Klaire Wisniewski are the junior letter winners back for the Lady Dutch.
The sophomore list of veteran letter winners includes Marissa Borgerding, Mackenzie Gustafson, Kailyn Hackman, Jessica Holterhaus, Ashley Kirkland, Lexi Reynolds and Lydia Van Ee.
The strength of the current team according to the coach are the sprints, individual hurdles events and field events.
The weakness will be depth in the distance and hurdle events.
Coach Rasmussen lists Norwalk, Oskaloosa, Newton and Grinnell as the teams to beat in the Little Hawkeye this spring.
As far as the Dutch are concerned, “We should do well at the conference meet,” Rasmussen said.
Odds and Ends
The first outdoor meet slated for the Dutch is March 28 at Dallas Center-Grimes.
The Pella Tulip Time Relays are set for April 25.