Pella Christian Track Coach Keith Anderson has a larger number of athletes to work with this season than he has in the past.
That will help as the Eagles tackle a very aggressive schedule that is loaded with talent within the Little Hawkeye Conference.
PC has 22 young men reporting to practice. Of that group, nine are returning lettermen.
That list includes Zach Van Zee, Jordan Breon, David Dykstra (seniors); Max Shannon, Jackson Schelhaas, Jon Larson, Caleb Attema, Dillon Branderhorst, and Nate Haveman (juniors).
Anderson looks for the strength of the 2014 team to be the relay teams he puts together.
“We finally have some numbers and depth to be able to field competitive relays at all distances,” Anderson commented.
Overall the Eagles are young with 10 freshmen on the squad. The coach said,”I don’t really know a lot of what some of the newcomers can do.”
Pella and Knoxville are teams Anderson points to as the top squads in the league.
The PC coach stated, “Conference wise we will finish towards the bottom, but that will make us stronger and prepare us for the state qualifying meet against teams our own size.”
One of the top losses from the 2013 team was the graduation of Derek Van Kooten. Derek consistently won the high jump and long jump and was a key leg on the PC 4x100 relay team as well as running the open 200.
“I expect us to be much more competitive than last year. With more numbers and more talent, we will be able to fill some events that we would have been forced to leave open last year. The guys are working hard and I expect us to surprise some teams when we get into actual meets,” Anderson said.
Odds and Ends
PC will attempt to open the season at home with a quadrangular at 4:45 p.m. April 1. Teams expected to field teams at the opener include Twin Cedars, Lynnville-Sully and Des Moines Christian along with the Eagles.