The Pella Little Dutch found themselves embroiled in a very competitive Regional Qualifying meet at South Tama Thursday night. The weather was cold, windy and wet, but the competition was hot. Pella did well against the familiar foes of the Little Hawkeye Conference, but it was some loaded teams out of the rugged WAMAC Conference that divided up the points and forced the Little Dutch to settle for second in the team race.
A deep and talented team from Center Point-Urbana pulled away from the pack and won the meet with 149 points. There are those who list the Pointers as one of the favorites in this weekend’s State Track Meet at Drake Stadium.
Pella nabbed the runner-up spot with 133 points and the Little Dutch will also be in the hunt for points at state. Pella will have 10 events and 11 athletes in the competition. Williamsburg with 97.5 points and Vinton-Shellsburg with 97 points rounded out the top four in the team race.
The Little Dutch got off to a great start with 39 points in the field events. Leading the way were the big guys. Gerrit Jansen hurled the platter 152 feet, two inches to win the discus throw while Ben Konfrst grabbed sixth place. Cody DeKryuff heaved the shot 48’ 6’ for the gold and Nathan Clayberg notched a third place. Both Jansen and DeKryuff punched their tickets for Des Moines this week. Also headed to state is Chase Van Sant as he took second in the long jump with a leap of 20’ 5.25”. Van Sant also picked up points in the high jump with a tie for fourth place.
In the first event on the track, the quartet of Payson Vande Lune, Aaron Houtz, Ben Warner and Jordan Pingel smoked the field in the 4 X 800 relay. Their time of 8:11.11 on a miserable night will put them in the fast heat at state. Big for Pella in the race was a splendid second leg by Houtz. Vande Lune and Houtz opened up a 30 yard lead and then Warner and Pingel cruised home from there.