It is very early in the season for all the varsity fall sports teams.
The Pella Dutch raced Saturday at the Pella High Cross Country Invitational held at Central College.
Josiah Wittenberg led the way as the Dutch settled for fourth place out of 10 teams in the large school teams on hand for the event.
Wittenberg was clocked at 17:08 as he was third overall in the varsity 5K.
Quite often the day is hot and muggy for the race, but that wasn’t the case Saturday. The morning started off with temperatures in the mid-60s and overcast.
Gilbert won the large school team title with 49 points followed by a strong Norwalk Warrior team with 52 and North Polk was third with 78. Pella totaled 84 points for fourth.
The rest of the Pella High scoring for the day came from Tony Schmitz in 14th at 17:46, Chase Lauman 19th at 17:57, Mason Johnston 22nd at 18:04 and Braden Rowe 26th at 18:27.
Also running for the Dutch, but not counting in the team total were Will Rasmussen in 32nd and Akira Lopez in 43rd place.
The overall 5K winner of the race was Griffin Ruba, of Gilbert, with a clocking of 16:58.
The top 20 all received medals for their efforts.
Wittenberg commented about his effort and that of the team. “I was happy with my performance today. I ran a smarter race. Our team has a lot of potential, we just have to get people healthy and back in the lineup.”
Wittenberg said the Dutch were without two of their varsity runners.
Pella Coach Doug Cutler said, “For the boys we had many all-time best times including all the freshman, most of the sophomores and most notably Juniors Will Rasmussen and Antonio Leovan.”
He added, “These notes of improvement give us great confidence that the work we are doing daily will help us perform even better in the future.”
Odds and Ends
Pella is ranked No. 4 in the state in Class 3A, they will run at the Ballard Invite Sept. 16 at 5 p.m.
Pella Invite Boys Team Scoring Large Schools
1. Gilbert 49, 2. Norwalk 52, 3. North Polk 78, 4. Pella 84, 5. Glenwood 145, 6. Bondurant-Farrar 163, 7. Oskaloosa 199, 8. Knoxville 201, 9. Nevada 243, 10. Mount Pleasant 266.