Caroline McMartin

Not only is Caroline McMartin (pictured above) one of the top runners back on the team, but coach Cutler said she is one of the best in the state.

The Pella High Lady Dutch Cross Country Team is primed for yet another banner season.

The 2019 squad returns seven letter winners, five of them ran at State a year ago leading the team to a 6th place finish in Class 3A.

The state tunners returning are seniors Caroline McMartin, Ellie Roorda and Elsie Thoreson. The juniors who are back from the state team are Ashley Blommers and Abigail Cutler.

Coach Doug Cutler is starting his 15th season as the head man of a program that has been among the best in Iowa.

Pella was 2nd in the Little Hawkeye last year and 2nd at the State Qualifier.

The coach commented about the current team, “Our primary strength is at the top, Caroline McMartin is one of the top individuals in the State. We have a very experienced top ten with lots of Seniors and Juniors. A hidden strength is a crop of young runners who have yet to understand what they are capable of becoming.”

Cutler said it will take some time for the Dutch to develop the depth the team is accustomed to possessing.

“The potential is there and we will be patient in discovering it,” Cutler stated.

He added, “We aren’t putting any expectation on any of our younger ladies. We want to give them time to trust the process and simply become the best they can this season.”

The theme for the Dutch this year is “High Hopes.”

In closing Cutler said, “Our expectation is to explore and discover where our true hopes should be placed. This is not in times and places, but in processes, improvement and trust in the present. We focus on who we are at present and work to improve daily, we should have another competitive team both internally and externally.”

Perry Bell can be reached at sports@journalexpress.net or by calling the Knoxville newsroom at 641-842-2155.

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