Many talented teams and athletes gathered at the Pine Knolls Country Club Course to compete in the Knoxville Panther Cross Country Invitational.

The meet was held on a day the temperature was low 80s and very humid. Storms were approaching the area from the south and the west, but never became a factor during the middle school or 5K races.


Norwalk won a narrow battle over Indianola to claim the varsity girls’ team title with 72 points. The Indianola Indians were runner-up with 79 points.

Of the Marion County teams in action, the Pella High Lady Dutch were fifth with 136 points, Twin Cedars 8th with 225, Knoxville totaled 284 points for 12th and the Pella Christian Eagles had 324 points for 13th.

Indianola’s Emily Naughton, a freshman, was the 5K champion with a run of 19:39.

The Pella Lady Dutch were without two of their varsity leaders for the day as Elsie Thoreson and Abby Cutler were held out of the competition.

Caroline McMartin was her steady self as she was 3rd overall with a run of 20:35. Senior Tirzah Wittenberg was 19th at 22:38 over the hilly Pine Knolls terrain.

Next came Ashley Blommers in 23rd at 22:51, Ellie Roorda 31st at 23:31 and Hailey Kowzan 60th at 25:05.

The Pella JV girls were 7th in the team scoring with 192 points.

The young Lady Dutch were led by a pair of freshmen, Tricia Lundy in 32nd at 28:14 and Tatum Tierney 33rd at 28:31.

Sophomore Isabelle Weesner was 39th at 30:32 followed by Roselaure Fuller in 42nd at 30:50 and Ellie Howard 46th at 32:33 to round out the team total.


Norwalk doubled up their pleasure by winning the varsity 5K boys’ title with 27 points. The Pella Dutch were runner-up with 62 points.

Other Marion County results showed the Knoxville Panthers 9th with 230 points and Pella Christian 10th with 245.

Grinnell’s Isaac Bryant won the 5K race with a nifty time of 17:29. Melcher-Dallas’ Emery Sage was second in the race at 17:59.

Pella was led by sophomore Cutler Turner in 6th place at 18:10.

The rest of the Pella varsity that counted in the team total also all clocked in with 18 minute times as well.

Tony Schmitz was 10th at 18:22, Mason Johnston 13th at 18:41, Josiah Wittenberg 16th at 18:51 and Chase Lauman 17th at 18:51.

The Pella JV boys won the Knoxville title for the day with 34 points with Norwalk second with 50.

A pair of Pella juniors showed the way on the course with Braden Rowe winning the JV race with a time of 20:04 and Antonio Leovan 3rd at 20:16.

The rest of the JV scoring for the Dutch had AJ Furr 8th at 20:25, Nick Singer 10th at 20:32 and Zach Neumann 12th at 20:40.

KHS Invite Varsity Girls

1. Norwalk 72, 2. Indianola 79, 3. Grinnell 91, 4. Winterset 93, 5. Pella High 136, 6. Chariton 188, 7. Marshalltown 190, 8. Twin Cedars 225, 9. Newton 247, 10. East Marshall 266, 11. Oskaloosa 275, 12. Knoxville 284, 13. Pella Christian 324,14. Lincoln 382.

Pella Lineup - 3. Caroline McMartin 20:35; 19. Tirza Wittenberg 22:38; 23. Ashley Blommers 22:51; 31. Ellie Roorda 23:31; 60. Hailey Kowzan 25:05; 66. Andrea Van Heukelom 25:48; Anna Childerston 27:02.

KHS Invite Varsity Boys

1. Norwalk 27; 2. Pella High 62; 3. Grinnell 87; 4. Newton 143; 5. Oskaloosa 147; 6. Winterset 156; 7. Indianola 178; 8. Marshalltown 198; 9. Knoxville 230; 10. Pella Christian 245; 11. East Marshall 296; 12. Chariton 373; 14. Burlington, Notre Dame 394.

Pella Lineup - 6. Cutler Turner 18:10; 10. Tony Schmitz 18:22; 13. Mason Johnston 18:41; 16. Josiah Wittenberg 18:51; 17. Chase Lauman 18:51; 19. Thomas Gaul 19:03; 31. Akira Lopez 19:45.

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

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