Despite winning just one event in three days, the Pella boys’ track team claimed the biggest prize of all.
The Little Dutch ended the state meet as Class 3-A champions after placing third in the closing 4×400 relay.
“It’s absolutely crazy,” Pella coach Brent Van Hauen said. “I’ve never been so excited to get third in my entire life.
“It was a pretty cool feeling.”
The Dutch finished with 46 points, while runner-up Knoxville scored 45.
Things got off to a promising start for Pella, which won the 4×800 on Thursday. Van Hauen’s team stayed in contention by placing second in the 100 and 4×200. The Dutch also finished third in the 800 and fourth in the 4×100.
“Coming into the weekend, we knew we had a ton of events,” Van Hauen said. “We were sitting decent in a lot of them, and just kind of picked away a little bit at a time.”
Pella held a 5-point leading going into the 4×400. Van Hauen knew that if Knoxville won, the Dutch could finish no lower than third.
The Panthers won in 3:21.68. Pella was third in 3:23.50 – just .08 of a second ahead of fourth-place Marion.
“We’ve had great depth,” Van Hauen said. “That’s kind of been our thing.”