Cross Country: Beyond Circumstances


Anna Ruiter

Ryan Hancock (Senior) runs the 3.1 mile long Quad at Central College against other schools. (Bryleigh De Jong)

With an unusual season this year, the Pella cross country has competed in four meets; two at home, one in Newton, and another in Williamsburg. The team has two more regular meets and then on to districts and state. Team members like senior Ashley Bloomers have learned to embrace new challenges they face and welcome every sweet moment.

“This season mentally is all hope. I have been truly blessed to have a season in the time of Covid. I’m making every race count because some people don’t have that opportunity,” said senior Ashley Blommers. “Highlights this season are having two back to back home meets and having all our classmates and friends come out and watch us compete and the relationships this team has made with each other,” said Blommers. 

Senior Ryan Hancock doesn’t feel that Covid has had a huge impact on the season.

“With Covid-19 still going on, I feel that the season has gone amazing not only for me but the team overall. We’ve been able to train and compete without limitations,” said Hancock.

As a newbie to the team, freshman Autumn Blink has also earned herself a spot on varsity.

“As the season continues, I am making improvements and pushing myself more to be a better runner,” said Blink. 

The girls’ varsity team this year consists of many freshmen. Being on varsity the first year may come with some pressure. 

“I feel more stressed because it’s a high level, and you want to push yourself to the best ability you possibly can,” Blink.

Not only does Blink feel pressure but the seniors on the team feel the need to push themselves to make their last year on the team the best it can be. They have set goals for themselves to accomplish their best. Hancock and Blommers have determined their goals. 

“Coming into my second year and last year of high school my goal was that I left an impact,” said Hancock.  “I want to make sure the underclassmen had a role model they could not only look up to but call a friend.” 

Bloomer’s goal involves going to state.

“For my senior year I am hoping to accomplish making it to state with a whole new group of girls. Along with a good placement so that all our freshmen know how it feels and can lead in the next years,” said Blommers. 

Blommers and Blink believe the team has pushed them to be better. Hancock agrees.  

“Without them, nothing would be possible. They not only push me to be the best I can physically but also mentally,” said Hancock. “We have the best coaching staff not only by experience but also personality. Our athletes are amazing on and off the course. We all compete to be the best, and it shows in competitions.”