Christ cross

Mike Buchheit, head coach of Pella Christian Cross County, recognized among the best in Iowa | Radio KNIA KRLS

After another fantastic cross-country season on Eagle Lane, Pella Christian Head Coach Mike Buchheit was recognized as one of five coaches selected as the At-Large Class 2A Boys Coach of the Year by the ‘Iowa Association of Track Coaches.

The honor was the second in as many years for Buchheit, who was recognized for his work in 2021 with the Class 1A State Qualifying Eagles men’s team.

Pella Christian opened the season outside the top 20 in the Class 2A rankings released on August 19, but changed that on September 6 by entering the poll in 14th place. The Eagles reached 9th place statewide on Oct. 28, but topped that mark with a seventh-place finish at Fort Dodge.

In addition to team ranking throughout the season, Kaden Van Wyngarden has been ranked individually for much of the season. The senior held the individual rankings of 12th, 14th and 17th, but topped that ranking at State with an eighth-place All-State. Van Wyngarden also broke Skyler Giddings’ 2010 school record for the fastest 5k time at the Centerville Cross Country Invitational on October 4 with a time of 16:10.

In addition to the successes of Coach Buchheit’s men’s team over the past two seasons, the women’s cross country team reached the State Meet for the first time since the 2008 season. The cross country program of the Eagles has also broken school records for attendance in each of the past two seasons under Buchheit.