Van Meter cross country competes at Charger Invite, football remains undefeated

Megan Teske, Correspondent
Special to Dallas County News
Van Meter's Dustin  Barth runs during the boys' race in the Gilbert Cross Country Invitational at Iowa State Cross Country Course Thursday, Sept. 9, 2021, in Ames, Iowa.

Cross country competes at Charger Invite

The Van Meter boys and girls cross country teams took part in the Charger Invite on Sept. 23 and found success.

The girls team won the meet with a total of 32 team points while the boys placed fourth with 96 total team points.

Head Coach Josh Flaws said the Bulldogs joined the meet last minute because the Adel meet they were supposed to compete in got rained out, so Van Meter had never run the course before.

Despite the unfamiliar course, Flaws said the meet turned out really well for the Bulldogs.

“The girls ran really well, I think that was our most complete meet of the season so far,” Flaws said.

The girls had four runners in the top 10 with the fifth runner placing 12th for the Bulldogs to take first.

The first-place finish was the first win of the season for Van Meter, and Flaws said the team has been able to improve in part because everyone is healthy.

Flaws said the team has really started to hit its stride and the girls are really motivated.

Juniors Clare and Mary Kelly took first and second place respectively in the meet, and Flaws said not only are they strong runners, they are great leaders for the team.

“The best thing about them is as soon as they’re finished, even if they win, lose or whatever, they’re right back cheering on their teammates until the last girl finishes and you don’t see that a ton,” Flaws said.

He added that for the Kelly girls, it’s not about themselves, they want the team to do well too because it’s more fun to make it to state as a team.

On the boys’ side, Van Meter had three runners in the top 20, and Flaws said it was one of the Bulldogs’ best team performances this season.

Flaws said the theme for the boys was to continue to improve as much as possible each meet.

He said senior Dustin Barth, who finished 11th at the meet, has been leading the team each meet.

“His goal is to qualify as an individual and I think he’s got a really good shot at that,” Flaws said. “He’s really competitive.”

Flaws added that the younger runners are starting to step up as well and it will be interesting to see how they improve in the latter half of the season.

Both the girls and boys team have two meets this week and two the following week.

The Bulldogs were set to compete in the Clarke Invitational on Sept. 28, which Flaws said would bring some good competition for the girls.

“There’s two good ranked teams ahead of us that we’re going to try to shoot for,” Flaws said.

He said Van Meter is competing as much as it can since the Bulldogs have four meets the next two weeks followed by conference.

To stay fresh, Flaws said the team is very mindful about staying hydrated, stretching and keeping it light on the off days.

The Bulldogs compete at the West Central Valley Invitational at 4:30 p.m. Sept. 30 at West Central Valley Middle School.

Dalten Van Pelt runs the ball for the Bulldogs during a road game against West Central Valley on Friday, Sept. 24.

Football remains undefeated

The Van Meter football team had a big win last weekend to stay undefeated. The Bulldogs took on West Central Valley on Sept. 24 and won 70-0.

Van Meter got out to a strong lead, going up 21-0 at the end of the first quarter. The Bulldogs’ commanding lead only grew when they went up 56-0 at halftime.

Senior quarterback Jack Pettit had a solid day in the air, going seven for seven for 118 yards and two touchdowns, however Van Meter’s rushing attack led the way with 263 yards on the ground.

Senior Dalten Van Pelt played a large role in the rushing game with 13 carries for 133 yards and five touchdowns. Sophomore Ben Gordon followed with five rushes for 61 yards and a touchdown while Pettit also had a rushing touchdown of his own.

In the air, seniors Chris Schreck and Caden Peterson each caught a touchdown. Schreck led the receivers with two receptions for 42 yards and Peterson’s 34-yard touchdown catch followed for second-most receiving yards.

On defense, senior Ganon Archer had a fumble recovery for 10 yards while senior Ryan Fisher had a pick of his own.

Senior Reese Moore led with six total tackles followed by junior Matt Kerber who had 5.5, including a team-high five solo tackles.

The Bulldogs next play their homecoming game against Nodaway Valley at 7 p.m. Oct. 1 at Van Meter High School.

Van Meter's Reese Moore makes a catch during a road game against West Central Valley on Friday, Sept. 24.