2016: The year of the Mustang

by Ashley Miller

Despite the team’s small numbers last year, the PCM girls’ track team had a great season, placing second and third against larger teams at almost every meet. This year, things are looking even better for the Lady Mustangs after welcoming in new head coach Lindsey Cunningham.
Cunningham is a PCM graduate and was a member of PCM’s track team for her entire high school career. She is now a fourth grade teacher at Monroe Elementary, and of course, head coach of the girls’ high school track team.
“My favorite parts of coaching are seeing how hard the girls work. I enjoy coming to practice each day and getting to know the girls. Also seeing everyone try their best to make themselves better,” Cunningham said.
Last year, the girls had an impressive and record breaking season. Eight races advanced to the State meet. At State, the 4×400 team placed fifth, and PCM graduate Rachel Peter won the 1500, breaking the school record previously set by Kendra Versendaal by a whole six seconds.
This year, Cunningham has assumed the position of head coach due to last year’s head coach Bridget Martin being on maternity leave. Despite this, Martin is still part of the team as the volunteer coach.
That’s not all that has changed about the team this track season. With a group consisting of around 20 girls last year, the number of runners has practically doubled. The small numbers last year prevented the Mustangs from obtained the maximum possible points. There are enough Lady Mustangs this year to enter every event.
“It is great that we have so many members on the track team this year, and my goal for us as a team is to win conference and districts like my sophomore year and get a bunch of girls to the blue oval,” senior Ashley Van Gorp said. “I have personal goals set of being a good leader and role model for my team.”
Of the fifth placing 4×400, Van Gorp, juniors Rachel Stafford and Jayci Vos return. Vos has also qualified for State in the 400 hurdles for the past two years, and was part of the State qualifying 4×100 and 4×200 teams with Van Gorp and senior Emily Hugen, who is also returning to run this season.
The girls have their first meet on Friday, March 11. at Central College’s indoor track in Pella. Come down and witness the beginning of a record breaking season.