Back to state: Girls win qualifying meet, boys to make 21st straight trip

Monticello runners (from left) Cole Cruise, David Titman, Ryan Oswald, Aaron Loes and Jasper Nietert get started in the state qualifying meet Oct. 19 in Iowa City. (Photos by Pete Temple)

Monticello’s Aaron Loes (left) pumps a fist and Cole Cruise, who had his fingers crossed, reacts as they learn the Panthers have qualified for State for the 21st consecutive year.

Zach Chapman of the Panthers is determined to stay ahead of a rival runner in the state qualifying meet.

Paige Holub of Monticello crosses the finish line as the overall winner in the state qualifying meet Oct. 19.

Gabrielle Steiner competes for the Panthers in Iowa City Thursday.

The five individual state meet qualifiers for the Monticello girls, from left: Paige Holub, Jordyn Patterson, Emily Schlarmann, Taylor McDonald and Gabrielle Steiner.
Pete Temple
Express Sports Editor

     One team loaded up for State, and one breathed a sigh of relief, but the result was the same for both of Monticello High School’s cross country teams.

     They are headed back to the state meet in Fort Dodge.

     The Panther girls entered the Class 2A State Qualifying Meet Thursday, Oct. 19 in Iowa City with expectations of dominance, and achieved just that, earning four of the top five individual spots on the way to a 53-point victory.

     “We just knew we had to come and be ready to run; come and get business done,” senior Taylor McDonald said.

     The boys’ State hopes were less certain, but Monticello rose to the occasion, securing the second of three qualifying spots. Tipton won the meet with 37 points, the Panthers scored 87, and East Marshall was third with 96. Northeast of Goose Lake narrowly missed a State berth, with 98.

     “We were trying to fight for a spot all year, it came out in the end that we ran our guts out, and ended up accomplishing it,” senior Aaron Loes said. “It was a sigh of relief. I was a little nervous, but I had some faith that we were going to qualify.”

     So, both Panther teams will head back to Fort Dodge to run on Saturday, Oct. 28. For the boys, it will be the 21st consecutive appearance at State, which is now the longest active streak for any team in Iowa, and third longest all-time. Cedar Falls had the longest active and all-time streak, at 25 years, but did not qualify this year. Ankeny had a 22-year streak that ended in 2011.

     The Monticello girls were led by Paige Holub, who won the race with a time of 20:47.90.

     “It was just a matter of staying positive and trying to push yourself,” Holub said.

     McDonald finished second overall, Gabrielle Steiner fourth, Jordyn Patterson fifth, Emily Schlarmann 15th, Rachel Larabee 28th and Anna Loes 36th.

     It was all an effort to take aim at top-ranked Mid-Prairie when the teams clash again in Fort Dodge.

     “They wanted to use this to work on some things,” Monticello coach Dan Sauser said.

     One of those was to reduce the split between its first and fifth runners. The Panthers notched a season-best in that department, about a minute and 40 seconds, but Sauser said the team needs to get that down to 1:30 or better to have a chance for a state title.

     “It was a step in the right direction,” Sauser said. “Emily Schlarmann stepped up and gave us an outstanding race. The seniors (Holub, McDonald, Patterson, Larabee and Anna Loes) have been solid for us, and Gabrielle has been outstanding as a sophomore.

     “We have experience, and we’re going to try to use that to our advantage at the state meet.”

     The boys were led by Cole Cruise, who finished 12th, one spot ahead of Aaron Loes. Had the team not qualified, both Cruise and Loes would have made it individually by finishing in the top 15.

     “As a sophomore, Cole is still learning, but he’s a gritty young runner,” Sauser said. “To be an individual state qualifier as a sophomore is remarkable.”

     David Titman finished 19th, Jasper Nietert 20th, Ben Barnhart was 23rd, Ryan Oswald 25th, and Zach Chapman 32nd.

     “We were very pleased,” Sauser said about the boys’ performances and upcoming trip to State. “It is well-deserved.”

State times

     The girls’ Class 2A race at the state meet Saturday is scheduled for 1 p.m., followed by the boys’ 2A race at 1:30 p.m. The 2A awards will take place at 2:20 p.m.


Oct. 19

Class 2A State

Qualifying Meet

(at Kickers Soccer Park,

Iowa City)


(State qualifying teams in bold)

     1, Monticello 26; 2, Iowa City Regina 79; 3, Danville 107; 4, North Cedar 109; 5, Tipton 136; 6, East Marshall 164; 7, Camanche 177; 8, Mediapolis 190; 9, Central Lee 251; 10, Dyersville Beckman 270; 11, Northeast 281; 12, Wapello 299.


     1, Paige Holub, 20:47.90; 2, Taylor McDonald, 21:22.46; 4, Gabrielle Steiner, 21:26.21; 5, Jordyn Patterson, 21:41.48; 15, Emily Schlarmann, 22:27.01; 28, Rachel Larabee, 23:35.51; 36, Anna Loes, 24:21.70.


(State qualifying teams in bold)

     1, Tipton 37; 2, Monticello 87; 3, East Marshall 96; 4, Northeast 98; 5, Wapello 133; 6, Camanche 133; 7, Iowa City Regina 137; 8, Mediapolis 240; 9, Danville 265; 10, Central Lee 283; 11, Dyersville Beckman 322; 12, North Cedar 337; 13, Louisa-Muscatine 341.


     12, Cole Cruise, 18:51.99; 13, Aaron Loes, 18:53.15; 19, David Titman, 19:19.16; 20, Jasper Nietert, 19:19.16; 23, Ben Barnhart, 19:33.25; 25, Ryan Oswald, 19:38.97; 32, Zach Chapman, 19:48.92.



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