Best when it counts most: Panthers qualify nine entries to State

Andrew Mescher of Monticello (left) takes a handoff from Taylor Manternach in the distance medley relay at the Class 2A state qualifying meet May 11 at North Fayette Valley, West Union. (Photos by Pete Temple)

Avery Martensen nears the finish of the 110-meter hurdles at the state qualifying meet.

Jacob Lindauer rounds the final turn in the 400-meter dash May 11 in West Union.
Pete Temple
Express Sports Editor

     Anyone who has followed Monticello High School boys track and field over the years should be well aware of this mantra: Never overlook the Panthers.

     A mostly young team that graduated a bevy of state champion-caliber seniors last year steadily improved this spring. That improvement showed best when it counted most, at the Class 2A state qualifying meet Thursday, May 11 at North Fayette Valley in West Union.

     The Panthers will send nine entries to state in a total of seven events.

     “We just keep getting better,” Monticello coach Greg Williams said. “We had a great meet. Out of 19 events, we had best performances of the year in 10.”

     Aaron Loes had a particularly outstanding meet, winning both the 1,600 and 3,200-meter events. Teammate Tyler Hospodarsky also qualified for State in the 1,600, finishing second.

     Avery Martensen advanced in the high jump and the 110-meter hurdles.

     The Panthers also earned a trip to State in three relays, finishing second in both the 4x100 and distance medley, and third in the 4x200.

     The 4x100 team of Max Keleher, Andrew Tjaden, Andrew Mescher and Taylor Manternach broke a 13-year-old school record, , finishing in 44.41 seconds.

     “The sprint group was on fire all night,” Williams said. “It was fun to watch. Aaron Less ran well with his double wins.

     “All the guys competed, whether they had a shot at State or not. That was nice to see.”

     The Panthers finished fourth as a team, scoring 73 points. Anamosa won the meet with 117, North Fayette Valley was second with 86, and Cascade placed third with 80.

     The state meet will be Thursday through Saturday, May 18-20 at Drake Stadium in Des Moines.


May 11

Class 2A State Qualifying

(at West Union)


     1, Anamosa 117; 2, North Fayette Valley 86; 3, Cascade 80; 4, Monticello 73; 5, Bellevue 72; 6, Waukon 71; 7, New Hampton 68; 8, Dyersville Beckman 66; 9, South Winneshiek 48.5; 10, Oelwein 37.5; 11, MFL MarMac 13; 12, Sumner-Fredericksburg 9.


(State qualifiers in bold)

     800: 6, Connor Franzenburg, 2:06.56; 8, Tyler Hospodarsky, 2:09.25.

     1,600: 1, Aaron Loes, 4:33.29; 2, Tyler Hospodarsky, 4:38.58.

     3,200: 1, Aaron Loes, 10:09.16; 8, Cole Cruise, 10:51.95.

     110 hurdles: 4, Avery Martensen, 15.80.

     High jump: 4, Avery Martensen, 6-0.

     Shot put: 8, Wade Picray, 43-1.5.

     4x100: 2, Monticello (Max Keleher, Andrew Tjaden, Andrew Mescher, Taylor Manternach), 44.41.

     4x200: 3, Monticello (Max Keleher, Gavin Cooper, Andrew Mescher, Taylor Manternach), 1:32.73.

     4x400: 8, Monticello (Max Keleher, Gavin Cooper, Andrew Mescher, Taylor Manternach), 3:35.86.

     4x800: 6, Monticello (Connor Franzenburg, David Titman, Carter Cruise, Jacob Lindauer), 9:10.59.

     Distance medley: 2, Monticello (Taylor Manternach, Andrew Mescher, Max Keleher, Tyler Hospodarsky), 3:39.65.

     Shuttle hurdle: 6, Monticello (Alex Kremer, Josh White, Alex Nealson, Avery Martensen), 1:05.19.



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