Boys win, girls third in River Valley Conference Meet

The River Valley Conference champion Monticello boys cross country team includes, from left: Grant Hospodarsky, Keegan Freese, Chesney Capron, Carter Kurt, Walker Spence, Jasper Nietert, Harrison Ahlrichs and Jacob Miller. Not pictured is Ian Temple. (Photo courtesy of Brandy Nietert)

Monticello runners Mya Postel (left) and Rylee Kraus race around a turn at the River Valley Conference Meet. (Photo by Pete Temple)
Pete Temple
Express Sports Editor

     All athletes want to be at their best when it matters most.

     So when the Monticello High School cross country teams collected eight personal record times and 19 season best times at the River Valley Conference Meet, it proved to be a good sign.

     The Panther boys won their first conference championship since 2015, knocking off the Class 2A second-ranked team, Tipton, to win by six points.

     Monticello’s girls ran a respectable third place in their race. The meet was held Tuesday, Oct. 13 at MHS.

     “Our goal was to win the conference meet,” Monticello coach Dan Sauser said. “The boys knew they had to get Tipton, and we knew we had a chance at them.”

     The Panthers used a pack mentality – their top five runners ranged from sixth place (Jasper Nietert) to 16th (Jacob Miller), and were separated by about 25 seconds. In between were Zach Chapman in 10th place, Harrison Ahlrichs in 11th, and Carter Kurt in 12th.

     “That is the strength of the boys’ team,” Sauser said. “We came in as a pack, and that was the difference. If we can continue with the pack approach, we’re going to be really good down the stretch.”

     Miller has one of the most impressive performances, setting a PR and knocking 45 seconds off his previous season-best time.

     “He really rose to the occasion,” Sauser said.

     Nietert beat the 17-minute mark for the first time this season, while setting a PR. Chapman also had a PR.

     Mid-Prairie ran away with the girls’ meet, totaling just 24 points. Monticello scored 76, and missed a runner-up team spot by just two points, behind Tipton.

     “I was extremely impressed with our girls,” Sauser said. “All 10 runners set season-best times. We got nipped by Tipton, but that Tipton team is really good. I thought that was a good sign and a good boost.”

     The Panthers had two top-10 finishes, with Emma Althoff finishing sixth and Karle Kramer eighth. Triniti Etzel, Lydia Recker and Rylee Kraus finished 17th, 20th and 30th, respectively, to count in the scoring. Althoff went under the 20-minute mark for the first time this season.

     “Emma beat her season best by 39 seconds,” Sauser noted. “And Karle has had back-to-back really good races. She gives us that solid second runner.”

     Setting PRs were Kramer, Katie Roher, Mya Postel, Savannah Freese and Ella Glawatz. Kraus shaved 1:21 off her season-best time.

State qualifying meet

here Wednesday

     Monticello will host the Class 3A State Qualifying Meet Wednesday, Oct. 21, with the girls’ race starting at 4 p.m. and the boys to follow at 4:30 p.m.

     The top three teams and top 15 individuals will advance to the state meet Friday, Oct. 23 in Fort Dodge.

     Several ranked teams will be vying with Monticello for state spots. For the boys, Solon is ranked fourth, Clear Creek-Amana 11th, Monticello 12th and Dubuque Wahlert 15th. For the girls, Wahlert is ranked second, Solon fourth, Davenport Assumption sixth, and Monticello is listed among the “teams to watch” (ranked 16-18).


Oct. 13

River Valley Conf. Meet

(at Monticello)


     1, Monticello 55; 2, Tipton 61; 3, Mid-Prairie 89; 4, Bellevue 116; 5, Northeast 126; 6, Cascade 159; 7, Anamosa 168; 8, Camanche 173; 9, Iowa City Regina 210; 10, West Liberty 301; 11, North Cedar 316.


     6, Jasper Nietert, 16:56.04; 10, Zach Chapman, 17:24.49; 11, Harrison Ahlrichs, 17:26.26; 12, Carter Kurt, 17:26.51; 16, Jacob Miller, 17:38.73; 27, Keegan Freese, 18:15.04; 31, Grant Hospodarsky, 18:38.14; 34, Chesney Capron, 18:45.64; 39, Walker Spence, 19:03.30; 42, Ian Temple, 19:08.60.


     1, Mid-Prairie 24; 2, Tipton 74; 3, Monticello 76; 4, Iowa City Regina 107; 5, Northeast 163; 6, Anamosa 170; 7, Cascade 170; 8, North Cedar 177.


     6, Emma Althoff, 19:41.56; 8, Karle Kramer, 20:13.25; 17, Triniti Etzel, 21:01.32; 20, Lydia Recker, 21:06.49; 30, Rylee Kraus, 21:48.39; 31, Mya Postel, 21:53.53; 38, Katie Roher, 22:26.10; 42, Savannah Freese, 22:44.60; 44, Emily Hendricks, 22:59.43; 58, Ella Glawatz, 24:57.31.




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