Panther girls reach State; Capron advances for boys

The state meet-qualifying Monticello girls cross country team, from left: volunteer coach Bruce Novak, head coach Dan Sauser, Leah Koehler, Emily Hendricks, Marisa Kehoe, Ava Capron, Halle Recker, Emma Althoff, Leah Schemmel and assistant coach Vallerie Lynn. (Photos by Pete Temple)

Chesney Capron heads down the finishing chute for Monticello at the State Qualifying Meet Oct. 20 in Monticello. Capron qualified for State individually.
Pete Temple
Express Sports Editor

   Monticello’s girls won a tight race, and earned a trip to State, during the Class 2A State Qualifying Cross Country Meet Thursday, Oct. 20 at Monticello High School.

   The Panthers had five of the top 22 finishers, and totaled 56 points to edge Tipton and Dyersville Beckman, both of which scored 59. All three teams will advance to the state meet, which for 2A will be Friday, Oct. 28 at Lakeside Municipal Golf Course in Fort Dodge.

   “We needed everybody to do their part, and we had just enough to win the meet championship,” Monticello coach Dan Sauser said. “There are three really good teams going to Fort Dodge, and they are all going to be in the running for trophies.”

   Also qualifying was Monticello’s Chesney Capron, a senior who advanced to State individually. The Panther boys team lost a heartbreaking battle for the third and final team qualifying spot, as Mediapolis defeated them by five points.

   Capron finished fourth overall in 16:50.

   “Chesney has been wanting to get under that 17 mark all year, so we’re extremely happy with where he’s at,” Sauser said.

   As for the boys’ team, he added, “The effort was there. They did what they needed to do. But unfortunately there were three other really good teams there, and those teams are going to go (to State) and do really well.”

   The girls were led by Emma Althoff, who was sixth individually. Leah Koehler ran eighth, Marisa Kehoe was ninth, Halle Recker took 19th, Ava Capron placed 22nd, Emily Hendricks was 33rd, and Leah Schemmel finished 43rd.

   Kehoe beat her personal record by more than 30 seconds. Koehler was within two seconds and Althoff within 10 seconds of their season-best times.

   “We had some incredible times up front,” the coach said.

   Hendricks and Schemmel had season-best times.

   The Panthers figure to have plenty of competition at State.

   “There are probably five or six teams that can win it,” Sauser said. “We really want to get one of those trophies and bring it home. Things are in place; we just need everybody to hit their best race.

   For the boys, following Capron were Jacob Miller in 16th place, Aedan Althoff 17th, Alex Oswald 19th, Cord Nietert 20th, Reever Graver 23rd and Walker Spence 25th.

   Capron, Nietert and Graver had PRs; Graver beat his by about 30 seconds.

   It wasn’t quite enough.

   “It stings,” Sauser said, “but then again as a coach you look back and say, ‘Guys, you did what you needed to do.’ ”

   It made for a bittersweet postrace scene; both Panther teams were happy for the girls, sad for the boys.

   “While I am excited about the girls’ team qualifying,” senior Althoff said, “it’s really hard because we’ve trained all year with the boys, and they are our team as much as the girls are.”

   Tipton won with 50 points, Waukon had 58, Mediapolis totaled 71, and Monticello had 76.

   Mediapolis, which came into the meet 15th, had an outstanding performance.

   “When you’ve got the number two (Tipton), four (Waukon) and 10 (Monticello) teams here, the 15 team should not go 1-2-6-12 (in individual placings), but they did,” Sauser said. “They ran great, and you just have to say, ‘hats off to you guys.’

   “I was extremely pleased with how we ran. Unfortunately it weasn’t our day to earn that state-qualifying trip.”

State meet info

   For the third year in a row, the state meet is being split into two days. Classes 1A and 2A will run Friday; 3A and 4A Saturday.

   For Monticello, the Class 2A girls’ race is Friday at 2 p.m.; the boys’ race is at 2:45 p.m., followed by awards at 4 p.m.

   Tickets are available online only (no cash sales), for $10 apiece. Links can be found at and Free parking is available at Kennedy Park (adjacent to the course). There will be no shuttle system.


Oct. 20

Class 2A State

Qualifying Meet

(at Monticello)


(top three qualify for State)

     1, Monticello 56; 2, Tipton 59*; 3, Dyersville Beckman 59; 4, Sumner-Fredericksburg 108*; 5, Jesup 108; 6, Northeast 145; 7, Waukon 164; 8, Mediapolis 241; 9, Louisa-Muscatine 248.

(* – earned spot via sixth runner tiebreaker rule)


     6, Emma Althoff, 19:57; 8, Leah Koehler, 20:07; 9, Marisa Kehoe, 20:08; 19, Halle Recker, 20:58; 22, Ava Capron, 21:34; 33, Emily Hendricks, 22:26; 43, Leah Schemmel 23:08.


(top three qualify for State)

     1, Tipton 50; 2, Waukon 58; 3, Mediapolis 71; 4, Monticello 76; 5, Jesup 159; 6, Northeast 190; 7, Waterloo Columbus 200; 8, Dyersville Beckman 225; 9, Louisa-Muscatine 236; 10, Wilton 259; 11, Sumner-Fredericksburg 11; 12, Camanche 324.


(State qualifier in bold)

     4, Chesney Capron, 16:50; 16, Jacob Miller, 17:34; 17, Aedan Althoff, 17:38; 19, Alex Oswald 19:49; 20, Cord Nietert, 17:54; 23, Reeve Graver, 18:04; 25, Walker Spence, 18:15.




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