State hardware: Panther girls finish third, Capron, Althoff reach awards podium

The Monticello Panthers pose with their third place trophy from the State Class 2A Cross Country Meet Oct. 28 in Fort Dodge. They are, first row from left: Emma Althoff, Ava Capron, Emily Hendricks, Savannah Freese and Leah Schemmel. Second row: volunteer coach Bruce Novak, head coach Dan Sauser, Halle Recker, Marisa Kehoe, Katie Roher, Leah Koehler and assistant coach Vallerie Lynn. (Photos by Pete Temple)

Chesney Capron of Monticello stays ahead of opponents on the way to a 10th-place finish in the boys 2A state meet Friday.
Pete Temple
Express Sports Editor

   The Monticello girls cross country team added to its long list of state meet trophies with a third place finish, and Chesney Capron, a senior for the Panther boys, ran the best race of his life on the biggest stage.

   These were the Monticello results of the Class 2A State Cross Country Meet, held Friday, Oct. 28 at Lakeside Municipal Golf Course in Fort Dodge.

   The Panther girls totaled 145 points, finishing third behind state champion Van Meter (111) and Williamsburg (113). Dyersville Beckman was fourth with 154; Mid-Prairie took fifth with 157.

   Since (and including) 2012, the Panther girls have earned eight top-three trophies in 11 years. They were champions in 2014 and 2016, second twice and third five times, including three of the past four seasons.

   “Anytime you can bring a trophy back from Fort Dodge, that’s a great accomplishment,” Monticello coach Dan Sauser said. “We’re  happy with the outcome. The girls were excited after the race, and that’s what it’s all about.”

   Emma Althoff earned a medal and All-State honors by placing 15th individually, with a time of 19:51.13. Althoff, a senior, thus wrapped up a cross country career in which she made the awards podium twice and was in the top 20 all four years.

   “Emma has had a stellar career,” Sauser said. “It shows what a good hard work ethic will do.”

   Marisa Kehoe was 25th overall, after running about 50th early in the race.

   “In the second half of the season, Marisa raced extremely well,” the coach said.

   They were followed by Leah Koehler in 36th place, Ava Capron 63rd, Halle Recker 73rd, Emily Hendrics 113th, and Leah Schemmel 125th.

   “To get third in a field as competitive at it was, it took a full team effort. We needed everyone to do their part,” Sauser said.

   Chesney Capron did his part, beating his previous personal record by about eight seconds and making the awards stand with a 10th place finish in 16:42.79.

   A year ago, he finished 69th individually at State.

   “What a race,” Sauser said of Capron’s performance. “He had an awesome finish to his cross country career. I could not be more happy for that young man.”

   Capron was in 22nd place at the one-mile mark, but worked his way up the field, getting as high as seventh before finishing 10th.

   “In that middle mile, he put it into another gear,” the coach said.

   Sauser added that his teammates, though disappointed they didn’t qualify as a team, worked with Capron to help him be his best at State.

   “His teammates really rallied around Chesney,” the coach said. “They pushed him at practice and worked real hard with him.”

   It was the final race for five seniors who were part of the state meet teams, either as participants or alternates. They included Chesney Capron, Emma Althoff, Emily Hendricks, Savannah Freese and Katie Roher.

   “We appreciate everything the seniors have done,” Sauser said.


State Class 2A

Cross Country Meet

(at Fort Dodge)


     1, Van Meter 111; 2, Williamsburg 113; 3, Monticello 145; 4, Dyersville Beckman 154; 5, Mid-Prairie 157; 6, Tipton 179; 7, Denver 193; 8, New Hampton 231; 9, Cherokee Washington 235; 10, Pella Christian 241; 11, Clarinda 243; 12, Unity Christian 249; 13, Albia 250; 14, Des Moines Christian 270; 15, GLR-CL 296.



     15, Emma Althoff, 19:51.13; 25, Marisa Kehoe, 20:23.06; 36, Leah Koehler, 20:43.02; 63, Ava Capron, 21:09.62; 73, Halle Recker, 21:15.84; 113, Emily Hendricks, 23:06.81; 125, Leah Schemmel, 24:02.99.



     10, Chesney Capron, 16:42.79.




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