PHOTO: Monticello runners (from left) Derek Manternach, Matt Manternach, Jordan Loes and Anthony Kinley run as a pack in the Monticello Invitational Sept. 14. (Photo by Pete Temple)
By Pete Temple, Express Sports Editor
Every Monticello cross country meet brings with it a new litany of impressive numbers.
In the case of the Monticello Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 14, some of those were as follows:
• All four Panther teams, including the boys and girls in varsity and JV, won their divisions.
• It was the sixth straight year in which both the Panther boys and girls varsity won the Monti Invite.
• Michael Melchert, the boys champion, broke the course record by 45 seconds.
• The varsity boys beat last year’s team time in the same meet (top five runners) by 1:48, or about 22 seconds per runner.
• Every member of the JV girls team posted season-best times, and half of them recorded personal bests. The JV girls also beat last year’s team time (1-5) by 4:30.
• The JV boys beat last year’s team time by 20 seconds.
The biggest statistic, of course, was winning all four races. The JV girls got things off to a good start.
“I could not have been more pleased with the way the JV girls started off and set the tone for the day,” Monticello coach Dan Sauser said.
Krysten Tighe was the JV girls champion, beating her PR by 23 seconds.
“A lot of the girls really started to compete,” Sauser said.
The JV boys followed with their victory, led by Zach Holmes, who was the individual champion. Ben Burds set a PR, and Treyton Hanssen had a PR for the second race in a row, beating his previous record by a minute.
“We continued to show signs of growth and improvement,” Sauser said.
Melchert was dominant in the varsity boys race, winning by 38 seconds. All seven of Monticello’s runners finished in the top 12 individually.
All of the runners contributed to beating last year’s team time.
“A lot of that was Michael, but our 2-5 runners were still a minute faster than last year’s 2-5 runners.”
The varsity girls won by 39 points over runner-up Mid-Prairie, led by Ellen Schlarmann, who was second overall. Natasha Eby, Mandi Miles and Jazmine Reynolds were also in the top 10.
“It was a solid performance,” Sauser said. “We’re starting to see our top runners gel a little bit.”
Ames meet Saturday
This weekend will be a departure from the schedule of past years. The Monticello varsity teams will travel to the Iowa State University course in Ames to run in the Roosevelt Heartland Classic.
Dozens of ranked teams from Iowa and surrounding states will be among the field of 41 schools, including the top ranked boys teams in Iowa’s Class 4A, 3A and 2A (the latter of which is Monticello).
Race times in Ames will be 11 a.m. for the varsity girls, and 11:30 a.m. for the varsity boys.
Meanwhile, the Panther JV teams will make their traditional appearance in the Cascade Invitational Sept. 20 in Fillmore, except the JV boys will actually run in the boys varsity race.
VARSITY BOYS TEAM SCORES
1, Monticello 21; 2, Center Point-Urbana 63; 3, Mid-Prairie 74; 4, Tipton 82; 5, Wilton 146; 6, Springville/Central City 165; 7, Dyersville Beckman 212.
1, Michael Melchert, 15:50; 3, Ben Ahlrichs, 16:33; 4, Nick Meyers, 16:51; 6, Jordan Loes, 17:16; 7, Matt Manternach, 17:22; 9, Derek Manternach, 17:33; 12, Anthony Kinley, 17:42.
VARSITY GIRLS TEAM SCORES
1, Monticello 40; 2, Mid-Prairie 79; 3, Center Point-Urbana 93*; 4, Durant 93; 5, Wilton 142; 6, Anamosa 143; 7, Springville/Central City 144; 8, Dyersville Beckman 192.
*- Center Point-Urbana wins third place tie-breaker by virtue of higher finish by sixth runner.
2, Ellen Schlarmann, 16:13; 6, Natasha Eby, 17:00; 8, Mandi Miles, 17:05; 9, Jazmine Reynolds, 17:08; 15, Abby Schmerbach, 17:53; 21, Jacqueline Petersen, 18:25; 22, Olivia Sunlin, 18:25.
JV BOYS TEAM SCORES
1, Monticello 22; 2, Center Point-Urbana 50; 3, Tipton 65.
1, Zach Holmes, 18:23; 2, Ben Burds, 19:27; 5, Jacob Bergman, 20:19; 6, Treyton Hanssen, 20:21; 8, Justin Dirks, 20:27; 9, Tyler Boheman, 20:30; 10, Tyler Hospodarsky, 20:31.
JV GIRLS TEAM SCORES
1, Monticello 19; 2, Center Point-Urbana 63; 3, Anamosa 80; 4, Dyersville Beckman 81.
1, Krysten Tighe, 19:11; 2, McKenna Kramer, 19:14; 4, Kaela Weber, 19:54; 5, Jaycie Nagel, 19:55; 7, Darby Kramer, 20:06; 8, Taylor Reth, 20:17; 9, Austyn Helgens, 20:34.