PHOTO: The Monticello girls cross country team poses after finishing sixth at the state meet Nov. 2 in Fort Dodge. From left are McKenna Kremer, Mandi Miles, Natasha Eby, Jazmine Reynolds, Abby Schmerbach, Jacqueline Petersen and Ellen Schlarmann. (Photo by Pete Temple)
By Pete Temple, Express Sports Editor
Monticello punctuated its second straight trip to the State Girls Cross Country Meet with a top-half finish, taking sixth place in a talented field of 15 teams Saturday, Nov. 2 in Fort Dodge.
“It was probably the deepest field of all the classes,” Monticello coach Dan Sauser said. “I was very pleased with the effort and finish. The girls ran very well. Sixth in this field was very good.”
Sauser noted that it was the only race out of eight (four classes, boys and girls) that had three teams finish with fewer than 100 points.
“It was a very competitive field,” he said. “There were some very good schools ahead of us.”
Ellen Schlarmann, as she has all season, led the Panthers, missing on a top-10 finish by nine seconds and taking 11th place in 15:33.6. Natasha Eby, Jazmine Reynolds and Mandi Miles all finished in the top 40.
McKenna Kremer and Eby both ran season best times. Schlarmann and Miles missed their season bests by two seconds apiece, and Reynolds missed hers by three seconds.
“We would have liked to have finished in the top three, but as deep as the field was, everyone would have had to have their season best times, and even that might not have done it,” Sauser said. “Our scorers ran well.”
Abby Schmerbach and Jacqueline Petersen also competed for the Panthers.
“Those two had never experienced a race like that before,” Sauser said. “Just getting that experience was critical.”
Monticello will return six of its top seven runners next year, losing only Eby, a senior.
“Natasha had an outstanding senior year,” Sauser said. “It was her best overall complete season.”
The coach said he was excited to have the underclassmen back.
“The team is in great shape,” he said.
State Girls Cross Country
(at Fort Dodge)
2A GIRLS TEAM SCORES
1, Gilbert 59; 2, Unity Christian 76; 3, Cascade 95; 4, Western Christian 124; 5, Iowa City Regina 172; 6, Monticello 181; 7, South Central Calhoun 188; 8, North Fayette Valley 208, 9, Greene County 238, 10, Davis Count 241, 11, East Marshall 242, 12, North Polk 281, 13, Roland-Story 301, 14, Panorama 303, 15, Northeast 321.
(overall finish first, team scoring finish in parentheses)
11 (9), Ellen Schlarmann, 15:33.6; 30 (23), Natasha Eby, 16:08.1; 35 (25), Jazmine Reynolds, 16:14.5; 55 (40), Mandi Miles, 16:36.2; 102 (84), McKenna Kremer, 17:49.1; 107 (89), Abby Schmerbach, 18:17.8; 114 (96), Jacqueline Petersen, 18:33.1.