Girls' group effort leads to State trophy; boys are 14th

The Monticello girls cross country team is recognized on the podium for winning the Class 2A third place trophy. From left are Triniti Etzel, Karle Kramer, Lydia Recker, Emma Althoff, Marisa Kehoe, Ava Capron, Leah Koehler, Faith Hansen, Savannah Freese, assistant coaches Vallerie Lynn and Bruce Novak, and head coach Dan Sauser. (Photos by Pete Temple)

Emma Althoff runs ahead of several opponents at State.

Chesney Capron keeps his head up for the Panthers.
Pete Temple
Express Sports Editor

     It takes everyone.

     If the Monticello High School girls cross country team was going to secure a top-three finish and bring home some hardware from the State Class 2A Meet Oct. 30, it was going to require strong efforts from the entire team.

     That was just how it turned out.

     “We needed everyone to step up,” Monticello coach Dan Sauser said. “We knew everybody was going to have to play an important role in this race, and they all did. That’s what it was going to take.”

     Monticello scored 146 points, edging Jesup by just seven, to claim this year’s third place trophy at the meet, held as always at Lakeside Municipal Golf Course in Fort Dodge, under near-perfect conditions, sunny and around 50 degrees.

     Mid-Prairie won the meet with 50, and Denver was second with 111.

     The Panther boys also competed at State, finishing 14th.

     “I think we were happy with the way we raced,” the coach said of the boys’ team. “There were just a lot of schools down there that were just better than us on that given day.”

     The Panther girls were led by Emma Althoff, who was 17th overall in 20:03.12. Ava Capron was just over six seconds farther back, finishing 20th in 20:09.84 and carving 37 seconds off her previous season’s best time. Capron was the fourth freshman to finish.

     Karle Kramer was 41st, Marisa Kehoe 49th, Leah Koehler 62nd, Lydia Recker 64th, and Triniti Etzel 66th.

     “I’m really proud of how the team competed,” said Recker, a senior. “We came and showed up, and did what we needed to do.”

     Kramer, another senior, said it was good to be back at State after the team missed out a year ago.

     “I think it’s redemption from last year,” Kramer said.

     Kehoe beat her previous season’s best by 12 seconds, Etzel beat hers by 11, Recker beat hers by four, and Althoff basically tied her season’s best.

     “I think the strength of our girls’ team, was, we had all seven girls in well ahead of anybody else’s, even Mid-Prairie. That really shows us the depth of our team,” Sauser said.

     “Lydia and Triniti were our sixth and seventh runners, they added a ton of points to all the other schools, because they were ahead of many of their counting runners. They definitely added on to Jesup’s score.”

     Etzel, a senior, said: “We passed who we needed to pass.”

     It was the final race for seniors Kramer, Recker and Etzel.

     “They went out on a high note. I was very pleased that they could go out bringing home a trophy. They deserve it. They’ve been such valuable parts of this team for many years now,” Sauser said.

     In the boys’ race, Monticello totaled 275 points.

     “We were hoping to see if we could squeak into the top 10, and we weren’t that far off,” Sauser said.

     Chesney Capron and Jacob Miller led the Panther boys, finishing 69th and 70th, respectively. Capron was clocked in 18:03.75, knocking 21 seconds off his season’s best time; and Miller essentially tied his, at 18:03.90.

     Walker Spence was 74th in 18:07.48, 41 seconds better than his previous season’s best.

     “His upside is high,” Sauser said.

     Carter Kurt was 87th, Dylan Ponder took 112th, Grant Hospodarsky was 126th, and Alex Oswald placed 135th.          

     “We’re going to regroup,” Sauser said. “We have a lot of these kids coming back. We’re losing Grant and Carter, but we have a lot of underclassmen that are going to be back next year, and better, and I think the boys are going to have a much-improved state performance next year.

     “It sets a good platform for the 2022 season.”


Oct. 30

State Class 2A Meet

(at Fort Dodge


     1, Mid-Prairie 50; 2, Denver 111; 3, Monticello 146; 4, Jesup 153; 5, Cherokee/Washington 192; 6, Tipton 200; 7, Van Meter 210; 8, Clarinda 221*; 9, Dyersville Beckman 221*; 10, Sibley-Ocheydan 223; 11, Williamsburg 225; 12, Unity Christian 238; 13, Albia 269; 14, Des Moines Christian 306; 15, Roland-Story 318.

* – Placing determined by sixth runner


     17, Emma Althoff, 20:03.12; 20, Ava Capron, 20:09.84; 41, Karle Kramer, 20:43.11; 49, Marisa Kehoe, 20:52.84; 62, Leah Koehler, 21:07.99; 64, Lydia Recker, 21:09.15; 66, Triniti Etzel, 21:11.67.


     1, Tipton 60; 2, Danville/New London 101; 3, Western Christian 144; 4, Oelwein 171*; 5, Des Moines Christian 171*; 6, Mid-Prairie 174; 7, Waukon 185; 8, East Marshall, LeGrand 199; 9, Okoboji, Milford 213; 10, Williamsburg 215; 11, GCGR, Grundy Center 238; 12, Clear Lake 242; 13, Unity Christian 275*; 14, Monticello 275*; 15, Jesup 286.

* – Placing determined by sixth runner

* – Placing determined by sixth runner


     69, Chesney Capron, 18:03.75; 70, Jacob Miller, 18:03.90; 74, Walker Spence, 18:07.48; 87, Carter Kurt, 18:15.61; 112, Dylan Ponder, 18:42.38; 126, Grant Hospodarsky, 19:10.2; 135, Alex Oswald, 19:41.51.



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