A pair of threes: Monticello teams bring home State hardware

Pete Temple
Express Sports Editor

     Make room in the trophy case. The Monticello High School cross country teams have a couple more to add to it.

     Both the girls’ and boys’ earned third place finishes at the State Class 2A Cross Country Meet Saturday, Nov. 2 at Lakeside Municipal Golf Course in Fort Dodge.

     The teams did so by putting together some of their best performances of the season, according to head coach Dan Sauser.

     “Our goal was to go down there and bring home two trophies, and we accomplished that,” Sauser said. “We ran real close to our best, and we knew we had to do that in order to get trophies.”

     Monticello was squarely in third place in both races. In the girls’ event, Mid-Prairie edged Williamsburg by one point, 61 to 62, with the Panthers scoring 130. Jesup was fourth with 169.

     “The big question going in was, with a team of freshmen and sophomores, and only one girl with state meet experience, how were they going to respond? But everyone did their part,” Sauser said.

     Freshman Emma Althoff earned a medal by finishing ninth with her time of 19:22.5. She was followed in order by teammates Karle Kramer, Triniti Etzel, Lydia Recker, Emily Hendricks, Katie Roher and Mya Postel.

     “Emma ran with no fear,” Sauser said. “But I’ll credit the entire team. Everyone had to do their part, and that is exactly what the team did. If they gave us the race we needed, nobody was going to beat us for third place.”

     Althoff’s time was a personal record by three seconds. Three others – Etzel, Postel and Kramer – were within 10 seconds of their PRs.

     In the boys’ race, Tipton also won a close contest, nipping Des Moines Christian by four points, 78 to 82. Monticello had 106, and Albia was fourth with 151.

     “It wasn’t their best race ever, but it was a really solid race,” the coach said.

     Freshman Harrison Ahlrichs was the boys’ top runner for Monticello, finishing 10th in 16:42.3; senior Cole Cruise was exactly four seconds behind Ahlrichs, finishing 13th overall. Both earned medals for placing in the top 15.

     Ahlrichs set an MHS freshman record, with his time, which was 12 seconds faster than eventual two-time state champion Nate Dotterweich ran there as a freshman in 2004. Ahlrichs was by far the best freshman of this meet; the next-closest ninth-grader finished 55th.

     “Harrison had his coming-out race,” Sauser said. “It will get noticed across the state that this freshman ran 16:42. And Cole has always run well at the state meet. This was by far his best. He’s a big-gamer; he performs well under pressure. Harrison and Cole ran lights out.”

     Following those two in order for Monticello were Carter Kurt, Jasper Nietert, Zach Chapman, Carter Cruise and Grant Hospodarsky.

     “It was a solid performance,” the coach concluded. “We were really happy to be able to bring a trophy back and represent Monticello.”


Nov. 2

Class 2A State Meet

(at Lakeside Municipal Golf Course, Fort Dodge)


     1, Tipton 78; 2, Des Moines Christian 82; 3, Monticello 106; 4, Albia 151; 5, Davis County 174; 6, Danville-New London 183; 7, Williamsburg 186; 8, South Hardin 200; 9, Camanche 237; 10, GCGR 239; 11, Western Christian 253; 12, Okoboji 257; 13, North Fayette Valley 279; 14, George-Little Rock/Central Lyon 307*; 15, Treynor 307*.

(* – tie broken by sixth runner tie-breaker)


(team points in parentheses)

     10 (6), Harrison Ahlrichs, 16:42.3; 13 (7), Cole Cruise, 16:46.3; 36 (21), Carter Kurt, 17:22.0; 39 (22), Jasper Nietert, 17:24.0; 80 (50), Zach Chapman, 18:02.5; 83 (53), Carter Cruise, 18:06.9; 108 (77), Grant Hospodarsky, 18:42.0.


     1, Mid-Prairie 61; 2, Williamsburg 62; 3, Monticello 130; 4, Jesup 169*; 5, AC-GC 169*; 6, Starmont 179*; 7, WC-KP 179*; 8, Unity Christian 191; 9, Davis County 196; 10, Cherokee 242; 11, Dike-New Hartford 261; 12, Waukon 262; 13, Tipton 320; 14, Emmetsburg 373; 15, Chariton 391.

(* – ties broken by sixth runner tie-breaker)


(team points in parentheses)

     8 (5), Emma Althoff, 19:22.5; 31 (20), Karle Kramer, 20:27.0; 50 (30), Triniti Etzel, 21:00.0; 57 (35), Lydia Recker, 21:07.0; 64 (40), Emily Hendricks, 21:15.8; 117 (84), Katie Roher, 22:50.9; 125 (92), Mya Postel, 23:13.5.



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