Panthers sweep division during DeWitt meet

Emma Althoff of the Panthers pulls away from several opposing runners in the DeWitt meet.

Carter Kurt races up a hill for Monticello during the Central DeWitt Invitational Oct. 7. (Photos by Pete Temple)
Pete Temple
Express Sports Editor

     The Central DeWitt Invitational was a chance for the Monticello High School cross country teams to face some different opponents. It also was a chance for the Panthers to see how they would do against schools their own size.

     They did extremely well.

     Monticello swept the Class 1A/2A division in both the varsity boys’ and girls’ races at the meet, held Oct. 7 at Grace Lutheran Camp in DeWitt.

     “Getting first places is always nice,” Monticello coach Dan Sauser said. “The kids were great going into it. They did an outstanding job getting themselves ready. Credit them for that.

     “It’s nice to race against a lot of teams we don’t normally race against.”

     Monticello’s boys totaled just 19 points when finishes were split out into a 1A/2A division. Northeast of Goose Lake finished a distant second with 62.

     Carter Kurt led the Panthers for the first time this season, finishing 15th overall (all classes included) in a season’s best 18:09.91. Jacob Miller was 24th in 18:34.34. Walker Spence knocked four seconds off his season’s best, finishing 35th in 18:52.83.

     “It was the first time Carter had a complete race,” the coach said. “He’s getting his stride now.”

     The Panthers had one of their best first through fifth splits of the year, 56 seconds. From second to fifth, just 30 seconds separated the runners.

     “We’re so deep,” the coach said. “There is not much dropoff through our top 11 runners.

     “Now we want to crack into that 17-minute mark with our upper boys. That is our focus.”

     The girls also won their division, totaling 24 points. Northeast was second with 59. Also, the Panther girls would have finished second as a team overall, if all classes had been combined, based on team times.

     Monticello ran below one minute apart from its first through fifth runners (55 seconds) for the first time this year.

     “A big part of that was that Lydia Recker had her best race of the season,” Sauser said. “And Karle (Kramer) looked really good for having taken several days off (due to injury).”

     Emma Althoff led the Panthers with a 13th place finish in 20:36.58. Ava Capron was 18th in 21:01.16, and Leah Koehler was 19th in 21:02.41. Kramer was 21st and Recker 26th.

     “Emma had another solid race up there,” Sauser said. “Leah and Ava have been very consistent.”

     Faith Hansen, who ran 50th overall, beat her 2020 time in DeWitt by more than two minutes.

     A highlight of the junior varsity races came from Triniti Etzel, who was the girls’ JV race winner in 22:28.69. Etzel had missed the early part of the season due to COVID-19.

     “Triniti is getting herself where she needs to be,” the coach said.

     Savannah Freese finished fifth in the race.

     For the JV boys, Hayden Tomkins recorded a season’s best by 28 seconds.

     “He was the standout performer,” Sauser said.

     In both JV races, Monticello was the only 1A/2A team to have enough runners for a team score.

Conference meet

     Monticello was scheduled to compete in the River Valley Conference Meet Oct. 12 at Kickers Soccer Park in Iowa City.

     An announcement about the Panthers’ site for the Class 2A State Qualifying Meet Oct. 21 was expected in the early part of this week.


Oct. 7

Central DeWitt Inv.

(at Grace Lutheran

Camp, DeWitt)



     1, Monticello 19; 2, Northeast, Goose Lake 62; 3, Camanche 77; 4, Bellevue Marquette 107; 5, West Liberty 123. 


     15, Carter Kurt, 18:09.91; 24, Jacob Miller, 18:34.34; 35, Walker Spence, 18:52.83; 43, Grant Hospodarsky, 19:00.28; 44, Alex Oswald, 19:03.23; 45, Chesney Capron, 19:03.36; 51, Dylan Ponder, 19:09.07.



     1, Monticello 24; 2, Northeast, Goose Lake 59; 3, Bellevue Marquette 67; 4, Camanche 100*; 5, Wilton 100*.


     13, Emma Althoff, 20:36.58; 18, Ava Capron, 21:01.16; 19, Leah Koehler, 21:02.41; 21, Karle Kramer, 21:19.41; 26, Lydia Recker, 21:31.64; 47, Marisa Kehoe, 22:56.80; 50, Faith Hansen, 23:05.93.



     1, Monticello 15.


     5, Cord Nietert, 19:25.38; 10, Ian Temple, 19:41.45; 11, Hayden Tomkins, 19:45.01; 15, Nathan Sauser, 19:58.57; 28, Connor Eastin, 21:08.98; 36, Royce Kiburz, 21:35.61; 40, Noah Webber, 21:44.90; 50, Charly Lloyd, 22:17.81; 52, Trey Kuper, 22:21.45; 54, Cole Nietert, 22:34.52; 63, Kyle Shady, 23:32.37; Connor Hynick, 29:35.76.



     1, Monticello 15.


     1, Triniti Etzel, 22:28.69; 5, Savannah Freese, 22:44.97; 9, Katie Roher, 24:00.67; 17, Mya Postel, 24:36.25; 20, Emily Hendricks, 24:52:24; 35, Jackie Stadtmueller, 26:01.52; 38, JoAnna Patterson, 26:09.10; 40, Riley Evans, 26:21.31; 61, Lily Moestchen, 28:32.20; 63, Ella Sauser, 28:57.79.



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