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Monticello Runs Away With North Linn Invitational Cross-Country Meet

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TROY MILLS It's a regular occurrence for Michael Melchert on the track.

Not on grass.

"This is the first time I've ever lapped anybody (in cross country)," said the senior star from Monticello High School. "I started coming up on people and I thought, 'What's the deal?' "

Melchert lapped some of the field, literally. And his team lapped all of the field, figuratively.

To nobody's surprise, Monticello ran away with the boys championship at the North Linn Invitational cross country meet Saturday morning. Melchert paced an effort that placed all five scorers in the top 15, and the Panthers tallied 36 points to win comfortably.

Center Point-Urbana was second with 112, with Mid-Prairie and Marion both scoring 130.

Monticello is the two-time defending Class 2A state champion. And though Melchert and Ben Ahlrichs (third on Saturday) are seniors, this program isn't going anywhere any time soon.

The Panthers' seven-man varsity roster Saturday featured four sophomores, including Jordan Loes (sixth), Matt Manternach (11th) and Derek Manternach (15th).

"We like to give those guys race strategy. We want them to come out hard with us that first mile," Melchert said.

Melchert got out early and won in 15:49, building a 34-second margin over runner-up Eric Lenz of Tipton. Ahlrichs was third, followed by Josh Yeager of CPU and Preston Kauder of Cascade.

The boys race was a runaway. The girls race was much more competitive, with Mount Pleasant (101 points) edging Cascade (104) and Williamsburg (106) for the crown.

Vinton-Shellsburg sophomore Lily Horst led virtually from wire to wire and claimed individual honors in 14:36.

"I don't like close races at the end," Horst said. "I try to get out as much as I can.

"It felt good, nice and cool. Running in the morning, you don't have the school day dragging you down."

Nicole Miller of North Linn came on late to finish second in 14:48. Cascade's Kylie Kelchen and Becca McDermott were third and fourth, followed by Vinton-Shellsburg's Bristi Gerber.

Marion had a top-10 finisher in both races. Madison Bach was eighth in the girls' competition; Colton Forster was ninth in the boys' race.


At Troy Mills


Teams 1. Mount Pleasant 101, 2. Cascade 104, 3. Williamsburg 106, 4. Solon 127, 5. Vinton-Shellsburg 127, 6. Monticello 176, 7. South Winneshiek 180, 8. Iowa City Regina 224, 9. North Linn 235, 10. Marion 261, 11. Starmont 264, 12. Mid-Prairie 264, 13. Center Point-Urbana 275, 14. Benton Community 292, 15. Edgewood-Colesburg 424, 16. Springville-Central City 490, 17. Dyersville Beckman 498, 18. Maquoketa Valley 525.

Individuals 1. Lily Horst (VS), 14:36; 2. Nicole Miller (NL), 14:48; 3. Kylie Kelchen (Casc), 14:49; 4. Becca McDermott (Casc), 14:54; 5. Bristi Gerber (VS), 15:00; 6. Adrianna Kammerer (ICR), 15:03; 7. Alex Smith (Sol), 15:16; 8. Madison Bach (Mar), 15:18; 9. Ellen Schlarmann (Monti), 15:19; 10. Ellie Conrad (MtP), 15:26; 11. Kari Fitzpatrick (EdCo), 15:31; 12. Abby Tornow (MidP), 15:32; 13. Grace Larew (ICR), 15:35; 14. Katie Folkerts (Sol), 15:35; 15. Shae McEnany (Independence), 15:36.


Teams 1. Monticello 36, 2. Center Point-Urbana 112, 3. Mid-Prairie 130, 4. Marion 130, 5. Williamsburg 173, 6. Vinton-Shellsburg 179, 7. Tipton 214, 8. Solon 232, 9. Mount Pleasant 236, 10. Turkey Valley 244, 11. South Winneshiek 248, 12. Iowa City Regina 253, 13. Cascade 293, 14. Bellevue Marquette 340, 15. Benton Community 408, 16. Springville-Central City 460, 17. HLV 493, 18. Dyersville Beckman 536.

Individuals 1. Michael Melchert (Monti), 15:49; 2. Eric Lenz (Tip), 16:23; 3. Ben Ahlrichs (Monti), 16:38; 4. Josh Yeager (CPU), 16:41; 5. Preston Kauder (Casc), 16:44; 6. Jordan Loes (Monti), 16:51; 7. Logan Murray (MtP), 16:53; 8. Cullen Turner (Wmsbg), 17:02; 9. Colton Forster (Mar), 17:02; 10. Erik Duethman (ICR), 17:07; 11. Matt Manternach (Monti), 17:12; 12. Ryan Izer (TV), 17:16; 13. Michael Marshall (CPU), 17:21; 14. Patrick McGill (Sol), 17:28; 15. Derek Manternach (Monti), 17:29.

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