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Monticello girls cross country team: Mississippi 8 Champions

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The Monticello girls cross-country team was the team that came out successful on Thursday, Oct. 8, at the Mississippi 8 Conference Meet in Becker.

Monticello girls cross-country coach Gail Grieme said that she knew her team was good, but she didn’t know how the season would turn out.

“I knew our team was strong, but I didn’t know what other teams were working with,” Grieme said. “Once we had competed in a few triangulars, I could see we were the team to beat.”

All teams were dealing with sickness and fatigue, as most teams do at the end of the cross-country season, but especially this year because of the pandemic.

The teams that competed were Monticello, Cambridge-Isanti, Becker, St. Francis, Princeton, North Branch, and Big Lake.

A COVID-19 quarantine saw all but Big Lake’s top three runners out of this meet.

Head coach Todd Trutna wasn’t expecting to compete for the conference title with just three athletes, but he was proud of how his girls competed.

“The quarantine took the wind out of our sails quite a bit last week,” Trutna said “The team has shown so much growth this season. I know the girls who ran today felt a responsibility to run well for the team. And boy, did they run well.”

Magic’s Halle Dahlheimer seemed anything but fatigued. The junior from Monticello came in first place overall with a time of 19:29.1.

With Dahlheimer’s time she earned the No. 4 spot in the top 10 fastest 5K of all time.

“I’m so impressed with her this season,” Grieme said. “She’s so close to No. 3.”

Isabel Mahoney came in second place overall with a time of 19.34.6.

The next runner to finish from Monticello was Gabby Witschen in seventh place with a time of 21:01.1.

Coming after Witschen in eighth place was Grace Smith with a time of 21:19.7 from Monticello.

Emilee Doperalski was the first runner to finish from Big Lake. She came in ninth place with a time of 21:34.8.

The next Big Lake runner wasn’t too far behind her.

Josephine Lentz came in 10th place overall with a time 21:40.8.

Kaelin McDermott from Monticello earned 11th place with a time of 21:53.4.

Josie Parks was the third and final Hornet to compete. She earned 12th place with a time of 21:55.1.

“All three girls ran their best times of the year,” Coach Trutna said. ”The girls ran aggressively from the start and ran together in a pack for much of the race. The coaches are so happy that these girls are getting the accolades for all their hard work and miles. We are also so happy to get our full varsity back for sections next week.”

Reach Jessie Meyen at

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