Monson crowned Big Nine conference champ

Published 11:04 am Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Albert Lea’s Chrissy Monson was heads and shoulders above the rest of the field Tuesday at the Big Nine Conference cross country meet in Owatonna.

The diminutive freshman capped off a stellar regular season with her sixth win in nine tries by besting the field by five seconds to become the Big Nine Conference champion.

“She showed a great deal of heart as she was challenged by the Mayo runner (Sarah Rein) and the former state champion from Mankato West, Laura Hughes,” said Tigers head coach Jim Haney. “With about a half mile to go the three girls battled toward the finish with Chrissy taking charge with about 600 meters to go. This was a great race for Chrissy to have to find that next gear and she did.”

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Monson finished the 4-kilometer race in a time of 15 minutes, 9 seconds while Rein came in with a time of 15:14 and Hughes was third with a time of 15:20.5.

Albert Lea finished 10th as a team at the meet with 231 points while Mayo won the meet with 60 points.

Rachel Kenis was 41st for Albert Lea with a time of 17:05. Ashley Tewes was 61st with a time of 18:03.9. Carol Lein was 62nd with a time of 18:13.6 and Lauren Klick was 66th with a time of 18:35. Sam Stanley and Annabelle Randall were 67th and 68th respectively.

On the boys’ side Steve Kreun accomplished what he’s had his sights on this season by finishing 20th in the 5-kilometer race and earned all-conference honorable mention with his time of 17:24.1.

“He is a hard worker and the goal all season was some type of all conference honor,” Haney said. “The coaching staff has watched Steve improve every year as he has been running varsity since his middle school days. He is a great role model for the other runners on the team as he prepares for races and understands that his team counts on him for leadership which he always provides.”

The boys’ team finished 10th with 236 points and Owatonna won the meet with 43 points.

Albert Lea’s Blair Bonnerup was 44th with a time of 18:15.8, Luc Malimanek was 52nd with a time of 18:36.4 and Joe Daniels 59th with a time of 18:50.3. Andy Christian was 61st with a time of 19:02.3.

“I wish we would have finished higher in the team standings, but it was not meant to be today and we will back at it next week at the section meet,” Haney said. “Many runners improved their times and that is a positive as we move into the section meet next week.”