Monson leads Tigers at Rolf Mellby Invite

Published 5:31 pm Monday, September 5, 2011

NORTHFIELD — Fresh off of a state championship in the 1600 meter run last spring, Chrissy Monson lead the way for the Albert Lea Tigers cross country program with a second place overall finish at the Rolf Mellby Invitational on September 2nd.

Monson covered the 4k course at St. Olaf, which is also where the state meet is held, in 15 minutes and 31 seconds. Sophomore Blair Bonnerup finished 49th overall in the boys’ field of more than 600 runners crossing the line in 18:07.

“The competition was some of the best in the state,” said Jim Haney, Albert Lea head coach. “Both the boys and the girls beat a number of Big 9 teams that were at the meet and this is very encouraging as we move toward the conference meet in October.”

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Shakopee junior and defending two-time state champion Maria Hauger won the girls’ 4k race by completing the course 1:35 ahead of Monson for a time of 13:56.

Freshmen Haley Harms and Riley Schultz finished 75th and 78th overall, respectively. Harms toppled the path in 17:37 and Schultz finished with a time of 17:40.

Morgan Haney pulled in fourth for the Tigers and 86th overall with a 17:51. Sophomore Rachel Kenis rounded out Albert Lea scoring with a 102nd place finish and a time of 18:09.

Albert Lea was able to finish 12th out of 25 teams with an average course completion time of 17:22.

“Overall the girls did a nice job of working together and packing up,” Haney said. “The girls continue to improve and we are working to challenge for a Big 9 title.”

In the boys’ 5k action, Bonnerup was followed by senior Issac Staat with a time of 18:37, which was good for 77th overall.

Brandon Bonnerup tackled the course in 19:14 and freshman Sergio Chavez trekked across the finish line just five seconds behind for a 19:19.

Eighth-grader Jay Skaar rounded out the Tigers scoring with a 19:30 which was good for 123 place. Overall the boys’ cross country team finished 20th out of 26 teams at the invitational.

“Blair Bonnerup had an outstanding race placing in the top 50 in a race the featured almost 600 boys,” Haney said. “My younger runners are learning each week on how to compete and they will only get better with added experience.”