Stories written by Kevin Gartman
Photo courtesy of Marie Boulton.
Bravettes wrap up second-place finish at Winfield-Mt. Union meet
The Montezuma Cross Country teams traveled to Twin Lakes Country Club in Winfield on Thursday, Oct. 1 for the Winfield-Mt. Union Cross Country Invitational. The Bravettes finished second in the meet, falling three points behind Danville New London, ranked #13 in 2A. The Bravette depth helped them battle in the meet, as the top 6 finishers all medaled in the top 15. Senior Elise Boulton finished as runner-up, Mia Boulton in 6th, Madison Johannes in 9th, Beka Teumer in 11th, Haley Van Der Hart in 12th, and Carmen Klos in 13th. Several varsity girls turned in their new fastest times of the season, peaking at the right time.
The Varsity Boys finished 4th out of 11 scoring teams. Brydon Henning medaled 9th, followed by Gavin Strong and Cam Johnson who both ran their strongest times of the season by approximately 40 seconds each. Freshman Jayden Ross also ran a new fastest career time to help pace the boys team.
The JV girls individually finished 1-4 on Thursday night. Freshman Lydia Singleton claimed the top spot with a new best time by over a minute, her first individual victory of the season. Ashlee Eilander finished as runner-up, taking 40 seconds off her previous best. Ashlee was followed by Camryn Brennan in 3rd place and Alyssa Cline in 4th place.
Montezuma Varsity Cross County finished in fifth-place at Clear-Creek Amana
The Montezuma Cross Country programs took to Iowa City Kickers Soccer Park for a meet hosted by Clear Creek-Amana on Monday, Sept. 28. Running first in the evening was the JH Bravettes. Led by third-place finisher Ellen Cook who caught and edged out an opponent at the finish line, the Bravettes placed fifth. Ellen's time was good enough for a new best JH girls time on the course. In addition, teammates Claire Erselius, Catelynn Coffin, and Amy Longfellow all turned in top 10 Montezuma times.
On the boys side, a familiar theme played out as Luke Erselius turned in a new best Montezuma JH time on the two mile course. The boys team finished ninth, but Jusiah Wetering, Kohen Holland, and Carson Van Der Hart all had admirable finishes.
Running first, and breaking from traditional order, the varsity boys race was a highly competitive field. Brydon Henning placed 21st for the Braves, Gavin Strong set a new personal record, Cam Johnson tied his record, and Jack Erselius and Colton Benson turned in consistent performances to help the boys to an eighth-place finish.
Finishing out the night, the varsity girls competed against a tough field and held their own. The Bravettes finished in fifth-place on the night with 101 points, trailing Cedar Rapids Xavier who finished with 99 points, and a 1A ranked team in Prince of Peace who finished with 98 points. With only three points separating third through fifth places, the individual performances were a little extra important in this one. Elise Boulton finished in sixth-place with sister Mia Boulton medaling in 15th. Madison "MJ" Johannes, Carmen Klos, Haley Van Der Hart, Kenna Johannes, and Lydia Singleton battled in the competitive varsity race and turned in strong performances, changing up the top 10 course times from years past. At the JV level, Ashlee Eilander finished as runner-up, with Camryn Brennan in seventh, and Alyssa Cline following closely behind.
Montezuma Varsity Girls battle hard, finish in fourth place at Grundy Center
The Montezuma High School cross country teams headed north to Town and Country Club in Grundy Center on Thursday Sept. 24. In the varsity girls race, the Bravettes battled against three ranked teams in 1A, a ranked team in 2A, and a very good team in 3A and finished in fourth place. Placing fourth with 15 teams in attendance and 12 scoring, the Bravettes outpaced two ranked opponents, and finished with their strongest and most competitive finish of the season considering the competition. Elise Boulton placed seventh for the Bravettes, while Mia Boulton placed 17th. Freshman Makenna Johannes finished her stand-out week with a new career-best 5K time as she has gone from a JV runner to the fourth finisher of a competitive Bravettes squad. Strong performances were additionally turned in from Madison Johannes, finishing third for the Bravettes, as well as Carmen Klos, Haley Van Der Hart, and Beka Teumer.
The Braves had their own meet moments to be proud of as they came in ninth-place with 16 teams in attendance, 14 scoring. Several members of the varsity boys team turned in their quickest race paces of the season as well. Led by Brydon Henning in 19th, the team consisting of Cam Johnson, Gavin Strong, Jack Erselius, Colton Benson, and Jayden Ross represented well up north.
The Bravettes JV team placed third with Lydia Singleton placing ninth, Ashlee Eilander placing 15th, and three runners returned from battling injuries to fare well on the country club course, namely Camryn Brennan, Katie Probasco, and Alyssa Cline.
Montezuma Cross County takes first varsity win at BGM
The Montezuma Cross Country teams competed at BGM on Monday Sept. 21 in the BGM Cross Country Invitational at the Brooklyn-Victor Country Club. In the combined junior high race, Ellen Cook came away as the winner of the junior high girls race, winning over the field by approximately 45 seconds. She was joined on the very difficult course with tough hills by teammates Catelynn Coffin, Amy Longfellow, and Hayley Burnett in an admirable performance. On the boys side, Luke Erselius led the way, with teammates Jusiah Wetering, Kohen Holland, and Carson Van Der Hart closely behind.
The Bravettes came away with their first varsity win of the season, with strong individual performances from runners 1-7. Medals to the top 20, Elise Boulton finished as runner-up in the meet with sister Mia Boulton in 3rd place, Madison Johannes in seventh, Beka Teumer in 10th, Kenna Johannes in 12th, Lydia Singleton in 17th, and Alivia Cline in 19th. Ashlee Eilander finished sixth in the JV competition.
On the boys side, the Braves finished in second place behind SICL rival North Mahaska. Senior Brydon Henning medaled seventh, Gavin Strong in ninth, Cam Johnson in 13th, and Jack Erselius in 17th. Teammates Colton Benson and Jayden Ross finished a strong showing for the Braves on the BGM course, notably "Cardiac Hill".
Montezuma High School girls have strong showing at Lynnville-Sully Invitational
The Montezuma Cross Country teams traveled to Diamond Trail Golf Club in Lynnville on Thursday, Sept. 17 to compete in the local invitational. Running first, the high school girls had their strongest showing of the season with a second-place finish. Elise Boulton led the Bravettes with a third-place finish, followed closely by fellow medalists Mia Boulton in eighth and Madison Johannes in 15th. Makenna Johannes, Lydia Singleton, and Ashlee Eilander kept their exciting individual seasons going, finishing with new career best times on a difficult course. The runner-up finish came at the legs of the number two program in 1A, Pekin. Despite finishing second, the Bravettes finished ahead of their first ranked program of the year by a sizable margin and are currently recognized by the coaches association as a team to watch, just outside of the top 15 rankings.
The Braves had a competitive meet on their side as well, coming in with a fourth-place finish. Brydon Henning medaled 13th for the boys to lead the charge. Freshman Jack Erselius ran his new fastest time, freshman Jayden Ross set a new bar by approximately a minute and a half, and senior Cam Johnson set his fourth consecutive new best time as he continues to consistently get better each meet. The Braves finished one spot back from a hot North Mahaska team that is finding its stride, yet one spot ahead of the Lynnville-Sully team on their home course. The Braves placed ahead of a Collins-Maxwell program that was receiving attention as a program on the cusp of being ranked, a motivating finish heading into the weekend.
At the junior high level, both the girls and boys programs finished in third place. 8th grader Ellen Cook finished in second place, just a few seconds out of the individual title in a hard-fought race. Joining her brothers and completing the Erselius trio on the course was 7th grader Claire, who ran a strong race in her first meet of the season. On the boys side, top-15 finishes were had by 7th grader Broox Stockman and Luke Erselius, as well as 8th grade teammate Bryson Stockman as the trio filled out the 13-15th spots individually.
Montezuma runs strong at South Tama, finished in 10th place
The Montezuma Cross Country team took to the South Tama Community school campus on Monday, Sept.14 on a beautiful fall day, a nice change from the week prior.
The Bravettes JH team ran first, with three runners competing in this meet. 8th grade runner Catelynn Coffin led the way with an 11th place finish while 7th grade runner Amy Longfellow finished 14th. 8th grade competitor Hayley Burnett fought through a knee injury to put up a nice time for the Bravettes.
With nine schools competing in the JH Boys competition, the Montezuma Braves turned in a proud second place finish. Holding the spots from 8th-11th were Luke Erselius, Bryson Stockman, Jusiah Wetering, and Broox Stockman. Rounding out the supporting cast with important roles as the fifth and sixth runners were Kohen Holland and Carson Van Der Hart.
The Varsity Bravettes placed third, trailing only a returning 2A state team in Dike-New Hartford and 3A competitor Marion. The Bravettes were led by senior Elise Boulton, medaling sixth, and sophomore Mia Boulton, medaling 12th. Freshman Makenna Johannes made an impact in her first varsity competition, coming away with a new personal best time. In the JV competition, freshman Ashlee Eilander found her way to a new best time as well.
Rounding out the night, the varsity Braves placed 10th in a meet full of strong runners. Senior Cam Johnson was a bright spot, finding his way to another best time in the 5K competition, as he continues the trend of getting faster in each meet, regardless of course difficulty. The Braves were back fully healthy and competing as a full varsity squad which was nice to see.
Ellen Cook takes fifth overall at Ahrens Park in Grinnell
On a cold, windy, and rainy Tuesday Sept. 8 at Ahrens Park in Grinnell, what was almost a weather cancellation turned into a great night of competition for the Montezuma Cross Country program.
In the first meet with junior high competition, Ellen Cook took fifth overall with a new Montezuma-best time on the course of 8:18, which is a 6:39 mile pace. Following Ellen and joining her in the top 10 leaderboard was fellow 8th grade runner Catelynn Coffin who turned in a very strong performance. On the junior high boys side, the boys team was led by Bryson Stockman who turned in a time of 8:16, but the team as a whole showed strong performances, with many runners surpassing their meet goals despite adverse conditions. Jusiah Wetering showed a notable improvement from last year's meet at Grinnell, shaving a little over two minutes off his time.
The varsity girls race saw some high-end talent and a solid race from the Bravettes as they finished in 5th place. Senior Elise Boulton placed eighth with a new course best time of 21:11. Joining her with new best times on the Grinnell course were Mia Boulton, Carmen Klos, Beka Teumer and Haley Van Der Hart.
Similar to the varsity girls, there was a new top time on the varsity boys side of the record book as senior Brydon Henning finished with an 18:44 to surpass the top meet mark set by Paden Maschmann in 2016. Freshman Carter McKee and senior Cam Johnson set new personal best 5K times in the meet, while sophomore Colton Benson made a big jump in a week, taking over two minutes off his performance time.
To finish out the JV girls competition, freshmen Makenna Johannes and Ashlee Eilander both set new personal best times in the 5K.
Montezuma Cross County opens season at Williamsburg with fourth-place finish
The Montezuma Cross Country team opened its season at Williamsburg on Tuesday, Sept. 1 with one of the strongest team performances to start a season in a while.
The Bravettes Varsity team started off the year with a fourth-place finish, a finish one placing ahead of last year, behind three high-quality opponents. Elise Boulton paced the Bravettes with a 21:23, good for eighth-place, which was her fastest time and highest finish on the course over her four seasons. Following Elise was the closest pack of runners 2-7 that the girls have had in a while, separated by only two minutes. Within that pack of runners were Mia Boulton, Madison Johannes, Beka Teumer, Carmen Klos, freshman Alivia Cline in her first high school 5K competition, and Haley Van Der Hart.
The Braves Varsity team also had a hot start to the season with several new runners on the varsity team getting thrown into the fire early. Returning senior Brydon Henning led the squad, medaling 13th, with a 40-second improvement on the same course from his junior season. Sophomore Gavin Strong and senior Cam Johnson had stand-out performances in their first-ever cross country meets, and freshmen Carter McKee and Jack Erselius showed that their exciting 8th grade seasons have the ability to carry over well to the high school level. To round out the squad, sophomore Colton Benson showed a strong improvement in his second season, especially early on, and freshman Jayden Ross set a new personal best time in a 5K by a full seven minutes.
To round out the meet, the JV Bravettes turned in a runner-up team performance. Freshman Makenna Johannes medaled in seventh place and fellow freshman Lydia Singleton just missed the medal mark by a few seconds, finishing 11th. Continuing with a strong freshman showing, Ashlee Eilander and Camryn Brennan used strong kicks to stand out with their fastest times. Seniors Katie Probasco and Alyssa Cline's strong performances helped to clinch the second place mark as a team.