Blast from the past: August 2017

10 Years AgoGirls CC kicks off fall sports season
Fall sports hit the ground running in Monticello in August of 2007. Quite literally. The cross country teams were among the first to face live competition that fall, with the girls setting the early pace by virtue of their third-place finish at the Milaca Invitational in late August.

Monti compiled 93 points at the invite, finishing just 12 places behind second-place Mound-Westonka and 25 points behind Becker, the meet champions.

Monti placed three girls in the top-20 at the 15-team meet. Kirstie Tessier, a junior and co-captain, was the first one across the line for Monticello. Tessier finished sixth overall with a time of 16:13. Erica Seidenkranz, an eighth-grader at the time, finished 12th in 16:28, and Kaitlyn Jude was 20th with a time of 17:02. Cari Keller just missed the top-20, finishing 21st overall in 17:05. Mandy Witschen rounded out Monti’s five scoring runners with a time of 17:32 and a 34th-place finish. Karlee Cox finished 38th in the race, with a time of 17:36.

Monti also performed well in the junior varsity race, with Stef Hannah, Brittney Shipman, and Heidi Christianson all placing in the top-five.

26 Years AgoTennis reels off three straight in early going
Following a season-opening loss, the Monticello girls tennis team reeled off three consecutive wins to capture a tournament championship in the early days of the 1991 season. Monti lost its season opener to Little Falls, but bounced back quickly to capture first-place at the Elk River Invite.

In the first match, Monti cruised to a 4-1 victory against the host Elks. Stacie Caillier picked up a win at No. 1 singles and Mary Fischbach added a win at No. 3 singles. Monti swept the two doubles matches, highlighted by a lopsided 10-2 win for Jenni Lommel and Sarah Spivak at No. 1 doubles.

Monti was spotless in the second match, against North Branch, winning 5-0. Lommel won at No. 1 singles, with Clarissa Peach and Karla Norris also winning singles matches. Tera Westerlind and Caillier teamed up to win at No. 1 doubles, as did Susie Chock and Alexzia Walter at No. 2 doubles.

Monti locked up championship honors in the tournament with a 4-1 win against Centennial in the final match. Caillier, Westerlind, and Fishbach made it a clean sweep of the singles matches for Monticello, while Lommel and Spivak continued their strong start to the season at No. 1 doubles with a 10-4 victory.

46 Years AgoLegion team finishes second in county tourney
The Monticello Legion baseball team came up just shy of advancing to the District 10 Tournament in August of 1971, instead settling for a second-place finish in the Wright County Conference playoffs.

Monti won the first two games of the tournament, including a 4-0 upset of Delano in the opening round. Gary Anderson pitched for Monticello and was nearly unhittable in the contest. Anderson allowed just two hits and no runs in the game, striking out seven and walking five. Monti scored all four of its runs in the third, without a single base hit. Pete Schmitz reached on an error to start the rally, followed by Delano issuing free passes to Mikan DeMars and Mark Jerve. With the bases loaded, Dale Hanson’s infield ground ball was muffed and one run game in. Shortly thereafter, DeMars stole home to make it 2-0. Delano then walked the next three batters, David Savage, Anderson, and Casey Smith, to bring in two more runs for Monticello.

Monti beat Cokato 13-9 in the second round of the tournament, using a five-run rally in the last inning to come out on top. Dennis Ludders, Anderson, and Savage all threw in the contest with Savage pitching the last three innings and collecting the victory. All three pitchers had big games at the plate for Monti with Anderson knocking in three runs on three hits and Savage driving in three runs on two hits. Ludders picked up two hits of his own and one RBI, while Jerve collected two hits and Schmitz scored three runs on one hit and a couple of walks.

Monti’s season came to an end when they lost consecutive games to Delano, the regular season champion, in the championship round. Delano beat Monticello 11-2 and 5-2 to earn Wright County’s berth to the District 10 Tournament.

Contact Clay Sawatzke at