By ZACH SMITH, Hill Country News
Anthony Monte was feeling under the weather in each of his last two trips to the state cross country meet.
Last Saturday, he was feeling fine and running fast.
The Vandegrift senior set a new personal and school record in his third and final state cross country meet on Nov. 9 in the afternoon at Old Settlers Park in Round Rock, finishing second in the state with a time of 14:39.59.
“When I came out here the last two years, even though I’ve probably run this course like 15 times, I still take a lot out of it,” Monte said. “You learn a lot about what you can do to make yourself stronger actually at the race.”
Monte finished 19th last season as a junior and finished well back in the pack his sophomore year. He’ll continue his running career at Columbia University next season.
Vandegrift head coach Colin Sully said Monte kind of emerged as a freshman and has evolved into a leader while running with all the top guys on the team.
“He’s just a professional,” Sully said. “He’s a really easy athlete to coach. He understands his body really well and knows when to back off and when to press. We know he could podium (last Saturday).”
Sully said Monte could have as many as four more races before the high school cross country season is over, including qualifying races in The Woodlands and North Carolina over the next six months.
Monte said it’s been good to have his high school coach and club coach so close as his club coach is the father of Jordan Mathis a senior on the Vipers’ girls’ team.
“It feels like a family being here,” Monte said, while at the state meet. “My entire team is here to support me and the girls. It’s just a bunch of guys that help hype me up before the race and stuff. I don’t think I could do a lot of it without them.”
Area 6A state cross country results
Anthony Monte, Vandegrift, 14:39.59, 2nd overall
Hayden Gray, Round Rock, 15:08.10, 11th overall
Sebastian Martinez, Round Rock, 15:50.90, 71st overall
Pablo Lomeli Lluis, Westwood, 15:57.45, 82nd overall
Gemma Goddard, Vandegrift, 18:03.46, 10th overall
Deepti Choudhury, Westwood, 18:06.45, 11th overall
Megan Nevlud, Round Rock, 18:14.29, 14th overall
Jordan Mathis, Vandegrift, 18:43.06, 49th overall
Caroline Nolan, Vandegrift, 19:03.27, 75th overall
Margaret McElmurry, Vandegrift, 19:10.11, 82nd overall
Taylor Mathis, Vandegrift, 19:10.60, 83rd overall
Emma Saia, Vandegrift, 19:29.92, 102nd overall
Erin Donohue, Vandegrift, 20:48.00, 138th overall
Many thanks to Tricia Goddard and Debbie Donohue for VHS cross country photos this season.