The William Monroe High School cross country teams headed to Central (Woodstock) High School to race the Northwestern District meet with goals set and gratefulness for spectators.
The temperature was 84 degrees and pollen filled the air, causing some breathing issues combined with the extreme heat. However, the Monroe racers always come with a positive attitude to expect the unexpected and race their best in all circumstances. For the first time in a few races, the harriers were on a dry course, and the team was familiar with the rolling hills around the corn fields.
The gun shot and off the boys went and Conrad Bruton was in the mix knowing he was expected to compete for the title. On his tail were a pack of teammates that knew they needed to step it up and race for the team. Bruton bantered with the top runners, taking the lead for a time, and the junior held his head high as he was overtaken for a third-place finish. Nathan Lindegren moved his way up the rolling course, nipping people away to finish ninth with steady Evan Young on his heels with a thirteenth-place finish. All-District Honors were won by Bruton, Lindegren and Young.
The ladies toed the line with excitement in the air as the gunshot sounded and off they went. Freshman Elli Pursel in the mix of the top 10 climbed like a champion to duke it out for the number five spot and earn All-District Honors in her first year of running cross-country. Following excitedly behind Pursel were Sydney Orange and Sarah Earle, numbers 16 and 17 on the finishers and of All-District Honors.
All of the racers represented William Monroe with class and sportsmanship and appreciated the huge gathering of family and friends to support them, since limited spectatorship had been present at previous races due to COVID-19 mitigation protocols.
Seniors were recognized before and after the races: Ellie Andreson, Mehrab Asif, Sarah Earle, Carlos Gomez, Quinn Henkel, Logan Spencer and Keegan Sutton.
The teams competed in the Regional meet Tuesday, April 13, also at Central (see story below).