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Cheesemakers take third
Photo for the Times: Duke Goetz Monroes girls cross country team starts the 4-kilometer Badger South Conference race on Saturday at Stoughton. The Cheesemakers finished third overall as a team.
STOUGHTON - Monroe's girls cross country team finished in third place at the Badger South conference meet Saturday.

The Cheesemakers amassed just 75 points, topping Milton by 20 points for third, but still behind Fort Atkinson (58) and Oregon (35).

"It was an exceptional day on Saturday," Monroe head coach Brian Jefferson said. "From day one of the season we talked about how we were one of the top three teams in the conference. For us to finish third is quite an accomplishment, but at the same time is something we wanted and expected. The girls have worked hard to put themselves where they are."

Senior Tess Seichter crossed the finish line first for Monroe, running a time of 16 minutes, 27 seconds. Fort Atkinson's Taylor Bauer won the 4-kilometer race with a time of 15:52.

"Tess was once again our top runner and deserves a lot of credit," Jefferson said. "She earned first-team all-conference recognition with her finish. She went out from the start and did what she had to do. Her and I talked about how that is what our team needed from her - a top-five finish. That speaks volumes about her effort and focus."

Freshman Abby Rogerson earned first-team all-conference honors, taking eighth overall (16:33).

"Abby Rogerson had a truly amazing race bettering her PR (personal record) by 14 seconds," Jefferson said. "I think for parts of this season she has been content to be a No. 3 runner for us. Hopefully Saturday showed her that she belongs further up the totem pole and all that will do is help us as a team."

Sophomore Molly Hlubek was the third Cheesemaker to cross the finish line; she finished 14th (16:43). Senior Tessa Frutiger was 21st overall (16:57) and freshman Elizabeth Dale was 27th place (17:16).

"Lizzy Dale also played a very important role in our third-place finish," Jefferson said. "Coming into probably the last 100-200 meters she was behind three Milton girls, the fourth place team. She passed all three to help secure our final placing."

Monroe now has one last week of prep for the biggest race so far this season - Saturday's Platteville Sectional.

"With sectionals coming up next weekend we hope to continue on the pace we are at and improve. I think they see that this team hasn't reached their full potential yet and are looking forward to doing that," Jefferson said.

In the junior varsity race, Monroe finished second as a team behind Oregon, which swept the top seven spots. According to Jefferson, 15 of Monroe's 24 runners - varsity and junior varsity - ran their fastest times of the season, with five running their fastest career times.