Vandegrift's Anthony Monte Is Made For The National Stage

The landscape of high school cross country has changed over the years. There aren't as many local or area meets and the dual meet in Texas is just about extinct.

The norm is now big invitational, region preview meets, and eventually regionals, state, and national level meets. The national meets have even developed from a once a year theme to having teams and athletes searching and traveling to seek the competition.

Unfortunately, much of the nation isn't too keen on coming down to the Lone Star state to compete in our climate (Who can blame them). So, Texas usually goes to them.

Austin Vandegrift senior Anthony Monte has quickly grasped the big meet running and is excelling at it.

Just last year, Monte had hit a lull during his season. Injury and sickness hit one after the other at the most important time of the season. Monte survived the championship qualifying season and was able to advance through the rounds of district, regionals, and state. 

Video Credit: Suhail Boureslan - MileSplit El Paso Metro Editor

His performances were not bad, but they just weren't satisfying to Monte. He had one more shot at doing something about it at the Nike Cross Regionals South (NXR South) meet and he did. Monte was healthy and the sickness that limited him at state was gone and he qualified for NXN.

There are runners who do well at local meets and not so well on the big stage. It can take an adjustment to get used to running at regionals, state, and on larger stages, but Monte is showing that he is clearly not one of those runners.

At NXR South, a big-time performance in a race of a lifetime was at hand and Monte came through with a third-place finish to qualify for NXN. 

He followed that up on the bigger NXN stage with an even more impressive race. Monte ran a 15:28 on the tough NXN course to finish 26th overall amongst the best in the nation.

This season, Monte has run at the biggest meets in Texas and has performed well. He was second at Friday Night Lights, third at Marcus I Invitational, and then won the St. Andrews Invitational

This weekend, was another big-time meet on the national stage at the Woodbridge Cross Country Classic in Norco, California. One of the fastest courses in the nation had the fastest field in the nation this year and Monte did what he does -- Show up and show out!

He ran a 14:14.50 to finish in third place behind two of the hottest runners in the nation in the Newbury Park HS, (Ca) duo of Nico Young and Jace Aschbrenner. Aside from them, Monte touched up some of the best national-level runners on the West Coast.

He is proving to be a racer on any and every level. With the best part of the cross country season on the horizon, Monte could be raising the bar and will be exciting to watch in November and December.

Anthony Monte Stats Profile:
Personal Records High School
1500 Meter Run3:58.62
1600 Meter Run4:15.53
3000 Meter Run8:36.43
3200 Meter Run9:11.61
5000 Meter Run14:39.29
Two Mile Run9:34.00
4000 Meter Run12:21.90
2.x Mile Run (CC Short Course)12:24.50
Three Mile Run14:14.50
5000 Meter Run15:05.73