PEORIA -- David Remmert has been here before. So has Garrett Dixon.
Collecting hardware at the state cross country finals has become old hat for the Sages as has collecting individual hardware. The Sages took third in the Illinois High School Association Class 1A State Cross Country Championships on Saturday, scoring 189 points.
Clifton Central won the state title with 139 points, while Elmwood took second with 143 points.
It was the second state trophy for Monticello, which won the state title in 2014. It is the fourth time Remmert has helped either the boys or the girls put a state cross country trophy into the trophy case.
"Our boys did very well today," said Remmert. "We could not have expected much more as we had some personal bests today. Clifton Central and Elmwood are so competitive. I am really happy with how it turned out today. I am excited to see the program progressively keep growing."
The Sages were aided greatly by the second place finish from Garrett Dixon, who finished the three-mile race in 14 minutes, 56.88 seconds. He was one of two athletes to break 15 minutes. Christopher Collet won the individual state title with a 14:45.25.
"He ran his best time ever in Detweiller Park and Garrett has been a joy to work with," said Remmert. "I am proud of him and he has a great career ahead of him."
Though Dixon's goal was to run 14:40 and win the state title, he was pleased with his finish.
"I gave it my all, so I have no regrets," Dixon said.
While Dixon, who was collecting his third all-state honor in four appearances at Detweiller Park, was a major component to Monticello finishing third, though the collective finishes of Luke Sokolowski, Josia Ratts and Morgan Dixon did not hurt things.
The Sage threesome broke 16 minutes and finished 62nd, 63rd and 64th. Sokolowski finished in 15:59.06 to take 62nd. Morgan Dixon, the younger brother of Garrett Dixon, took 64th in 15:59.58. Sandwiched between the two sophomores was senior Josiah Ratts, who finished 63rd in 15:59.21.
"Our third and fourth runners did a great job getting closer to our number two runner today," said Remmert. "They both ran personal bests and we have prided ourselves this year in having a tight pack."
Josh Baysore (88th, 16:15.89), Holden Miller (101st, 16:23.90) and Ethan Bright (134th, 16:23.90) rounded out the Monticello runners.
Jackson Stewart finished his career as a St. Teresa Bulldog by taking fourth with a time of 15:07.67. The senior chased and picked off people during the entire race.
"It was a really smart race," said Todd Vohland, St. Teresa's head coach. "I turned him lose and let him run his race. This is his third time as an all-stater and we are very pleased with his career."
In the girls Class 1A, Gabrielle Spain will have Ailey Mitchell to contend with and practice with at least one more year. The pair both finished as Class 1A all-staters on Saturday. Mitchell, who was second in the state as a sophomore and 19th as a freshman, dashed to a 10th place finish, touring the three-mile course in 17:42.43.
"It was not a great race for me," said Mitchell. "It is not as good as last year. Next year, I am aiming for top five. I would like to be in the 17:20s."
Spain, who is only a freshman, was not far behind. She took 16th in 17:54.13.
"I ran my best time by 15 seconds," said Spain. "I just wanted to be an all-stater. It is nice to having someone to run with. It not only gets you though the races, but the hard practices."
While there have been three pairs of male athletes to finish in the top 25, this is the first time it has happened on the girls level at Shelbyville.
"It was a very fast year and a competitive year," said Kevin Kramer, Shelbyville's head coach. "We believed that Gabby had a great chance to be all-state, just by her workouts. There were over 20 all-staters returning to this race from last year."
Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond's Layton Hall also earned all-state status finishing 21st in the Class 1A race, touring the three mile course in 15:30.93.
In Class 2A, Charleston's Austin Ames also took 21st. He finished in 15:14.24.
"This was a great way for Austin to finish his career," said Charleston coach Greg Rogers. "He ran near the front and had a goal to finish in the top five. He fought his way to an all-state finish."