Franklin Monroe Girls Cross Country Program Showing Strong in 2023

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The FM Varsity Girls Cross Country team won the WOAC league title this year. It's the first league championship since the Jets won back to back in 2002 and 2003. (Dale Barger Photo)

PITSBURG – The Lady Jets Cross Country team has experienced success this year that they haven’t enjoyed since 2003 not only at the High School level but Jr. High as well.

Both teams won the WOAC Cross-Country Championship at the recent league meet at Preble Shawnee.

Franklin Monroe Co-Coaches Taylor (Hackney) Collins and Danielle (McVey) Filbrun both former Cross Country and Track athletes for the Jets share duties coaching the High School Boys & Girls and Junior High Boys and Girls Cross Country teams.

FM Cross Country Coaches Taylor Collins & Danielle Filbrun were name “Coaches of the Years” in the WOAC. (Dale Barger Photo)

The duo earned coach of the year honors in the WOAC this season and both are enjoying the success the kids are having this year which includes the junior high girl’s performance last Saturday.

The JH Team had a successful performance winning their division in the Ohio Middle School State Championship held at Obetz Fortress near Columbus, Ohio.

The Jr. High Cross Country Team won the WOAC league title in 2023. Team Member From L-R: Kyra Hope, Stella Fugate, Anna Yeomans, Ella Eshleman and Keira Fenstermaker. (Dale Barger Photo)

Here are the team members and their respective times and placements at the meet.

Anna Yeomans: 9th (12:58)
Stella Fugate: 16th (13:30)
Ella Eshleman: 19th (13:35)
Keira Fenstermaker: 35th (14:08)
Kyra Hope: 84th (15:33)

There performance is very exciting for the coaching duo and gives them hope about the future of the program with the progress they see.

“That’s pretty tremendous when you have seventh graders return as eighth graders, but then you also get some seventh graders who come in and they get excited about running  and then they turn out and do really well.  They just show up every day and work hard and for Anna to be just a seventh grader and to win the WOAC and then finish in top 10 at the state level that is so exciting.”

FM 7th grader Anna Yeomans won the WOAC Jr High Race and placed 9th at the Middle School Championships. (Dale Barger Photo)

“She’s been amazing and wants to win bad and as coaches we are proud of her,”

The high school team also competed Saturday at the district meet held in Cedarville, Ohio and although they didn’t advance any individual runners or as a team they had a respectable showing with their top four runners all being freshman: Sydney Baker 46th, Sami Stull 58th, Hannah Wolfe 67th, and Mia Brookey 68th, out of 157 runners.

The varsity team graduates one senior Hallie Aslinger who the coaches agree, her leadership has been instrumental for the program and team.

“We are so happy for her to be able to share in the first league title at FM in girls’ cross country since they won back-to-back league titles in 2002 and 2003.  Hallie has been a great senior this year, and always leads the prayer with them before every meet and also helps get the girls pumped up.”

Senior Hallie Aslinger goes out a winner as she help lead her team to a WOAC Cross Country Championship in 2023. (Dale Barger Photo)

“She’s been a big role model to them and has been telling the girls it’s my last season and I’ve never won anything, so we’ve got to win the WOAC.   We are really happy she was able to experience that this year, she has been a great senior.”

With just one senior on the team the future is bright with 7 freshman and 5 sophomores and when you pair that up with the incoming JH runners it gives pause for exciting things to come for the young ladies in the Franklin Monroe cross country program.

“It was so fun this year coaching and it’s great that we keep building up our numbers and we are excited to see what the future holds for the girls’ program,” the coaches concluded.

FM Girls Jr. High Girls Cross Country with State Trophy.