Good Sports: Charlotte Monke

FRESNO, Calif.

"[It's] respecting the sports and the other runners around her," said Alta Sierra Track and Cross Country Head Coach Dustin Beauchamp, "just through her dedication and admiration of the other athletes."

"She's just such an encouraging friend," said teammate and fellow Alta Sierra Track Athlete Ashley Frost. "She has such a great sense of humor. That's what really draws me to her. She's just a great person."

All this about the reigning league cross country champion, who in March set the Alta Sierra school record in the 3200 meters, running two miles in 11 minutes and 24 seconds.

"It feels good to know that not as many people can beat me," said Monke. "But I know that I work hard for it and I train for it. So the harder you work the better you'll do in races."

That time won her eighth grade age group at the prestigious West Coast Relays, and would stand as the fourth fastest time in the Central Section high school level this year.

"I was really proud of myself," admitted Monke. "I didn't think I could do it before. My coach was really helpful because each lap he'd tell me how fast I was going and if I needed to speed up."

Coming from an avid running family, Monke says running has always been a way to bond and form relationships.

"We're only in middle school so I don't think it should be that competitive," said Monke. "I think we should all just get along and be nice to each other."

"I'd hate to be one of those crazy sideline parents living vicariously through her," said Charlotte's mother, Audrey Monke. "But she's definitely a lot faster than I ever was. So it's really fun to see her out there."

Already achieving such great success at just 13-years-old, Monke's future is even brighter than the present.

"She can do a lot of really good things," said Coach Beauchamp. "She's following in the steps some really great runners that are there right now like Hagen Reedy and Maddy Nikkel. Hopefully she can go up there and join them and do well."

A 4.0 student at Alta Sierra, Monke chose broadcasting as an elective this year, and has an affinity for making videos and editing.

"We make commercials and TV shows and it's just a lot of fun," said Monke. "We can make creative and funny videos."

Which is great, as long as she doesn't have any plans to take over the ABC 30 sports job anytime soon!

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