2003 Men’s Cross Country Preview

Posted on August 29th, 2003 by

The road to a successful cross country season is often paved during the hot summer months of training, and Gustavus men’s cross country coach Scott Jerome believes his squad has put in the hours it will take to elevate the program in 2003.

“I am quite pleased with our guys’ commitment this summer,” Jerome commented. “Most of them have put in their miles and are starting to understand what it takes to get better in our conference.”

Getting better in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference has been a task that the Gusties have struggled with in recent years. A year ago Gustavus placed a disappointing ninth at the MIAC Championships for the third year in a row. Two weeks later at the NCAA Central Regional, all seven of the Gustavus athletes posted personal bests, an accomplishment Jerome hopes is a stepping stone toward a successful 2003 campaign.

“Our guys are anxious to move up in the conference,” stated the fourth year head coach. “We need to stay focused for eight weeks and remain healthy.”

Jerome has four of his top six runners from last year’s team returning along with a duo of first year athletes who are projected to run near the top. This mix has Gustavus poised to make that leap in the conference standings that it has been craving for the past few years.

James Sorenson (JR, Hastings, MN) and Brent Magnusson (JR, Pelican Rapids), this year’s captains, are expected to lead the team on and off the course. Sorenson trimmed nearly three and a half minutes off of his 8K time throughout the course of last year, and after a successful track and field season looks to have taken his ability to a higher level. Magnusson was the team’s third fastest finisher at the NCAA Regional last season.

“James and Brent are going to be great leaders for us,” Jerome said. “James has taken a big step in cross country over the last year and is by far our top runner heading into the season.”

Two first year runners, Alex Zupan (FY, Monona, WI) and Frank Hedin (FY, Duluth, MN) have already emerged as athletes who will score points for their new squad this fall. Having a couple of young athletes ready to step in and contribute right away has Coach Jerome excited about the future. “I really think Alex and Frank will help pull the other first year runners along, which will really benefit the program in the next couple of years to come.”

Along with Sorenson and Magnusson, other top upperclassmen who have risen to the top of the 22 man roster over the first two weeks of practice have been Drew Scanlan (SR, New Orleans, LA), Dan Westlund (SO, Northfield, MN), Jahred Stephens (SO, Minnetonka, MN), and Ryan Taylor (JR, Mankato, MN).

The team recently returned from a five-day training trip to Big Bay, Michigan where the athletes trained in a cooler climate on soft surfaces. “Besides being in a great training environment, our week in Michigan gave the team a chance to get to know each other,” Jerome related. “It gave us a chance to figure out what we want to accomplish as a team and what it is going to take to improve over last season.”

With preseason training behind them, the Gusties are anxious for the start competition and the opportunity to put all of their off-season work to good use. The first race of the year is the four-mile St. Mary’s University Invite in Winona, Minnesota on August 30 at 10:45 am. One week later the squad will compete in its first 8K competition of the season at the St. John’s University Invite in Collegeville, Minnesota.

2002 Statistics

General Information
Name: Gustavus Adolphus College
Location: St. Peter, Minn.
Founded: 1862
Enrollment: 2,540
Nickname: Golden Gusties
School Colors: Black and Gold
Affiliation: NCAA Div. III
President: Jim Peterson
Athletic Director: Al Molde
Athletic Phone: (507) 933-7617

First year of cross country: 1957
NCAA National Qualifications as a team: 1
Last NCAA National Championship Appearance as a team: 1990 / 14th

Sports Information
Sports Info Director: Tim Kennedy
Work Phone: (507) 933-7647
Email: timgasid@gustavus.edu
Sports Information Cross Country Contact: Nick Huber
Work Phone: (507) 933-8411
Email: nhuber@gustavus.edu
SID Fax: (507) 933-8412
Web site: http://www.gustavus.edu/oncampus/athletics/mxc/

Coaching Staff
Head Coach: Scott Jerome
Alma Mater / Year: Bates College / 1993
Year at Gustavus: Fourth
Head Coach’s office phone: (507) 933-7632
Assistant Coach: Dale Bahr

Player Information

All Returning Letterwinners
Brent Magnusson (JR, Pelican Rapids, MN)
James Sorenson (JR, Hastings, MN)
Ryan Taylor (JR, Mankato, MN)
Dan Westlund (SO, Northfield, MN)

Letterwinners Lost
David Bernhardson
Chad Custer
Bob Jilek
Andy Meyer
Jake Moen

Key Newcomers
Frank Hedin (FY, Duluth, MN)
Alex Zupan (FY, Monona, WI)

Letterwinners returning: Total: 4
Letterwinners lost: Total: 6
Top Five Returning: 3
Top Five Lost: 2

2003 Schedule
8/30 St. Mary’s Invitational
9/6 St. John’s Invitational
9/13 Alumni Meet
9/20 Les Duke Inviational
9/27 Roy Griak Inviational
10/11 Dan Hustion Invitational
11/1 MIAC Championships
11/15 NCAA Regional Championships
11/22 NCAA National Championships

2002 Results
8/31 St. Mary’s Invite 1st of 5
9/7 St. John’s Invite 5th of 8
9/21 Les Duke Invitational 8th of 15
9/28 Roy Griak Invitational 26th of 37
10/12 Pre-National Meet 20th of 20
10/25 Macalester Dual 32-23
11/2 MIAC Championships 9th of 11
11/16 NCAA Regional Championships 14th of 23


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