The Gustavus men’s cross country team will open its 2008 season on Saturday, Sept. 13 at the Les Duke Invitational hosted by Grinnell College. Senior captains John Leaf and Dan Foley will lead a veteran squad that includes nine juniors and seniors that lettered last season.
Coach Jed Friedrich’s squad is rated #10 in the Midwest Region to start the season and the Gusties will be able to find out where they stand right away against a strong field at Grinnell. Senior co-captain Jon Leaf will not be able to run on Saturday as he has been battling some early season leg injuries. The hope is that rest over the first couple of weeks of the season will allow him to get back into the lineup as he is expected to be one of the squad’s top performers. Freshman Anders Boman will also sit out the meet as he is dealing with a nagging leg injury. With Leaf and Boman out, the Gusties will look to senior co-captain Dan Foley who performed well at the team’s Alumni Meet two weeks ago. Foley is a veteran runner who is used to running in the front of the pack. Others expected to contribute include junior Mark Hartman, senior Alex Prieve, sophomore Nick Ross, junior John Kennedy, and freshman Alex Thornton, Anthony Cesnik, and Mark Bartley.
Other upperclass runners who will be competing on Saturday include senior Elias Anoszko, juniors Jeremy Bock, and Andrew Nelson, and sophomores Dan Grannes, Mark Peterson, Andrew Poffenberger, and Carson Smith. Freshman John Kasprisin and Elliot Lesser round out the squad.
The race will take place at Oakland Acres Country Club and it will be a good opportunity for the team to experience the course where the NCAA Central Regional Meet will be held later in the season (Nov. 15).