The Gustavus men’s cross country team will begin its championship season this weekend with the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Championships which will take place on Saturday at the Como Park Golf Course in St. Paul, Minn. The Gusties will be looking to improve on their fifth place finish from a year ago. The men’s race begins at 2 pm.
Gustavus Championships Preview
The Gustavus men’s cross country team returns five of its top seven runners from a team that finished fifth at last year’s MIAC Championships and Coach Jed Friedrich is hoping that nucleus will help the Gusties post another top five finish in 2008. Senior Dan Foley (Minneapolis, Minn./South) has been the top Gustavus finisher in each of his four races this fall and he is expected to make a big improvement on his 42nd place finish at the conference meet a year ago. Foley will be supported by fellow co-captain John Leaf (Center City, Minn./Chisago). Leaf, who finished 22nd at the conference meet last year, has been recovering from a leg injury much of the season and Coach Friedrich is hoping that he will be at full strength for this year’s conference meet. A couple of juniors, Mark Hartmann (White Bear Lake, Minn.) and John Kennedy (Coon Rapids, Minn.) have been the #2 and #3 runners, respectively all season. Hartmann placed 62nd and Kennedy finished 70th at last year’s conference meet. If this duo can move into the top 40 at this year’s meet, the Gusties have a very good chance of finishing in the top five again. Senior Alex Prieve (Faribault, Minn.), who has been the team’s #5 runner this fall, turned in a solid 49th position at the MIAC meet in 2007, and he will be shooting for another top 50 finish this year. Sophomore Nick Ross (Hasting, Minn.) has finished in the top seven for the squad in each meet this fall with a season best 60th place finish at the Wartburg Invitational. Ross placed 112th at last year’s conference meet. The Gusties will likely be battling Bethel, Carleton, and Macalester for a chance to finish in the top five.
St. Thomas, which is the host institution for this year’s event, is planning to produce a live webcast of Saturday’s MIAC Men’s and Women’s Championships, starting at approximately 1:45 p.m. Besides audio, some live highlights and results will be posted as they become available. Go to www.mnsportsnetwork.com and scroll to the MIAC CC channel.