The Gustavus women’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 sixth place finish from a year ago. The women’s race begins at 3 pm.
Gustavus Championships Preview
The Gustavus women will be looking to move back into the top five at the MIAC Championships after slipping to sixth place a year ago. Coach Jed Friedrich returns four of his top seven runners from last year’s conference meet squad. That group includes senior Kelly Chaudoin (Ely, Minn.), who finished 53rd, and sophomores Megan Lundgren (Mankato, Minn./East), who finished 21st, Kate Reins (Osseo, Minn.), who finished 39th, and Brooke Beskau (Hastings, Minn.), who finished 59th. Beskau has been the Gusties top finisher in every meet this season and appears to have an opportunity to place in the top 20. Chaudoin has been the squad’s #2 runner, followed by Vanessa Jones in the #3 spot. Jones transferred from Illinois Wesleyan where she finished 34th at the CCIW meet last year. First-year runner Danielle Burgmeier (Plymouth, Minn./Wayzata) has consistently finished in the #4 spot, followed by sophomores Kathy Westergren (Duluth, Minn./East) and Megan Lundgren in the fifth and sixth spots. It appears that the Gusties will be battling St. Ben’s, Hamline, and Macalester for that fifth place position behind frontrunners Carleton, Bethel, St. Thomas, and St. Olaf.
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.