St. Peter, Minn. – The Gustavus Adolphus men’s and women’s cross country teams are set to compete in the Saint John’s Invitational on Saturday morning at the Radio Tower Fields in Collegeville, Minn. The Gustie me will hit the course at 10:00 a.m. with the women’s race following at 11:00 a.m. Along with host Saint John’s, participating schools expected at the meet include the the College of Saint Benedict, the University of Minnesota-Duluth, North Central University, the University of Northwestern, and St. Cloud State University.
Last weekend at Gustavus’s annual Alumni Meet, Caitlin Fermoyle (Jr., Mendota Heights, Minn.) led the squad with a second place in 19:39.0. Finishing behind Fermoyle was Rebecca Hare (Jr., Albany, Minn.) in third with a time of 19:54.6, Marit Sonnesyn (So., Plymouth, Minn.) in fourth with a time of 20:08.6, and Lauren Shurson (So., Chanhassen, Minn.) in fifth with a time of 20:40.1.
At the 2012 Saint John’s Invite, Gustavus posted a score of 57 to finish in second place behind Saint Ben’s who won the meet with a score of 44. Caitlin Fermoyle stole the show with a strong start to her sophomore season by winning the race with a time of 23:24. It was the first time a Gustavus woman had won a race of five teams or more since 2006 when Hailey Harren `07 won the River Falls Invitational on September 9. Behind Fermoyle was Rebecca Hare in fourth with a time of 23:51.
According to the preseason regional rankings released Aug. 27 by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA), Gustavus ranked No. 6 in the Central Region. Saint Ben’s was ranked just ahead of the Gusties at No. 5.
Much like last weekend at the Alumni Meet, the men’s squad will look to Joe Renier (Sr., Cambridge, Minn.) to set the pace and lead the way. Renier out-kicked his former teammate Rick Ross in the last 200 meters on Saturday to take the top spot on the podium with a time of 16:45.4. Other current Gusties finishing inside the top ten last weekend included Evan Jones (Fr., Pella, Iowa) in sixth (17:37.6), Matt Carlson in eighth (17:45.7), Thomas Knobbe (Fr., West Des Moines, Iowa) in ninth (17:48.7), and Nate Hanson (So., Stillwater, Minn.) in 10th (17:51.0).
The Gustie men took third with a score of 81 in Collegeville a year ago. Leading the team was Joe Renier who was the only Gustie to crack the top 20. Renier crossed the finish line in 28:05 to finish 17th overall.