Collegeville, Minn. – The Gustavus Adolphus men’s cross country team posted a team score of 53 to finish in third place out of five teams at the annual Saint John’s Invitational held Saturday morning at the Radio Tower Fields. The Gusties finished just two points behind the University of Minnesota Duluth (51 pts.), while host Saint John’s won the meet with a score of 25.
Like he has been doing through the opening weeks of the 2013 season, senior captain Joe Renier (Sr., Cambridge, Minn.) once again proved to be the team’s leader. Renier, who led the Gusties at the meet last season, finished runner-up behind UMD’s Dan Nielsen, crossing the finish line in 27:22. Nielsen took home medalist honors ahead of Renier with a time of 26:44. Renier’s performance on Saturday ranks as the highest finish by a Gustavus runner at the Saint John’s Invitational in the past decade. He bested the previous top performance held by Mark Bartley in a fourth place finish in 2011.
Other top Gustavus finishers included Evan Jones (Fr., Pella, Iowa) and Leighton Becher (Jr., Woodbury, Minn.). Jones finished 10th overall with a time of 28:42, while Becher placed 11th with a time of 28:44. Matt Carlson (Jr., Roseville, Minn.) came in 14th (29:03), and Thomas Knobbe (Fr., West Des Moines, Iowa) rounded out the Gusties’ top five in 16th (29:10).
Gustavus posted a total time of 2:23:01.00 for an average of 28:36.20 in the squad’s first 8k length race of the season.
The Gusties will now have two full weeks of training before their next outing set to take place on Saturday, Sept. 21. The men’s and women’s cross country teams will travel to Northfield, Minn. to compete in the St. Olaf Invitational set to begin at 10:00 a.m