Colfax, Wis. – Going up against a field of 25 teams that included seven squads ranked inside the top ten in the central region according to this week’s U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) NCAA Division III regional rankings, the Gustavus women’s cross country team held its own at the Blugold Invitational held Friday at the Whitetail Golf Course. The Gusties posted a score of 268 to finish in 10th place.
The University of Minnesota took the top spot on the podium with a score of 44, finishing with three runners in the top 10. UW-La Crosse came in second with a 94, and St. Olaf College rounded out the top three in third with a 105.
Facing a total of 424 participants – the team’s toughest competition of the season thus far – Gustavus’s Caitlin Fermoyle (Jr., Mendota Heights, Minn.) led the team with 24th place finish amongst runners attached to an intercollegiate program. Fermoyle crossed the finish line in a season-best 23:07.63, topping her previous personal best of 23:20 set two weeks ago at the St. Olaf Invitational.
Next in line was Rebecca Hare (Jr., Albany, Minn.) who came in nine spots behind Fermoyle in 33rd with a time of 23:33.35. Rounding out Gustavus’s top five scorers was Lauren Shurson (So, Chanhassen, Minn.), MaKena Hofer (So., Montevideo, Minn.), and Danielle Wittenberg (Sr., Winona, Minn.). All three posted season-best times, as Shurson finished 63rd (24:02.75), Hofer placed 71st (24:11.07), and Wittenberg came in 77th (24:17.91).
Winning the race was Luther’s Tricia Serres with a time of 21:47.50. She finished in front of Danielle Thiel of Lakehead University and Noelle Olson of St. Olaf who placed second (21:58.31) and third (22:04.71), respectively.
The Gustavus cross country teams will be back on the course in two weeks when they travel to La Crosse, Wis. on Saturday, Oct. 19. The women will compete in the Tori Neubauer Invitational, while the men will compete in the Jim Drews Invitational.