St. Paul – After a disappointing last place finish at the MIAC Championships a year ago, the Gustavus men’s cross country team turned in a much-improved showing at the year’s conference meet held Saturday afternoon at the Como Park Golf Course. With a score of 207 this season, the Gusties moved up three spots into a seventh place standing.
“Our guys had to fight through being boxed in early and I was proud of the way they responded,” said Head Coach Dale Bahr. “They battled through that stage and ended up putting together a great race. We had a lot of guys come out and run for the team and run with something to prove. That was great to see and it sets a great tone for regions.”
The story of the afternoon for Gustavus was the performance by the team’s senior captain, Joe Renier (Cambridge, Minn.). Running under the 26-minute mark for the third time this season, Renier finished 11th overall with a time a 25:58.1. This year’s performance came from a runner who finished 58th overall and sixth on the team with a time of 27:24.7 at the MIAC Championships last season. By virtue of his finish this year, Renier earns All-Conference accolades and becomes Gustavus’s first All-MIAC performer since 2008 when Dan Foley `09 placed fifth.
“Joe Renier put together a great race by weaving in and out of traffic through much of the course,” said Bahr about his senior standout. “Joe definitely showed that he’s one of the best runners in the conference and that he can compete with the top guys from around the league. At mile three and four he started to look strong and powered up the hill against some fast runners. Flat out a solid race from Joe who definitely came to race today.”
Next in line was freshman Thomas Knobbe (Fr., West Des Moines, Iowa) who finished 40th overall with a time of 27:15.6. The remaining five Gusties all finished inside the 50s. Sam Fransen (Sr., Jackson, Minn.) finished 50th in 27:41.5, Tanner Davenport (Sr., Ham Lake, Minn.) placed 52nd in 27:50.6, Evan Jones (Fr., Pella, Iowa) took 54th in 28:08.5, Paul Nordquist (So., Edina, Minn.) came in 55th in 28:09.5, and Carston Dammann (Fr., Lake City, Minn.) rounded out the group in 56th in 28.09.8. Davenport, Jones, and Nordquist turned in their best times of the season at today’s race.
Winning the 2013 MIAC Championship was St. Olaf College with a score of 20. The Oles dominated, placing six of their seven runners inside the top 10. Carleton College came in second with a score of 81, and the University of St. Thomas finished third with score of 104.
The MIAC has a home page dedicated to the 2013 MIAC Cross Country Championships, including information, links, results, recaps, photos and more. The MIAC would like to thank the host institution – Bethel University – for its efforts to host the meet, and Twin Cities Orthopedics for providing athletic training and medical services to the student-athletes.
The Gustavus cross country teams will be back on the course Saturday, Nov. 16 when they travel to Northfield, Minn. to compete in the NCAA Central Region Championships.