St. Peter, Minn. – The Gustavus men’s cross country alumni had a strong showing on Saturday morning at the Gustie Invitational in the Linnaeus Arboretum by taking five out of the top seven spots to secure a first place finish against Gustavus, Saint Mary’s University, and Bethany Lutheran College. The Gustie alumni tallied a team score of 22 to best the 2014 Gustavus team who came in second place with a score of 35. Rounding out the team scores was Saint Mary’s in third place with 75 points, and Bethany Lutheran in fourth with 111.
Thomas Knobbe (So., Decorah, Iowa) was the meet’s individual champion by finishing the 5k race in 16:12, just ahead of Nick Ross ’11 who finished in 16:17. Paul Nordquist (Jr., Edina, Minn.), Evan Jones (So., Pella, Iowa), Carston Dammann (So., Lake City, Minn.) and Matt Carlson (Sr., Roseville, Minn.) were the current Gusties who finished behind Knobbe to factor into the scoring.
“I wanted to go into the race with a worry-free attitude,” said Knobbe. “I didn’t want to stress myself out too much, I just wanted to go out and run my own race and I think I accomplished that. We have a lot of talented alumni and I’m just happy to have come out on top.”
“It’s good to see that top runner be a current Gustie,” said head coach Dale Bahr. “I think it means we have some good young guys coming up and stepping in. We’re a young team, but we don’t act like a young team…most of these guys have had a year in the program and they’re stepping up and showing they can be counted on.”
Behind Ross were four additional Gustie alumni who finished in the top seven. Anders Bowman (16:24), John Leaf (16:33), James Sorenson (16:42) and Joe Renier (16:50) were the additional alumni who also factored into the team’s score.
Knobbe expects that the team will contend this year, even if other teams are counting them out. “I think this is going to be a definite up year,” said Knobbe. “I think we are a dark horse in the MIAC, a lot of teams aren’t expecting us to do much, but we know as a team that we have a lot of potential to make a statement in the conference and region.”
The Gustavus cross country teams will be in action next Saturday when they travel to Pella, Iowa to take part in the Central College Invitational.