St. Peter, Minn. – The Gustavus Adolphus women’s cross country team opened its 2014 season by winning the Gustie Invitation held in the Linnaeus Arboretum on Saturday morning. Bethany Lutheran College, Saint Mary’s University and former members of the Gustavus cross country program were among the competition that the Gusties faced. Gustavus finished with a total of 20 points, followed by the Gustie Alumni in second with 51 points, Saint Mary’s in third with 78, and Bethany Lutheran in fourth place with 92.
Marit Sonnesyn (Jr., Plymouth, Minn.) was the meet’s individual champion by finishing the 5k with a time of 19:24. Teammates Caitlin Fermoyle (Sr., Mendota Heights, Minn.) and Lauren Shurson (Jr., Chanhassen, Minn.) were not far behind Sonnesyn, coming in with times of 19:33 and 19:48, respectively, to give the Gusties the top three runners in the race. Emily Sands (So., Rochester, Minn.) finished fifth, and Mata Agre (Fy., Medina, Minn.) finished ninth to complete the scoring for Gustavus.
“I was excited with how it went today,” said Sonnesyn. “I was really excited about how the whole team did and I think the team was excited as well. We’ve been working hard the last two weeks and have put in a lot of tough miles which makes this race even more exciting.”
“Marit decided she was going to push the pace,” said head coach Dale Bahr. “She established herself as the top runner about midway through the race and held on. She looked strong.”
As in the past, the Gustie Invitational signifies the end of training camp and Bahr is impressed with where his team is at going into the school year. “We’ve got a nice strong pack this year, a good top three through five,” he said. “We just need to shore up the gap between our three and four runners and I certainly think we have the capability to do that as the season continues.”
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.