Men’s Cross Country Finishes 11th Of 25 At Blugold Invite

Posted on October 3rd, 2014 by

Thomas Knobbe was Gustavus's top performer with a 24th place finish at the Blugold Invitational on Friday. Knobbe ran a personal best 26:01.2.

Thomas Knobbe was Gustavus’s top performer with a 25th place finish at the Blugold Invitational on Friday. Knobbe ran a personal best 26:01.2.

Colfax, Wis. – The Gustavus Adolphus men’s cross country team finished 11th out of 24 teams with a score of 284 at the Blugold Invitational held on Friday at the Whitetail Golf Course. Winning the meet was St. Olaf College with score of 48, placing second was UW-Eau Claire with a 52 and rounding out the podium in third was Central College with a 107. St. Olaf also had the individual champion in Grant Wintheiser who finished the 8k race in 24:36.5.

The 2014 Blugold Invitational was comprised of 26 teams spanning Divisions I, II and III. Amongst Division III teams in the meet, six were ranked inside the top 15 in the nation according to the most recent U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) national rankings.

“When you consider that we’re running against some of the top teams in the nation, we’re holding our own,” said head coach Dale Bahr. “Those top teams expose some areas we need to work on, including closing the gap between our third and fourth runners. That being said, we’re a very young team, with four sophomores near the top of our lineup, and I thought we ran extremely well today in some tough conditions and against some fantastic competition.”

Thomas Knobbe (So., Decorah, Iowa) was Gustavus’s only runner to crack the top 25. Knobbe came across the finish line in 25th with a time of 26:01.2, besting his season-best time of 26:25 set at the Central College Invitational on September 6.

“I was really pleased with my race,” said Knobbe. “I ran the first mile under control and then kept moving up from pack to pack. Tactically I put myself in a position to perform well, which is is what I wanted going into the race.”

Following Knobbe was Evan Jones (So., Pella, Iowa) and Paul Nordquist (Jr., Edina, Minn.) who both turned in their best times of the season as well. Jones placed 37th with a time of 26:19.9, and Nordquist came in 40th with a time of 26:20.6.

Rounding out Gustavus’s scoring five with their best performances of the year was Carston Dammann (So., Lake City, Minn.) in 84th (27:09.6) and Marcus Speca (Jr., Minnetonka, Minn.) in 98th (27:26.3).

“As a team, I think we really showed our potential,” said Knobbe. “We’re young and we’re improving every day. Needless to say, I’m very excited for the upcoming meets. We’re definitely ready to make some noise at conference.”

Of the top individual runners, Wintheiser won the meet for the second consecutive season. Carleton junior Hart Horner finished behind Wintheiser in second with a 24:41.4 and Jake Campbell of St. Olaf rounded out the top three by clocking in at 24:43.5.

The Gustavus cross country teams will be back on the course in two weeks when they travel to La Crosse, Wis. on Saturday, Oct. 18. The women will compete in the Tori Neubauer Invitational, while the men will compete in the Jim Drews Invitational.

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