Men’s Cross Country Finishes Sixth At MIAC Championships

Posted on November 1st, 2014 by

Just as he has done all season long, Thomas Knobbe led the Gusties during the MIAC Championships.

St. Paul, Minn. – After finishing in seventh place at the 2013 MIAC Championships, the Gustavus Adolphus men’s cross country team climbed the ladder one spot a year later to finish with 155 points, good for sixth place at the 2014 MIAC Championships held on Saturday afternoon at Como Park Golf Course.

“Overall, our team ran very, very well,” said head coach Dale Bahr. “We had some guys step up and really race their hearts out and I think we did that from the bottom up. Conditions made for some fast times today, but we have some outstanding competition in the MIAC and that really forces us to do our best.”

Just as he has done all season long, Thomas Knobbe (So., Decorah, Iowa) led the Gusties on the day. Knobbe earned All-Conference honors for the first time by finishing the 8k race with the best time of his career, 25:35.6, good for 11th place. Knobbe’s performance marks a large individual improvement from 2013, when he finished in 40th place with a time of 27:15.6.

“Thomas has been a beast all season long,” said Bahr. “He gets into race mode…talking to him beforehand, he was confident, he didn’t seem at all nervous and he just approached it like any other race, which is exactly what you want from a leader like him. He has a very mature demeanor when it comes to competition…he looks at it as a good thing, not as pressure. He’s looking great and two more weeks of training should give him a great chance to be at the front during regions.”

The remaining Gusties that factored into the scoring were Paul Nordquist (Jr., Edina, Minn.) who finished 24th in 26:19.8, Carston Dammann (So., Lake City, Minn.) who placed 31st in 26:45.7, Evan Jones (So., Pella, Iowa) who took 32nd in 26:46.0 and Marcus Speca (Jr., Minnetonka, Minn.) who came in 57th at 27:46.5.

“We have a great nucleus with our youth,” said Bahr. “They’re tough and they know they have the ability to be good so they work hard and smart. Hats off to our whole team, they’ve put together a heck of a season.”

Winning the 2014 MIAC Championship was St. Olaf College who finished with a score of 16, just one point shy of a perfect score. The Oles dominated, with their top four runners taking the top four spots and their fifth coming in sixth place. Carleton College came in second with a score of 72 and the University of St. Thomas finished third with score of 105. St. Olaf’s Grant Wintheiser claimed his third-straight individual MIAC Men’s Cross Country Championship by completing the course in 24:47.5. He shaved more than a second off his winning time from a year ago, and his time is the second-fastest since 1969.

The Gustavus men’s cross country team will be back on the course Saturday, Nov. 15 when it travels to Pella, Iowa to compete in the NCAA Central Region Championships at 11 a.m.

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