Men’s Cross Country Takes Eighth At St. Olaf Invite

Posted on September 19th, 2015 by

Paul Nordquist led the Gusties to an eighth place finish on Saturday in Northfield.

NORTHFIELD, Minn. – The Gustavus Adolphus men’s cross country team earned an eighth place finish out of 20 teams at the St. Olaf Invite on Saturday morning. The result was identical to last season’s eighth place finish in Northfield, however, the Gusties improved upon their overall score, tallying a 204 on Saturday compared to a 219 in 2014.

“Our men ran very well again,” said Coach Dale Bahr. “We’re running strong as a team and still learning as well. We had some individuals who ran exceptionally well. Our top three guys haven’t been at the top for their entire collegiate careers, and now they’re learning how to be those front-runners and it’s a fun progression. There were some really fast individuals from other teams that pushed our guys, and I thought we responded quite well.”

As he has done in each meet this season, senior Paul Nordquist (Edina, Minn.) led Gustavus on the day with a time of 25:55.6, good for a 12th place finish. Teammate Thomas Knobbe (Jr., Decorah, Iowa) was just one second behind Nordquist with a 25:56.6 and came in 13th. Carston Dammann (So., Lake City, Minn.) was next with a 27:04.4 (47th place), followed by Marcus Speca (Sr., Minnetonka, Minn.) who finished in 27:33.7 (66th place). Evan Jones (Jr., Pella, Iowa) rounded out the Gustie scoring with a 67th place finish after notching a time of 27:34.3.

“Thomas came on strong today and was right on the heels of Paul,” said Bahr. “That was nice to see because we know Thomas has been a bit frustrated with some of his earlier races and I think this was definitely a great meet for him. Paul continues to run very well. He has that desire to be a front-runner and today showed that he can race with the best. Anytime you place guys 12th and 13th in a meet this big and with this good of competition, you’re doing well.

I thought Carston also ran smart today,” added Bahr. “He used a bit more of a conservative effort at the start of the race, which allowed him to come back strong in the second half. He’s really clicking right now, and through an injury, and we have high hopes for him as the season goes on.”

Host St. Olaf College was the meet champion with 59 points, as each of its five scorers placed inside the top 25, including senior Jake Campbell who won the meet with a time of 25:20.2. UW-Eau Claire was second with a 73, and the University of St. Thomas rounded out the podium with a score of 128.

“We weren’t used to that big of a field, so I think our runners lost track of each other a little bit,” said Bahr. “They didn’t run in the same type of packs that we’ve seen earlier this season and with more teams and bigger teams, that obviously plays a role in the scores being a bit higher. The key for us moving forward is going to be getting our 4-5-6 runners up to close that gap a bit. Our pack is something we’ll continue to work on, especially with larger fields becoming the norm for the remainder of the season.”

Gustavus will have a weekend off before heading back to Northfield on October 3 for the Carleton Invitational, a new meet on the Gustie schedule.

St. Olaf Invite Results 


One Comment

  1. Peter Nordquist says:

    Of course I’m biased, but, just the same: really great coverage of a very fun event! Thank you, Nick, for writing a detailed story about this race.

    Peter Nordquist