2018 Cross Country Season Preview

Posted on August 31st, 2018 by

SAINT PETER, Minn. – The Gustavus men’s and women’s cross country teams will begin their season this Saturday at Crown College with the women beginning at 10:00 a.m. and the men racing at 10:45 a.m. Brenden Huber will be beginning his second season as the head cross country coach for the Gusties and looks to build off of last season’s success.

“To add to our strength and leadership coming back from last season, we got a lot of freshmen in on both the men’s and women’s side and camps been going really well overall,” coach Huber said. “The kids have been working their tails off and in our alumni meet last weekend the times we wanted weren’t there, but the effort we wanted to see was. I knew the kids were tired from workouts so we weren’t expecting a lot from a performance or time standpoint, but just to see the character our kids had was good to see.”

This season’s captains on the men’s side are Alex Wischnack (Sr., Norwood, Minn.), Tyler Stordahl (Sr., Cary, Ill.), and Ben Madigan (Sr., Kohler, Wis.). On the women’s side the captains for this season are Haley Anderson (Jr., Eden Prairie, Minn.), Sarah Anderson (Jr., Roseville, Minn.), and Abbie Schnabel (Sr., Hamburg, Minn.).

“We’ve always tried to instill leadership and have the upperclassmen help the younger runners and it’s vital to the culture of any team and last year we only had a couple upperclassmen and a lot of younger kids so we took our lumps, but now it’s going to be really exciting to see a little more life injected into the program from our leaders who can see the goal we have in place,” Huber said of his captains.

Andrew Stumbo

The Gusties have a few key returners on the men’s side starting with 2017 All-Conference runner Andrew Stumbo (So., Boone, Iowa) who finished fifth individually in the MIAC Championship meet last season. Wischnack will look to build off his junior season as he finished 36th in the Championship meet. Brennan Gustafson (So., Kasson, Minn.) and Madigan both also finished in the top-50 for the Gusties last season.

When asked about the men taking a few steps back in the MIAC standings last season Huber said, “We graduated six of our top eight runners in 2016, so we ended up having four freshmen in our top five runners last season so we have to understand that there will be bumps in the road. We finished eighth in the conference meet but in the regional meet we finished fifth out of the teams in the conference, so it was a good stride to see our guys make. I would say that after seeing the successes our men had last year, they’re going to have their sights set on cracking the top three and giving themselves a shot to compete with the top of the conference.”

On the women’s side the Gusties return an array of their top runners that helped the team finish fourth in the conference meet last season. The women graduated their top two runners from last season but bring back five faces that finished in the top 50 as well as welcome a big first-year class. Sarah Anderson and Tierney Winter (Jr., Waterville, Minn.) look to build off their impressive 2017 campaigns where they finished 27th and 32nd respectively at the conference meet.

When asked about the women making a jump from 11th to fourth in the conference last season, Huber said, “They are going to have to be able to maintain their spot up at the top of the conference now because that’s where this program has been trying to get to. You lose a girl who finished top-ten in the conference last season, so that big group of girls who ran well last season for us is going to have to work together and take a step forward to keep our program headed in the right direction.”

 

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