Men and Women’s Cross Country have done a lot of running this fall, but their toughest race still lies ahead of them: their postseason run.
The Men’s team is coming off an impressive season that culminated with a third place finish out of 11 teams at the MIAC Championships on Oct. 29. As a team the Black and Gold scored 77 points with a total team time of 2:13:30, giving them an average time of 26:42.
The third place finish is the best for the Gustie men since the 1992 team got third 24 years ago. Saint Olaf and Saint John’s finished first and second, respectively.
“I was pleased with third place because we went out and competed hard,” Head Coach Dale Bahr said. “Obviously we were looking to be top-two, but we don’t have control of what other teams do.”
“I was pleased with third place because we went out and competed hard. Obviously we were looking to be top-two, but we don’t have control of what other teams do.” — Coach Dale Bahr
Senior Thomas Knobbe led the Gusties with an 8k time of 26:16.2, which was good enough for a fourth place finish in a field of 208.
Senior Evan Jones was right behind Knobbe for a 26:18.8 sixth place finish. Senior Carston Dammann finished thirteenth, and Sophomore Alex Wischnack crossed the finish line ten seconds later to take 13th and 22nd place, respectively.
Knobbe, Jones and Dammann all earned All-Conference awards for their efforts. Wischnack took home an All-Conference Honorable Mention himself.
“Anytime you can get three guys to make All-Conference, it’s pretty impressive,” Bahr said. “I have to take my hat off, these guys have worked pretty hard. They’re not done and they have more to prove. We bounced back after not racing well the last two meets and today we raced well.”
Despite all of the Gustie Men’s accomplishments, they weren’t even close to satisfied.
“I think taking third place today is going to put a little sour taste in our mouth to come back at regions and run even better. I’m excited to see what happens,” Bahr said.
“We raced okay, but I think there is a whole lot more that this team can do. Hopefully we will build up confidence in our training to get ready for regionals.” — Coach Dale Bahr
The Women’s team, meanwhile, still has a lot to improve on, placing 11th out of 12 teams at the MIAC Championship.
As a team the Black and Gold scored 259 points with a total team time of 2:05:12, good for an average time of 25:03.
Junior Sadie Novak-Klug crossed the finish line first for the Gusties with a 19th place finish in a field of 248. Her 6k time of 23:51.3 was good enough for an All-Conference Honorable Mention.
“Sadie ran a really tough race. She started out a little conservative, and then the middle part of the race she really started moving up,” Bahr said.
Senior Steph Welke finished next for the Gusties with a finish of 23:51.3, good enough for 69th.
“We raced okay, but I think there is a whole lot more that this team can do,” Bahr said. “Hopefully we will build up confidence in our training to get ready for regionals,” Bahr said.
Both the men and women head to the NCAA Regionals in Northfield on Friday, Nov. 12.