The Gustavus Men’s and Women’s cross-country teams made the short trek over to Northfield this past weekend for the MIAC Championship meet.
Runners for both teams had speedy days on the course, as both teams sprinted their way into fourth place finishes. The men competed in a field of 11 teams and the women in a field of 12.
For the men, Sophomore Garet Grant and Junior Andrew Stumbo both earned All-Conference awards for their impressive performances, as Grant finished 12th in 25:44.7 and Stumbo rolled through shortly after in 14th place with a time of 25:53.7.
“To have two guys go All-Conference really set the tone for the men today,” Head Coach Brenden Huber said. “They have been pushing each other all season and that showed with how they ran.”
Sophomore Noah Johnson earned All-Conference Honorable Mention with a 21st place finish, coasting across the line in 26:10.4.
“Noah ran a lifetime PR today to end up on the podium. It was really fun to see him move up throughout the race. He ran really smart,” Huber said.
Sophomore Ben Wicklund and Junior Casey Olson finished out the scoring for the Gusties, coming in 29th with a time of 26:19.7 and 34th in 26.31.3, respectively.
Huber was enthusiastic about the men’s strong showing.
“I was really excited with how hard our guys ran. They took a swing at finishing in the top three today. Even though it didn’t work out we showed that we are a much-improved team overall,” Huber said.
In the women’s meet, Senior Tierney Winter took full advantage of her last MIAC Championship meet with a spectacular scamper.
She blew through six kilometers in 21:56.9, good for second place in the meet and All-Conference honors.
This time also etched Winter’s name in the Gustavus record books, as she became the second fastest runner in Gustavus women’s cross-country history.
Hailey Harren, winner of the MIAC title in 2005, owns the top eight fastest times in program history, and Winter’s time now sits in ninth.
“[Winter] is one heck of a competitor,” Huber said. “We knew there were five runners that could finish up top and she stuck her nose in it and competed her tail off. She laid it out there today and kept going. You couldn’t ask anything more to run her best at the conference championship.”
Junior Kourney Kulseth and Sophomore Illiana Ramon both earned All-Conference Honorable Mention and helped propel the Gusties to their fourth-place finish, coasting in at 18th and 24th place, respectively. Kulseth finished in 22:47.6 and Ramon crossed the line at 23:11.9.
Rounding out the scoring for the Gusties was Sophomore Mackinzee Miest in 28th place with a time of 23:22.3, Sophomore Lily Engebretson in 39th at 23:50.5, and hot on her heels was Junior Josie Blake in 40th place with a time of 23:53.9.
“Overall, I’m really excited with how we competed,” Huber said. “I thought from front to back our ladies laid everything on the line today. Credit to the top three teams for their performances today.”
As expected, the perennial powerhouse and nationally ranked Carleton Knights dominated both the men’s and women’s meets, with St. Thomas and St. Olaf taking second and third.
The Gustie men’s and women’s programs saw marked improvements from their MIAC conference meet finishes last year, as both teams took sixth place in 2018.
Both teams will compete at the Saint John’s Fall Finale this Friday before the frigid NCAA regional meet at Wartburg on November 16th.
Each squad has some nice momentum built up heading into the season finale, which should be a great opportunity for the underclassmen on the teams to get experience in a high stakes situation.