Mens cross country finishes fourth

On Oct. 18, the St Olaf men’s cross country team headed out to La Crosse, Wis., to face off against 26 other schools in the Jim Drews Invitational, hosted at the scenic Ettrick Golf Club. The event held great importance for the Oles, as it was the team’s last chance to test itself before the MIAC Championships.

The Oles performed strongly, finishing in fourth place, behind the University of Minnesota, Iowa Central and the host school, UW-La Crosse. St. Olaf finished only a single point behind UW-La Crosse.

St Olaf’s Grant Wintheiser ’15 and Jake Campbell ’16 finished in third and fifth places, respectively. Wintheiser completed the 8K run with a time of 24 minutes and 38 seconds, with Campbell finishing only 14 seconds behind him. Other notable results from the Oles included Paul Escher ’16 coming in at 18th place in 25:25 and Jake Brown ’15 at 21st in 25:29.

This was the last cross country meet for the St. Olaf men’s team until Saturday, Nov. 4, where team members will run in the MIAC Championships at Como Park in Saint Paul, Minn.

St. Olaf has a good shot at claiming the MIAC title, given its status as the defending national champions. At last season’s MIAC championship, the Oles had the top three finishers and placed all five scorers in the top eight.

The team will once again be led by two-time MIAC individual champion Wintheiser. He was named the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Division III Athlete of the Week on Oct. 7, due to his role leading St. Olaf to a team title at the UW-Eau Claire Blugold Invitational on Oct. 3. Wintheiser claimed individual victory to lift the Oles in the impressive performance.

If the Oles are successful in the conference championships, they will move on to the NCAA Division III Central Regional Championships, which will be held in Pella, Iowa on Nov. 15. The NCAA Championships will take place in Mason, Ohio on Nov. 22.