Cross country teams close out season

On Saturday, Nov. 21, the St. Olaf cross country teams traveled to Winneconne, Wis. to compete in the NCAA Division III Championships at Lake Breezee Golf Course. The men’s team came in fourth, behind the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, Williams College and SUNY Geneseo. The women clinched 27th place, led by Piper Bain ’16, who finished her final cross country race as an Ole in 19th place.

After earning an at-large bid at the NCAA Division III Regional Championships in Pella, Iowa the previous weekend, the Ole women had impressive individual performances at the national competition on Saturday. Bain finished the race with a time of 21:39.0 and earned All-American honors. Coming in behind her were Morghen Philippi ’16 in 64th, and Jamie Hoornaert ’17 in 170th. Susan Hoops ’17 and Rebecca Walton ’19 closed out the race, putting the Oles in 27th place with a final team score of 574 points.

Having won an impressive victory at the NCAA Division III Regional Championships on Nov. 14, the Ole men were poised for success at nationals. Three runners had All-American performances: Jake Campbell ’16, Paul Escher ’16 and Calvin Lehn ’16. Campbell led the team, coming in fifth with a time of 24:31.3, followed immediately by Escher, who came in sixth with a time of 24:32.6. Lehn was the next Ole runner and finished in 34th. Paul Timm ’18 finished in 97th place and Keith Ketola ’18 in 139th, which brought the team score to 211 points.

The Eau Claire men’s team landed the number one spot with 135 points, while Williams College captured the women’s title with 81 points.

With the cross country teams’ solid seasons coming to an end, many of the athletes now look forward to the start of the upcoming indoor and outdoor track season. Coach Phil Lundin expressed his excitement for the men’s team’s success considering the strong performances displayed during this year’s cross country season.

“We have a lot of promise, and expectations are high for 2016,” Lundin said. The indoor track and field season will begin in January, which gives runners plenty of time to recover and rest after a long and demanding cross country season.