Big Lake, Minn. / Big Lake
St. Olaf phenom Noelle Olson (Big Lake, Minn.) continued her breakout season with an outstanding performance on her home course. The Ole first-year runner set a new meet record with a first-place individual finish at the St. Olaf Invitational. In the process, she helped the Oles to a third-place team finish out of 15 teams. For her performance, Olson was named the MIAC Women's Cross Country Athlete-of-the-Week for the second time in 2013.
Olson completed the 6K course in 21:34, which is the fastest time ever run at the event, and the third-fastest time in Ole team history. She finished first in the 251-runner field, and finished 14 seconds ahead of runner-up Breanna Colbenson of Division II UM-Duluth. The Oles were third in the 15-team field with 94 points, finishing behind only UMD and MIAC rival Carleton. Olson is the first repeat winner of the MIAC Women's Cross Country Athlete-of-the-Week award this season.
St. Olaf and its first-year star will run in another competitive field this weekend, as they'll travel to St. Paul to compete in the University of Minnesota's Roy Griak Invitational Saturday at 9 a.m. The Oles have just three races left to tune for the MIAC Championships on Nov. 2. St. Olaf was the runner-up to Gustavus a year ago in the conference race.