MIAC Men's Cross Country Athlete-of-the-Week
Paul Nordquist, Gustavus
Edina, Minn. / Edina
The Gustavus men's cross country team had a victorious and historic showing Friday at the Falcon Invitational, hosted by UW-River Falls. The Gusties claimed first place as a team at the invite - the program's first win since 2010 - behind a standout performance by senior Paul Nordquist (Edina, Minn.), who finished second individually and first among MIAC runners. For his performance, the MIAC sports information directors honored Nordquist Tuesday with the MIAC Men's Cross Country Athlete-of-the-Week award.
Nordquist picked a great time for the best race of his career, as he crossed the finish line of the 8,000-meter course in 25:29.66 for a new personal-best time, and the second-best time in the race, just 19 seconds behind winner Charles Corbett of UW-Superior. Nordquist led a trio of Gustavus runners to finish in the top six, as the team finished with 62 points to best the seven-team field, which included six Division III squads, two other MIAC teams (Carleton and Bethel) and Division II St. Cloud State.
The Gusties hope to keep their momentum rolling Saturday when they head to Northfield, Minn., for a competitive meet against several of the MIAC's teams. Gustavus will compete in the St. Olaf College Invitational, which is set to begin on the Oles' campus Saturday at 10 a.m., and they'll return to Northfield on Oct. 3 for Carleton's "The Running of the Cows" meet.
MIAC Women's Cross Country Athlete-of-the-Week
Ruth Steinke, Carleton
Lima, N.Y. / Honeoye Falls-Lima
Defending MIAC women's cross country champion Ruth Steinke (Lima, N.Y./Honeoye Falls-Lima) is just two races into her senior season at Carleton, but the early returns indicate the decorated runner has been saving her best for last. Steinke's latest exploits include not only a first-place finish at the UW-River Falls Falcon Invitational, but a course record time and a nearly 40-second margin of victory. For her performance, the MIAC sports information directors honored Steinke Tuesday with her second-straight MIAC Women's Cross Country Athlete-of-the-Week award.
Steinke - who has now won four of the last five MIAC Women's Cross Country Athlete-of-the-Week awards dating back to the 2014 season - was at her best Friday at Killkarney Hills Golf Course in River Falls, Wis. She completed the 6,000-meter course in 21:37.21 to set a new course record and finish first among 108 runners. Steinke was the only runner to break 22 minutes, and she finished 39.15 seconds ahead of the runner-up. She led Carleton (40 points) to a 16-point victory over runner-up Gustavus (56) atop the eight-team field, which included four MIAC schools and Division II St. Cloud State.
The Knights have now finished in the top three in each of their first two meets, and hope to keep that momentum going with their next two races both in their home town. Saturday, they'll head across town to compete in the St. Olaf Invitational at 10 a.m., and on Oct. 3Carleton will host its first home meet of 2015 - "The Running of the Cows" - at 10:30 a.m. in Northfield.