MIAC Men's Cross Country Athlete-of-the-Week
Jacob Gerhartz, St. Thomas
Sauk Centre, Minn. / Sauk Centre
The St. Thomas men's cross country team and senior standout Jacob Gerhartz (Sauk Centre, Minn.) turned in tremendous performances Saturday at the nearby St. Kate's Invitational. Gerhartz ran to his second individual victory of the season with a pace under 5:00 per mile, and he led the Tommies to the team title as well against a pair of MIAC foes. For his performance, the MIAC sports information directors honored Gerhartz Tuesday with the MIAC Men's Cross Country Athlete-of-the-Week award.
Gerhartz completed the 4k course in 12:20 to finish first among the field of 59 runners. His pace in the 2.49 mile race was under a five-minute mile, and he beat teammate Dylan Baumann by seven seconds to finish in first place. Gerhartz helped St. Thomas finish with a team total of 16 points to cruise to victory past Hamline (51) and Bethel (76). This was Gerhartz second first-place finish of the season after also winning the Crown Invite, and he's been in the top 10 in all three of his races in 2015.
The Tommies and Gerhartz have a pair of meets this weekend, that will serve as their final tune-up for the conference championship meet. St. Thomas will send runners to two different meets in two different states Saturday. Part of the team will travel to Oberlin, Ohio, for the Inter-Region Rumble meet, with the rest heading to the Crown College Invite in Waconia, Minn. UST will then take a week off to rest up for the 2015 MIAC Championships at Como Golf Course in St. Paul, Minn., on Oct. 31.
MIAC Women's Cross Country Athlete-of-the-Week
Kaya Baker, Concordia
Grand Rapids, Minn. / Grand Rapids
The Concordia women's cross country team took a step up in competition Friday, and the team and standout junior runner Kaya Baker (Grand Rapids, Minn.) were both up to the challenge. Baker was the top Division III finisher in the meet with an eighth-place overall finish, as she led the Cobbers to a third-place team showing despite running in a talented Division II-heavy field. For her performance, the MIAC sports information directors honored Baker Tuesday with the MIAC Women's Cross Country Athlete-of-the-Week award.
Baker completed the 5k course in just 18:58 to complete her first sub-19:00 5k of the 2015 season. She was one of only eight runners to break 19:00 in the field, behind eight Division II runners. Despite the D-II competition, Concordia turned in an impressive score of 94 for a top-three finish behind only No. 22-ranked University of Mary and (RV) MSU-Moorhead. Baker's time was 33 seconds faster than her team's No. 2 runner, and it would have been the fourth fastest time for Mary and third fastest for MSU-Moorhead. This is Baker's third-straight top 12 individual finish.
The Cobbers and Baker hope to continue their strong month this Saturday when they travel to their final tune-up prior to the MIAC Championships. Concordia will head to Waconia, Minn., on Saturday for the Crown College Invite, which is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. The Cobbers will then take a week off to rest up for the 2015 MIAC Championships at Como Golf Course in St. Paul, Minn., o nOct. 31.