2001 MIAC MEN'S CROSS COUNTRY PREVIEW

The 2001 MIAC Men's Cross Country will begin soon with several teams contending for the MIAC top spot. St. Thomas ended Saint John's four-year reign as the MIAC team champion to bring home the 2000 MIAC Championship. Watch for Saint John's to try and reclaim the MIAC title in 2001 as they have finished in either first or second place in twenty of the past twenty-two years.

The 2001 MIAC Championship will be October 27, 2001 at Como Park in St. Paul. Men will run at 3:00pm.
 

Augsburg College   
Head Coach: Dennis Barker (8th season)
2000 Record: 7th at MIAC Championship, 17th at NCAA regional
Key Returners: Christian Dawson (Sr., Invercargill, New Zealand) -- All-MIAC HM in '98, top returning runner.
Chris Ohnstad (Sr., Faribault, Minn.) -- Three personal bests set in '00, final personal best of 27:51.
Allen Lundberg (Sr., Minneapolis, Minn.) -- Three personal bests set in 2000; final personal best of 27:44.
Ryan Nevin (So., Barron, Wis.) -- Four personal bests set in freshman year, final best of 28:31 (set twice).
Season Preview: In any sport, depth is a major ingredient in forming a winning team. It's an ingredient that the 2001 Augsburg College cross country program has. Both the men's and women's cross country teams enter the 2001 season with a solid corps of runners under head coach Dennis Barker, entering his eighth season at Augsburg. And the depth on both teams is split well between experienced runners and talented newcomers. "This year, we have the best depth we've ever had and good senior leadership," Barker said.

There's an optimistic outlook for this season's Auggie men's squad, which finished 2000 with its highest Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference meet finish -- seventh -- in the years since Augsburg restarted the sport in 1991. Augsburg returns five key letterwinners from last year's squad, a group that produced 11 personal-best times during the course of the campaign, while only losing one of the top five runners to graduation.

Leading the way will be senior Christian Dawson (Sr., Invercargill, New Zealand/Cargill HS), who has been the team's No. 2 runner throughout his career. An All-MIAC honorable-mention runner in 1998, Dawson will need to become a consistent sub-27-minute runner (8,000 meters) in order to be ranked among the best runners in the conference in his senior season, a mark he has eclipsed four times in his Auggie career.

Complete preview can be found at: www.augsburg.edu/athletics/xcountry/0102preview.html


Bethel College   
Head Coach: Jim Timp (5th season)
2000 Record: 11th place at MIAC Championship
Key Returners: Kevin Lightner, Senior, Windom, MN
Brent Warren, Senior, Paddock Lake, WI
Kevin Muras, Senior, Winona, MN
Dan Opitz, Senior, Minneapolis
Season Preview: Coming off a disappointing finish in the 2000 MIAC championships, Bethel's men's cross country team has made a commitment to improve and make a significant leap in the standings. Returning all but one runner, Coach Jim Timp expects his young runners to continue their improvement and also hopes a quality group of recruits can make an immediate impact.


Carleton College   
Head Coach: Bill Terriquez (18th season)
2000 Record: 5th at MIAC Championship
Key Returners: Matt Hooley, So. 22nd at MIAC Championships in 2000.
Tom Church, Jr., 18th at MIAC Championships in 2000.
Collin Lawrence, Sr., member of regional squad in 2000.
Jimmy Blair, Sr., member of regional squad in 2000.
Season Preview: Although the top two runners from 2000, Andy Sherman '01 and Paul Anderson '01, have graduated, eight of last season's top 10 runners will return, seeking a return to the top of the MIAC and another NCAA Championship berth. Hooley and Church headline the returnees, along with sophomore Aaron Lande (Portland, Ore./Lincoln) and tri-captains and seniors Jimmy Blair (Libertyville, Ill.), Collin Lawrence (Elmhurst, Ill.) and Jeff Paine (Port Matilda, Pa.). Four first-year runners - Dan Busy (Sioux Falls, S.D), Nick Hysill (St. Paul, Minn.), Chris Lundberg (Edina, Minn.) and Eric Hamp (Ashland, Wis.) - competed in their respective cross country state championships and should contribute immediately.


Concordia College   
Head Coach: Garrick Larson (5th season)
2000 Record: 6th at MIAC Championship
Key Returners: Ben Nylander (So., Lisbon, ND)
Jason Karls, (Sr., Billings, MT)
Jim Monson (Maple Plain, MN)
Season Preview: The 2001 Concordia men's cross country team promises to be a season filled with questions. Gone are 6 of their top 7 runners, however, Concordia returns a solid group of athletes who, along with a new crop of first year runners, hope to give the Cobbers a strong nucleus of seven runners. 

The Cobbers' top returner is Ben Nylander (So., Lisbon, ND). Nylander ran consistently in the team's top 5 last season and trained extremely well during the summer. Joining Nylander in the top 5 will likely be Senior Jason Karls, (Billings, MT, Central Catholic HS) and Junior Jim Monson (Maple Plain, MN, Mound-West Tonka HS). Both Karls and Monson have bounced in and out of the team's top seven in the past years and have big meet experience. Freshman Josh Conneran (Moorhead, MN) will likely jump into a scoring position later in the season. Conneran will miss the early part of the season due to a foot injury. Despite the turnover among the team's top runners, the Cobbers hope to continue placing among the top half of the teams in the MIAC and the top third of the teams in the NCAA Central Region.


Gustavus Adolphus College   
Head Coach: Scott Jerome (2nd season)
2000 Record: 9th at MIAC Championship
Key Returners: Jake Moen, Junior, Cambridge, Minn., 55th at 2000 MIAC Championships.
Jerry Ryan, Sophomore, Grand Forks, No. Dak., 77th at 2000 MIAC Championships.
David Bernhardson, Junior, Eden Prairie, Minn., 63rd at 2000 MIAC Championships.
Season Preview: Head Coach Scott Jerome is hoping that his squad can work its way into the top half of the MIAC this season with a hard-working group of young runners that showed significant improvement late last season. Juniors Jake Moen and David Bernhardson and sophomore Jerry Ryan are the top returners for the Gusties. Moen finished 55th, Bernhardson 63rd and Ryan 77th at the 2000 MIAC Championships. Coach Jerome took the squad to Colorado in the preseason to train at altitude with hopes that the team can start this season in better condition than it was a year ago. Newcomers that could push the upperclass runners include Brent Magnusson of Pelican Rapids and James Sorenson of Hastings.


Hamline University   
Head Coach: Paul Schmaedeke (23rd season)
2000 Record: 3rd (MIAC), 4th (Regionals), 22nd (Nationals)
Key Returners: Eric Safford (JR)
Tom Kreger (JR)
Justin Steen (JR)
Mike Baker (JR)
Eric Kaluza (SR)
Jason Altman (SR)
Season Preview: The Hamline mens cross-country team had just fallen to their alumni by one point, their first Alumni meet loss in four years, and they were smiling. They returned six of the top eight runners from the 22nd best team in the nation and they were happy with their performance at the August 30 race.

With only one of their top five athletes competing, the Pipers were pleased that those who had run had run well. Outstanding performances by Kreger, Altman, and numerous others overshadowed the absence of Stafford, Baker, and Steen due to injury and Kaluza who was with his ailing father. All four returned to running in the days following the race, leaving the Pipers with a complete team at practice for the first time during an injury plagued first week.
"I like the poise which Kreger ran with. He continues to run like he did late last spring," Schmaedeke said. "Altman ran with more confidence, more faith. It was fun to see Peter Kuznia (SO) develop the way he has. Steve Brandon (JR) has come a long ways…."

he team's reaction to adversity was tested by the malady at the Alumni meet. The result may have been the first sign that this veteran team is ready to run into the upper echelon of NCAA Division III cross-country. But the injuries were a little unsettling. One or two injuries could derail the Pipers hopes to improve upon their 22nd place finish at nationals last year, but Schmaedeke said he has not worried about bad luck, or the team's ability to deal with it.

"We've done an excellent job preparing," Schmaedeke said. "I think that can make some of your luck better. I just have great confidence in this group because we've been through it once. They have a very good sense of what they want to accomplish. You need the confidence that you are good enough to accomplish the goals you set out to accomplish. It is not just a hope. I think we can be as good as anyone in the MIAC, and I think we have a golden opportunity to get back to the national meet and finish some unfinished business."


Macalester College   
Head Coach: Steve Pasche (2nd season)
2000 Record: 8th (MIAC), 11th (region)
Key Returners: Jude Henningsgaard, Sr.
Alf Hickey, Sr.
Nick Rose, Sr.
Season Preview: The Scots finished their season on a high note a year ago at the MIAC championships and NCAA Central Regionals, and are looking to build on that momentum. Macalester loses Ben Knudson (24th at the MIAC meet) to graduation, and those are big shoes to fill, but has three veterans returning to lead the way this fall. The Scots will look to Alf Hickey (Sr., Shorewood, WI), Jude Henningsgaard (Sr., Albany, MN) and Nick Rose (Sr., Mt. Vernon, IA) to lead the way. Hickey and Henningsgaard finished 39th and 41st, respectively, at last year's MIAC championships and will be 
key runners in this season's lineup as seniors. The Scots will also look for contributions from veterans Aaron Ritz (Sr., Ames, IA) and Pete Dillon (So., Eugene, OR / South).


Saint John's University   
Head Coach: Tim Miles (23nd season at SJU)
2000 Record: 16th place nationally / 2nd place MIAC
Key Returners: Andy Keenan, Sr., 37th place at 2000 NCAA meet, All-MIAC, sixth place at 2000 MIAC meet.
Tom Myers, Jr., 103rd place at 2000 NCAA meet, All-MIAC, 14th place at 2000 MIAC meet.
John Mathews, Jr., 123rd place at 2000 NCAA meet, 30th place at 2000 MIAC meet.
Greg Gesell, So., 156th place at 2000 NCAA meet.
Season Preview: The tradition of cross country excellence started at Saint John’s University in the late 1960s and continues into its fifth decade as the Johnnies enter the 2001 season winning four of the last five MIAC titles. Besides the four MIAC titles in five seasons, SJU also has had six straight top-20 NCAA Division III finishes, including a 16th place finish in 2000. SJU will have to replace All-American and MIAC champion Nick Thoemke, who graduated. Todd Larsen and John Fehr ran for the Johnnies at the national meet and also graduated last May. Leading the 2001 SJU squad will be senior Andy Keenan, Fridley; junior Tom Myers, Shakopee; junior John Mathews, St. Cloud; and sophomore Greg Gesell, Alexandria. All four athletes represented SJU at the NCAA national meet last fall. 

Complete preview found at: www.csbsju.edu/sjusports/crosspreview01.html


Saint Mary's University   
Head Coach: John Skemp (11th season)
2000 Record: 10th at MIAC Championship
Key Returners: B.J. Klenke
Jim Baertsch
Andy Marter
Keith Pieschek
Season Preview: The 2001 season marks the 11th for John Skemp as the Saint Mary's University cross country coach. And, like the 10 previous years, when asked what to expect from the Cardinal runners this season, Skemp had his usual stock answer. "I never get too hung up on what place we finish in any meet," he said. "All we can control is what we do. If we run a phenomenal race and still finish 10th, what can you do? "It's not like hockey or basketball, where the outcome of every game is judged by who won and who lost," Skemp added. "Our whole season is a process, to improve from week to week."

And if that process goes smoothly, in other words, injury-free, Skemp's Cardinals will peak when it matters - at the season-ending MIAC and regional meets. "It's always so hard to tell what to expect at this point in the year," said Skemp. "There's a lot of excitement and everyone seems ready and eager to go. "But it's still early - we'll just have to wait and see what kind of shape everyone is really in."

In other words, Skemp isn't about to make any type of predictions until he sees just who did their homework over the summer. "How much work they did over the summer can make or break a season," admitted Skemp, who has 10 returners among his 17 on the men's team, and 10 returners among his 14 on the women's team.

"Our goal is to improve with every practice and with every meet we run," Skemp said, once again sounding like a broken record from years gone by. "We're just going to go out and do the best we can - try and run to the best
of our abilities every day. "Who knows? Anything can happen."

Complete preview found at: www.smumn.edu/sports/cross_country/2001/newsletter/ccpreview.html


St. Olaf College   
Head Coach: Bill Thornton (19 total seasons / 5th consecutive)
2000 Record: 4th at MIAC Championship
Key Returners: Rob Hillard, Jr., All-Region, Academic All-American
Chris Coffey, Jr., All-MIAC, All-Region
Andrew Cole, Sr., All-Region, Captain, Academic All-American
Mark Sullivan, Jr., 2nd at Region Meet
Season Preview:

The St. Olaf men's cross-country team will enter the 2001 season in hopes of bettering their fourth-place finish at the MIAC Championships. The Oles finished sixth at the Central Region Championships, six points away from a berth to nationals, which is one of the goals for 2001.

The top returning runners are performer Chris Coffey('03, Dubuque, Ia.) and Rob Hillard('03, Columbia, Mo.), who earned All-Region honors in 2000. Peder Arneson('04, Montevideo, Minn.) who won the 2000 Karhu shoe race figures to contend for top-ten honors in 2001. Other Oles to watch for include Mark Sullivan('03, West Bend, Wis.) who finished second at the region meet.

Three captains will lead a strong senior class. Andrew Cole(North Mankato, Minn.) looks to improve on a breakout junior year, where he was named All-Region. Joining Cole will be Josh Steffen(Lake Geneva, Wis.) and Jeff Boerner (Corcoran, Minn.).

Coach Bill Thornton will again take the helm, hoping to guide the Oles to their first MIAC title in over twenty years. Thornton said "we saw promise in last year's effort but I share the team's belief that the fall of 2001 might be a breakthrough season for the black and gold harriers."


University of St. Thomas   
Head Coach: Pete Wareham (9th season)
2000 Record: 1st MIAC, 3rd NCAA Regional, 15th NCAA Nationals
Key Returners: Nick Maddox, SR ('00: 2nd MIAC, 10th Region, 120th NCAA; '99: 6th MIAC, 67th NCAA; '01 Track: 3rd MIAC 10K).
Brian Preus, JR (2000: 3rd MIAC, 79th NCAA; 1999: 11th MIAC; 2001 Track: 6th MIAC 10K).
Levi Severson, JR (2000: 33rd MIAC, 21st Region, 168th NCAA; 2001 Track: 2nd MIAC 10K).
Season Preview: The Tommies graduated four of their top seven from the 2000 squad that captured the MIAC championship and placed 15th at nationals -- 4X track All-American and 4X All-MIAC Ryan Kollmann, Rick Chapko, Dan Draine and Steve Henderson. But Coach Pete Wareham should be able to field another strong team with three All-MIAC runners leading 15 returners, plus two proven transfers and at least two promising freshmen. Senior Nick Maddox and juniors Brian Preus and Levi Severson lead the returners. Maddox was the conference runner-up in cross country and was third in the conference outdoor track 10,000 last May. Preus was third in the MIAC and a team-best 79th at nationals last fall. Severson was 33rd in the MIAC meet and 21st in the NCAA Central Regional last fall. He placed second in the conference outdoor 10,000 last May in an NCAA provisional qulifying time. Senior Andy Kummer transferred from the University of Minnesota and will be reunited with his brother, Tommie senior Ben Kummer. Andy Kummer was the Gophers' seventh runner at the 2000 Big Ten meet and has broke 26:30 for 8,000 meters twice on his career. Sophomore Nate Coleman transferred from Minnesota State, Mankato. He was the No. 3 or 4 runner on a Maverick team that placed 11th in the NCAA Division II nationals. Sophomores Sean Brenckman and Tristan Christ and freshmen Brock Stepan, Jeff Goeden and Jimmy St. Peter also will challenge for top-seven spots.

 

 

2000 MIAC Men's Country Championship

 2000 Final Team Scores:

              Points
St. Thomas    29
St. John's    54
Hamline       77
St. Olaf      106
Carleton      112
Concordia     168
Augsburg      224
Macalester    225
Gustavus      251
St. Mary's    268
Bethel        331