ST. PAUL, Minn. -- St. Olaf put on a stirring performance at Saturday's 2012 MIAC Men's Cross Country Championship, claiming the team title behind the individual winner of the race. Thursday, the Oles were honored further for their great weekend, sweeping the top two honors as the league announced the 2012 MIAC Men's Cross Country Awards.
Sophomore Grant Wintheiser - who finished first to win the MIAC's individual title in Saturday's 8K race at Como Park Golf Course in St. Paul, Minn. - was named the 2012 MIAC Men's Cross Country Most Valuable Athlete for his outstanding performance. Likewise, Ole Head Coach Phil Lundin was voted the 2012 MIAC Men's Cross Country Coach-of-the-Year in recognition of the job he did leading his team to victory. Thursday's awards release also included the All-Conference team, All-Conference Honorable Mention squad and the All-MIAC Sportsmanship Team.
Wintheiser ran to victory - and to the league's top individual honor in 2012 - Saturday by finishing the 8K course in 25:08.1. The Oles' second-year star finished more than 20 seconds ahead of the runner-up to finish first in the 235-runner field. In the process, Wintheiser earned his second-straight All-MIAC honor after finishing sixth in the 2011 race. The MIAC championship is the latest success for Wintheiser this fall, as he was named MIAC Athlete-of-the-Week twice on Sept. 17 and Oct. 1. The Oles last won the title behind a first-place finisher in 2008.
The MIAC coaching honor is the second of Lundin's St. Olaf career, after also winning the award as the Oles' first-year coach in 2008. This season, Lundin's squad was certainly impressive en route to the conference title, scoring 54 points and winning by a convincing margin of 43 points over the rest of the field. The Oles not only had the individual champ, but four of the top 14, six of the top 25 and seven of the 30. All seven St. Olaf runners finished in less than 26:40. This was St. Olaf's fifth MIAC title, and third since 2004 after winning just twice from 1934 to 2003. In addition to his two MIAC Coach-of-the-Year awards, Lundin was also named Big Ten Coach-of-the-Year four times during his tenure as head coach at the University of Minnesota.
The top 15 runners in Saturday's race were automatically named All-Conference for their performance, while the next 10 finishers (16-25) were named All-MIAC Honorable Mention. The Oles had four First-Team runners and two more Honorable Mention selections to lead the way. Bethel, Hamline, St. Thomas and Saint John's each had two All-MIAC runners, while Augsburg, Saint Mary's and Carleton each placed one in the Top 15. Saint Mary's and Carleton joined St. Olaf with two runners each on the Honorable Mention squad, while St. Thomas, Saint John's, Concordia and Bethel all one runner earn All-MIAC Honorable Mention honors.
As part of a conference-wide sportsmanship initiative, the MIAC announced the seventh annual All-MIAC Sportsmanship team for Men's Cross Country. Members of the All-MIAC Sportsmanship team are selected by their coaches and teammates as individuals who demonstrate ideals of positive sportsmanship both on and off the field of competition.
2012 MIAC Men's Cross Country Awards
2012 MIAC Men's Cross Country Most Valuable Athlete -Grant Wintheiser, St. Olaf ( So., Sartell, Minn./ Cathedral)
2012 MIAC Men's Cross Country Coach of the Year - Phil Lundin, St. Olaf
2012 MIAC Men's Cross Country All-Conference Team
|1||25:08||Grant Wintheiser||St. Olaf||So.||Sartell, Minn./Cathedral|
|2||25:29||Micheale Tesema||Augsburg||Jr.||Burnsville, Minn.|
|3||25:32||Matt Berens||Bethel||So.||Oakdale, Minn./North St. Paul|
|4||25:37||Zach Haskins||Bethel||Sr.||Maple Grove, Minn./Heritage Christian Academy|
|5||25:38||Brendan Ruter||Hamline||Sr.||New London, Minn./New London- Spicer|
|6||25:40||Nate Dobbins||Hamline||Sr.||Rochester, Minn./John Marshall|
|7||25:49||Keaton Wendroth||St. Thomas||So.||Rochester, Minn./Mayo|
|8||25:50||Brian Saksa||St. Olaf||Jr.||Dassel, Minn./Dassel Cokato|
|9||25:51||Matt Scherber||Saint John's||Sr.||Royalton, Minn./Sartell-St. Stephen|
|10||25:58||John Subialka||Saint John's||Jr.||Plymouth, Minn./Wayzata|
|11||25:02||Ethan Armbruster||St. Thomas||Jr||Delano, Minn.|
|12||26:02||Jake Campbell||St. Olaf||Fr.||Edina, Minn.|
|13||26:03||Aaron Haley||Saint Mary's||So.||Plainview, Minn./Plainview-Elgin-Millville|
|14||26:10||Tim Lillehaugen||St. Olaf||Sr.||Moorhead, Minn.|
|15||26:11||Marcus Huderle||Carleton||Jr.||Eden Prairie, Minn.|
2012 MIAC Men's Cross Country Honorable Mention All-Conference Team
|16||26:12||Bobby Davis||Carleton||Sr.||Eden Prairie, Minn.|
|17||26:18||Jake Traxler||Saint Mary's||Sr.||Le Center, Minn.|
|18||26:21||Peter Borash||Saint Mary's||Sr.||Bowlus, Minn./Royalton|
|19||26:21||Calvin Lehn||St. Olaf||Fr.||Rosemount, Minn.|
|20||26:22||CJ Seifert||St. Thomas||Jr.||Willmar, Minn.|
|21||26:23||Guthrie Cunningham||Carleton||Jr.||Finland, Minn./Duluth East|
|22||26:24||Matt Schafer||Bethel||Sr.||New Brighton, Minn./Irondale|
|23||26:24||Brad McConn||Concordia||Jr.||Fargo, N.D./ Fargo North|
|24||26:25||Thomas Feichtinger||Saint John's||Fr.||Omaha, Neb./Mount Michael Benedictine|
|25||26:28||Chris Massey||St. Olaf||Sr.||Rosemount, Minn.|
2012 All-MIAC Men's Cross Country Sportsmanship Team
Augsburg - Ahmed Nur (So., Edina, Minn.)
Bethel - Luke Rustad (Sr., St. Paul, Minn./Como)
Carleton - Aaron Hirsh (Sr., Shaker Heights, Ohio)
Concordia - Luke Lagergren (Sr., Spicer, Minn./New London-Spicer)
Gustavus - Joe Renier (Jr., Cambridge, Minn./Cambridge-Isanti)
Hamline - Brendan Ruter (Sr., New London, Minn./New London-Spicer)
Macalester - Joe Macula (Sr., Geneses, N.Y./Central)
Saint John's - Mike Kuhlman (Sr., Maple Grove, Minn./Osseo)
Saint Mary's - Peter Borash (Sr., Bowlus, Minn./Royalton)
St. Olaf - Colton Rod (So., Vadnais Heights, Minn./White Bear Lake)
St. Thomas - Nick Johnson ( Sr., Chippewa Falls, Wis./McDonnell)