Mendota Heights, Minn. / Henry Sibley
The Gustavus women won the MIAC Championship a year ago, and they appeared to be strong yet again in 2013 with an outstanding season-opening performance Saturday. The Gusties finished second behind only an NCAA Division II team at the Saint John's Invitational, with Caitlin Fermoyle (Mendota Heights, Minn./Henry Sibley) leading the way. The Gustavus junior finished second individually to lead her team to the top Division III finish in the field. For her performance, Fermoyle was named the MIAC Women's Cross Country Athlete-of-the-Week.
Fermoyle completed the women's 6K course in Collegeville, Minn., in just 23:35. She was the top MIAC and Division III finisher in the 104-runner field, with only a Division II UM-Duluth ahead of her on the leader board. Fermoyle was one of just two runners to break 24:00 in the meet. The UMD Bulldogs were also the only team to defeat Gustavus, as the defending conference champs took second out of six teams in competition. The Gusties scored 50 points to UMD's 46, as they finished ahead of MIAC rival Saint Benedict and D-II St. Cloud State.
Gustavus and Fermoyle will enjoy a week off to rest and prepare for their next race. Gustavus returns to the course on Saturday, Sept. 21, when it travels to the St. Olaf Invitational in Northfield, Minn. In addition to the host Oles, Gustavus will also meet MIAC rival Carleton in the field, as the league's top three teams from a season ago will square off for the first time in 2013.