Standielf, Minn. / Cambridge-Isanti
The Concordia women's cross country season got off to a great start over the weekend behind a stellar performance from Hannah Knickerbocker (Stanfield, Minn./Cambridge-Isanti). The Cobber junior ran a lifetime best time on the 4K course and finished second out of 74 runners to help lead Concordia to victory at the Valley City State Invite across the border in North Dakota. For her performance, Knickerbocker has been named the first MIAC Women's Cross Country Athlete-of-the-Week for the 2012 season.
The only runner to finish ahead of Knickerbocker was 2011 Central Region champion Linda Keller from UM-Morris, who also finished seventh at the NCAA Division III National Championships. Otherwise, Knickerbocker's personal best time of 15:01 was the fastest in the field as she finished as the race's runner-up. Concordia's winning team score was 20, paced by Knickerbocker's second-place showing, 46 points ahead of UM-Morris and at least 72 points better than the other teams in the field - Bemidji State and Jamestown. Knickerbocker paced a group of fie Cobbers that all finished in the top seven.
Knickerbocker and the Cobbers will look to keep running strong this weekend when they head to St. Joseph, Minn., for Saturday's Saint Benedict Invite at 10:30 a.m. Concordia has six races on its fall schedule - including the high-profile U of M Roy Griak Invite on Sept. 29 - to prepare for the 2012 MIAC Cross Country Championships, which will be held Oct. 27 at Como Park Golf Course in St. Paul, Minn.