Rochester, Minn. / Mayo
St. Thomas runner Keaton Wendroth (Rochester, Minn./Mayo) has seemingly come out of nowhere onto the Division III cross country landscape this season, and the sophomore continued his breakout season Saturday with his best performance to date. Wendroth - in his first season of collegiate cross country - cut more than a minute off his previous best 8k time and finished fourth out of a field of 308 talented runners at the UW-Eau Claire Bluegold Invitational in Colfax, Wis. For his performance, Wendroth was named the MIAC Men's Cross Country Athlete-of-the-Week.
Wendroth's new career best time at the UW-EC Invite was 25:33, which was the fastest of all the 88 MIAC runners in the field and better than 304 total individuals. In the process, Wendroth helped lead UST to a fourth-place team finish in the talented 17-team field. The Tommie sophomore was just 37 seconds behind the first-place finisher and 11 seconds ahead of his next MIAC competition. Wendroth has been UST's leader in each of its races this fall with first-place individual finishes at the Summit Cup and the Crown Invite.
The Tommies hope their great fall can continue Friday when they return to action at the Gales Woods Invite in Minnetrista, Minn. St. Thomas has four more events on its fall schedule to tune up for the 2012 MIAC Cross Country Championships, which will be held at Como Park Golf Course on Oct. 27.