Sartell, Minn. / Cathedral
The home fans were treated to a tremendous performance Saturday at the St. Olaf Invitational. The Ole cross country team captured first place in the 16-team field with star Grant Wintheiser (Sartell, Minn./Cathedral) leading the way. The Ole junior finished second out of 272 runners, which was the best finish by a Division III or MIAC runner, to lead his team to victory. For his performance, Wintheiser was named the MIAC Men's Cross Country Athlete-of-the-Week.
Wintheiser won the team's home invite a year ago, but even though he was the runner-up this time around his time was much faster. The junior completed the course in 25:06.2, which was 30 seconds faster than his 2012 winning time. A Division II runner from Sioux Falls was the only runner faster than Wintheiser Saturday, by just six seconds. The Oles had three top-seven finishes and won the team race with 52 points, defeating USF by 32 points. Wintheiser is the defending MIAC individual champion.
St. Olaf and its star runner will take this weekend off before returning to action on Friday, Oct. 4. The Oles will travel across the border into Wisconsin to compete in the UW-Eau Claire Blugold meet in Eau Claire, Wis. The Oles have just two races left to tune for the MIAC Championships on Nov. 2, where they will try to defend their 2012 championship.