Grant Wintheiser, St. Olaf

Grant Wintheiser, St. Olaf

Sartell, Minn. / St. Cloud Cathedral

Friday was a big day for the defending national champion St. Olaf men's cross country team, with a familiar face leading the way across the finish line. Ole senior Grant Wintheiser (Sartell, Minn./St. Cloud Cathedral) won the UWEC Blugold Invitational while leading third-ranked St. Olaf to the team title, defeating No. 2-ranked UW-Eau Claire to avenge an earlier loss this fall. For his first-place performance, the MIAC sports information directors honored Wintheiser Tuesday with his second MIAC Men's Cross Country Athlete-of-the-Week award of the 2014 season.

The St. Olaf senior star was the top runner in the 385-person field Friday in Eau Claire, Wis., by completing the course in 24:36.5. Not only was Wintheiser honored by the MIAC for his performance, but he was also the USTFCCCA's Division III Men's Cross Country national Athlete-of-the-Week as well. Wintheiser won the individual title by five seconds, and he led three Oles to finish in the top nine as No. 3-ranked St. Olaf defeated No. 2-ranked UW-Eau Claire by just four points to lead the competitive 25-team field. Wintheiser is a two-time All-American, and the winner of the last two MIAC championship races.

Wintheiser and the Oles are currently ranked No. 3 in Division III by the USTFCCCA, but could potentially move back head of UW-Eau Claire after Saturday's win in the next poll. St. Olaf will take this weekend off to enjoy its latest win and rest up before heading to La Crosse, Wis., for the Jim Drews 8k race on Saturday, Oct. 18. That will be the Oles' final tune-up before they try to win their third-straight MIAC championship at the conference meet on Nov. 1.

2014 MIAC Men's Cross Country Athletes-of-the-Week

DATE     NAME     SCHOOL    
10/21/2014   Hart Hornor   Carleton  
10/14/2014   Thomas Feichtinger   Saint John's  
10/7/2014   Grant Wintheiser   St. Olaf  
9/30/2014   Thomas Feichtinger   Saint John's  
9/23/2014   Grant Wintheiser   St. Olaf  
9/16/2014   Hart Hornor   Carleton  
9/9/2014   Hart Hornor   Carleton  
9/2/2014   Jacob Gerhartz
  St. Thomas