Cross-country takes second place during first 6,000 meter race; runners post personal records
By Ben Schleuss Contributing Writer
Friday, September 27, 2002
The Saint Olaf Womens Cross Country team continues to build momentum with strong showings at a meet hosted by Luther College as well as at a rare home meet on the 21st. Despite missing a key leader and having to run an increased distance, the Ole ladies overcame those obstacles to capture two top-four finishes in consecutive weeks. On September 14th at Luther, the team finished in fourth place. For a group with such high expectations this might have been considered a disappointing result. However, the team was without one of its best runners in Marit Grorud and a number of underclassmen stepped up their performances accordingly. Also encouraging was the way the team successfully employed the use of pack running. Overall this meet was a good starting off point for a team with a lot of potential. While conveniently racing on their home course, the women of the Cross Country team perhaps provided us with a glimpse of the future with a solid second place finish in the Ole Invitational. Senior runner Megan Daymont finished only two seconds behind Kathleen Brice of Elmhurst College at 22:23. Marit Grorud was the next Ole to cross the line, finishing in tenth place. The next seven Oles were all underclassmen who will surely be mentioned prominently by name in the future. Because this was the first time many on the team had run the increased distance of 6,000 meters, there was the potential for race mismanagement. However, due to a conservative-start race strategy, a slew of runners achieved personal bests in their 5K times. If the underclassmen continue their surge in the coming weeks, a first place finish is definitely not out of the question. For their meets on Saturday September 28th, the team will split into Varsity and Junior Varsity. The JV will stay at home to host the St. Olaf JV Invitational while the Varsity girls will head north for the Roy Griek Invitational on the University of Minnesota, Twin-Cities campus. Both teams hope to continue on their current path with hopes that it will lead back to the hill where St. Olaf will host the National Championships on November 23rd.