11/23/13 – The men's & women's cross country teams both had successful showings at the NAIA Cross Country Championships at Rim Rock Farm in Lawrence, Kansas.
The men's team placed fifth to record their ninth top ten finish in the last 14 years. The Saints, who were ranked sixth headed into the championships, recorded the fifth fastest team time (1:27:14 - a 25:26 average per man) in Aquinas College history.
The national meet was highlighted by an amazing team effort put forth by the Saints. A 20-second split between the top five Aquinas finishers enabled the Saints to record their second consecutive fifth place national finish. Grant Gunneson, who prepped at Rockford High School, paced the Saints with a 34th place performance in a time of 25:17. Gunneson received plenty of support as Zach Stepanovich (25:22 - 39th), Steve Glinski (25:25 - 47th), Jeff Cherry (25:30 - 53rd) and Dan Foley (25:37 - 67th) rounded out the scoring positions for the Saints. Brendan Molony (85th - 25:45) and Jake Towne (89th - 25:48) also provided solid performances for Aquinas College.
Coach Wojciakowski commented, "I am really blessed to be able to work with such an amazing group of young men. The commitment, desire and brotherhood this team shows is difficult to put into words. The ideal of team and teamwork was on full display today and I could not be prouder of this group."
The women's cross country team sent two individuals to the NAIA Championships in Lawrence, Kansas. The Saints, who were represented by Catie Rietsema and Carley Woolcott, also had a very successful day.
Catie and Carley, who were racing as if the entire team was competing, showed great composure and tenacity on the course. Rietsema, who was competing in her third consecutive championship, placed 53rd overall with a time of 18:51. Woolcott, a two-time All-WHAC performer, placed 78th and crossed the line at 19:04.
Coach Wojciakowski stated, "I am extremely pleased with how these two young ladies competed today. The reality of not racing for a team score can sometimes be a daunting task, but Catie and Carley's approach and execution of their race plan was nearly flawless. I will look to Rietsema and Woolcott to lead the team back to the National Championships in 2014."
Men's 8K Top Five Teams
1. Oklahoma City 77
2. Southern Oregon 124
3. Emmanuel 148
4. St. Francis 157
5. Aquinas 185