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2014 Men's Cross Country Season Preview

08/08/2014 – After back-to-back top five finishes at the NAIA National Championships, Aquinas will enter the 2014 campaign with high expectations. The Saints, who have won ten of the last twelve WHAC Championships, will return five runners from last year's national championship squad. Aquinas enters the year with the longest active top-25 streak in the nation. The Saints have been ranked with the nation's elite for 134 consecutive polls dating back to August of 2000.

Coach Wojciakowski will bring 30 Saints to the line this fall with eight of them dawning the maroon and white for the first time. Although the likes of Foley, Molony and Mahar have graduated, the Saints return five First Team All-WHAC performers from a year ago. Grant Gunneson, Steve Glinski, Jake Towne, Jeff Cherry and Zach Stephanovich all have the experience, the intelligence and work ethics to keep the Saints vying for a podium spot come November. Coach Woj states, "I like what we bring to the table this year. We have a group of guys that understand the system and are diligent about maintaining the tradition of Aquinas Men's Cross Country. The pack up front speaks for itself and I will enjoy watching them lead us in 2014, but i am really excited to see who steps up to solidify the varsity squad. We have many student-athletes who have had great summers and are on the verge of some big things in the coming months."

The coaching staff remains intact from last season plus one. Coach Wojciakowski will look to Paige Boldt and Nick Thelen to assistant the two squads in 2014. Coach Woj states, "Boldt was the perfect choice when I brought her aboard last fall. She adds a dimension and wisdom to the staff that has been long overdue. If they had an award for "Assistant Coach of the Year" in the conference; she would have won hands down." Wojciakowski also comments, "The addition of Nick Thelen (NT) as a graduate assistant is also going to help the program immensely. Nick, an Aquinas College alum, knows the system and understands the tradition we are trying to uphold. I picture Nick playing a key role in practice management and recruiting."

The team will kickoff their competitive season at the Knight Classic on September 13th at the Gainey Complex in Grand Rapids. The squad will then travel to South Bend to compete in the National Catholic Invitational hosted by Notre Dame. The Saints will return to action in October with dates in Lansing and Mishawaka, Indiana before a taste of the national course in Kansas in mid-October. The Saints will then look for some home cooking as they host the NAIA Great Lakes Challenge in late October. Aquinas will conclude their season with the WHAC Championships at Riverside Park and the NAIA Championships in Lawrence, Kansas.

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