The men’s and women’s cross country teams returned home from a successful trip to the NAIA National Championships. The men’s team came off the course in 5th place, while the women finished in 7th. The championships brought the top 32 men’s and women’s teams in the country to Fort Vancouver, Washington.
The championships were highlighted by the All-American effort of Grant Gunneson. The senior from Rockford finished in 20th place in a personal best time of 25:09. Gunneson becomes Aquinas’ 8th All-American in the sport of men’s cross country. Gunneson was closely followed in by Dan Foley, who finished in 47th place in a time of 25:35. Jacob Towne (25:41 – 54th), Kevin Mahar (25:51 – 69th), and Stephen Glinski (25:53 – 73rd) rounded out the scoring for the Saints. The performance marks the eighth time since 2000 that the Saints have finished in the top ten at Nationals.
The women’s team placed seventh and was led by the performance of Alina Dhaseleer. The senior from Charlevoix placed 33rd in a time of 18:37. Dhaseleer was followed in by Rachael Steil (40th – 18:46), Britta Patterson (73rd – 19:11), Carley Woolcott (77th – 19:13) and Rockford’s Catie Rietsema (155th – 19:55). The seventh place finish marks the highest finish in school history for the Saints. The previous best was in 2010 when the Saints finished in 13th place as a team.
Rockford grad, Jackie Katt, was honored as an Academic All-American for her work in the classroom.