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SAINTS' CROSS COUNTRY NEWS

Saints Place 5th at NAIA XC Championships

posted Dec 2, 2013, 10:34 AM by Matthew Hewson

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 Wojciakowksi 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

Saints Prepare for National Championships

posted Dec 2, 2013, 10:30 AM by Matthew Hewson

11/21/13 – The men's and women's cross country teams flew into Kansas City, Missouri today in preparation for Saturday's NAIA Cross Country National Championships. Thirty-two of the best teams in the country will be traveling to America's Heartland to take part in the championships. The race will be run at historic Rim Rock Farm in Lawrence, Kansas on Saturday morning.

The men's team, which is currently ranked 6th in the country, will be making their 14th consecutive trip to the championships. Representing Aquinas College will be Jeff Cherry, Dan Foley, Stephen Glinski, Grant Gunneson, Kevin Mahar, Brendan Molony, Zach Stepanovich and Jacob Towne.

The women's team will be represented by two individuals in the championship race. Catie Rietsema will be competing in her third nationals, while sophomore Carley Woolcott will be racing in her second.

The men's race will begin at 10:30 a.m. (CST), while the women will toe the line at 11:45 a.m. (CST)

Saints Claim WHAC Championship

posted Dec 2, 2013, 10:29 AM by Matthew Hewson

11/10/2013
– The men's cross country won the WHAC title for the third consecutive year and tenth time in the last twelve years. The Saints placed seven runners in the top ten of the race to outdistance themselves from second place Indiana Tech. The Saints will now travel to the NAIA National Championships in Lawrence, Kansas next weekend.

Zach Stepanovich, who placed third overall, led seven Saints through the chute in a time of 25:47. Aquinas used a :27 1-7 gap to net a total team score of 25 points. The 2-5 scoring positions were filled in by Grant Gunneson (4th - 26:01), Steve Glinski (5th - 26:02), Jacob Towne (6th - 26:07) and Jeff Cherry (7th - 26:09). All five athletes landed on the All-WHAC first team with their efforts from Saturday. Dan Foley (8th - 26:10) and Brendan Molony (10th - 26:14) both were recognized on the All-WHAC Honorable Mention squad for placing in the top 14.

Jesus Alvarado was Aquinas' representative on the WHAC's Champions of Character team as well as being honored on the All-WHAC Academic team. The Saints were also represented by Blake Bitner, Dan Foley, Kevin Mahar, Alex Martinez, Brad Perschbacher and Zach Stepanovich on the All-Academic squad. Coach Mike Wojciakowski was honored as the WHAC Men's Cross Country "Coach of the Year".

Final Team Standings:

1. Aquinas 25
2. Indiana Tech 55
3. Siena Heights 84
4. Cornerstone 127
5. Davenport 133
6. Madonna 186
7. UM-Dearborn 192
8. Lawrence Tech 216
9. Concordia 232
10. Lourdes 298

Saints Place Third at WHAC Championships

posted Dec 2, 2013, 10:28 AM by Matthew Hewson

11/10/2013
– The women's cross country team placed third at the WHAC Championships. The meet was contested at Riverside Park in Grand Rapids. The Saints received national qualifying efforts from both Catie Rietsema and Carley Woolcott. Both were named to the All-WHAC First Team and will travel to Lawrence, Kansas next weekend to compete at the NAIA National Championships.

Rietsema placed fifth overall with a time of 18:47, while Woolcott finished one spot behind her in sixth place with a time of 18:56. Emily Hazelbach, who covered the 5k in 19:24, earned a spot on the Honorable Mention All-WHAC team by way of her 14th place finish in the meet. Crysta Paganelli (19th - 19:38) and Sydney Anderson (20th - 19:41) rounded out the scoring for the Saints.

Hazelbach was also chosen as Aquinas' representative on the conference's Champions of Character team as well as earning a spot on the WHAC's All-Academic team. The Saints were also represented by Jessica Dippel, Krystin Dreyer, Jackie Katt and Rachael Steil on the All-Academic team.

Final Team Standings

1. Cornerstone 38
2. Indiana Tech 55
3. Aquinas 64
4. Siena Heights 113
5. Davenport 122
6. Madonna 153
7. Concordia 220
8. U-M Dearborn 221
9. Lawrence Tech 286
10. Lourdes 286

Aquinas Places 3rd at Great Lakes

posted Dec 2, 2013, 10:25 AM by Matthew Hewson   [ updated Dec 2, 2013, 10:27 AM ]

10/27/2013 – The men's cross country team placed third at the NAIA Great Lakes Challenge meet contested at Riverside Park in Grand Rapids. The field of 40 schools featured nine schools that were ranked or receiving votes in the latest poll. The Saints, who were ranked #3 in the latest ranking, were matched up against #1 St. Francis, #7 Shawnee State, #12 Olivet Nazarene and #14 St. Xavier just to name a few.

The men, who finished with 108 points, were led by the personal best performance of Zach Stepanovich. Stepanovich crossed the line in 13th place in a time of 25:25. The next three Saints raced well and finished within eleven seconds of each other. Jacob Towne (15th-25:36), Stephan Glinski (19th-25:40) and Grant Gunneson (25th-25:47) filled in the two-four spots for the Saints. Rounding out the scoring for the Saints was Kevin Mahar who placed 41st with a time of 26:08.




Top 10 Teams (out of 37)

1. St. Francis 66
2. Olivet Nazarene 69
3. Aquinas 108
4. Shawnee State 113
5. St. Xavier 147
6. Indiana Tech 198
7. Cumberlands 237
8. Indiana Wesleyan 293
9. Siena Heights 297
10. Taylor 302

The Saints will now prepare for the WHAC Championships in two weeks. The meet is hosted by Aquinas College and will be contested at Riverside Park.

Woolcott Paces Saints at Great Lakes

posted Oct 28, 2013, 10:35 AM by Matthew Hewson

10/27/2013 – The women's cross country team placed ninth out of 33 schools at the NAIA Great Lakes Challenge held in Grand Rapids. The event, hosted by Aquinas College, consisted of 13 squads who were either ranked or receiving votes in the latest coaches poll. The Saints concluded the meet by posting the ninth fastest team time in school history (95:23).

The women, who finished with 224 points, were led by sophomore Carley Woolcott, who recorded an 22nd place finish in a personal best time of 18:40. The duo of Catie Rietsema (19:04) and Rachael Steil (19:05) placed in the top 50 for the Saints. Rounding out the scoring for Aquinas was Kelsey Carpenter (19:11 - 55th), who ran her best race in an Aquinas uniform and Emily Hazelbach (19:21 - 69th).


Top 10 Teams (out of 33)

1. Taylor 80
2. Olivet Nazarene 86
3. St. Francis 114
4. Indiana Tech 162
5. Texas Wesleyan 171
6. Shawnee State 179
7. Cornerstone 190
8. Indiana Wesleyan 197
9. Aquinas 224
10. Huntington 241


The Saints will now begin to prepare for the WHAC Championships in two weeks. The meet is hosted by Aquinas College and will be contested at Riverside Park.

Aquinas Wins NAIA Pre-Nationals

posted Oct 28, 2013, 10:34 AM by Matthew Hewson

10/12/13
– The men's cross country team claimed first place at the NAIA Pre-National meet contested at Rim Rock Farm in Lawrence, Kansas. The field of 30 schools featured 14 schools that were ranked or receiving votes in the latest poll. The Saints, who were ranked #3 in the latest ranking, were matched up against #4 Shawnee State, #8 Lewis-Clark, #12 Concordia and #13 Oklahoma Baptist just to name a few.

The men, who finished with 85 points, were led by the one-two punch of Grant Gunneson and Zach Stepanovich. Gunneson crossed the line in 10th (25:26), while Zach ran a personal best time of 25:27 to finish 11th in the 272 man field. The depth of the squad proved vital as four more Saints crossed the finish line within :21 seconds of each other. Jacob Towne (18th-25:44), Kevin Mahar (21st-25:56) and Dan Foley (26th-26:03) rounded out the scoring for the Saints. While Brendan Molony (26:05) and Steve Glinski (26:18) were key in the 6/7 positions.
Top 10 Teams (out of 30)

1. Aquinas 85
2. Lewis-Clark 100
3. Shawnee State 144
4. Oklahoma Baptist 147
5. St. Xavier 213
6. Concordia (Neb.) 238
7. St. Mary 270
8. Dordt 276
9. Indiana Tech 276
10. Southwestern 293

The Saints will now switch their attention to the NAIA Great Lakes Challenge in two weeks. The meet is hosted by Aquinas College and will be contested at Riverside Park.

Saints Run Strong at Rim Rock Farm

posted Oct 15, 2013, 8:24 AM by Matthew Hewson

10/12/13 – The women's cross country team placed seventh out of 30 schools at the NAIA Preview Meet held in Lawrence, Kansas. The field consisted of 14 squads who were either ranked or receiving votes in the latest coaches poll. The Saints entered the meet as the eighth highest ranked team and raced up and down the hills of Rim Rock to a solid seventh place finish.

The women, who finished with 241 points, were led by junior Catie Rietsema, who recorded an 28th place finish in a time of 19:13. The duo of Rachael Steil (19:23) and Carley Woolcott (19:25) placed in the top 40 for the Saints. Rounding out the scoring for Aquinas was Emily Hazelbach (19:38 - 57th) and Sydney Anderson (20:08 - 93rd).



Top 10 Teams (out of 30)

1. Dordt 99
2. Taylor 107
3. Oklahoma Baptist 150
4. Lewis-Clark 161
5. Shawnee State 165
6. Doane 209
7. Aquinas 241
8. Cornerstone 245
9. Indiana Tech 250
10. Baker 259


The Saints will now switch their attention to the NAIA Great Lakes Challenge in two weeks. The meet is hosted by Aquinas College and will be contested at Riverside Park.

Skinner Leads Saints Pack

posted Oct 15, 2013, 8:23 AM by Matthew Hewson

10/12/13
– The women's cross country team placed 9th out of 14 schools at the Bethel College Invitational in Mishawaka, Indiana. Coach Paige Boldt guided Aquinas on the course at St. Patrick's Park. Judson University won the team title, while Judson's Meaghan Ciochon won the event in a time of 18:24.

The women, who finished with 221 points, were led by sophomore Megan Skinner, who recorded an 25th place finish in a time of 20:15. The duo of Crysta Paganelli (20:40) and Jackie Katt (20:53) placed in the top 50 for the Saints. Rounding out the scoring for Aquinas was Aileen Smith (21:13) and Cara Minto (21:24).

The rest of the Aquinas Saints will be competing today at the NAIA Preview Meet in Lawrence, Kansas. The women's race begins at 1:30 p.m. (EST)

Albaugh Paces Saints at Bethel

posted Oct 15, 2013, 8:22 AM by Matthew Hewson

10/12/13
– The men's cross country team placed 4th out of 14 schools at the Bethel College Invitational in Mishawaka, Indiana. Coach Paige Boldt led a contingent of Saints on the course at St. Patrick's Park. Taylor University won the team title, while the Trojans Ethan Evans won the event in a time of 26:27.

The men, who finished with 89 points, were led by junior Geoff Albaugh, who recorded an 11th place finish in a time of 27:02. The trio of Alex Martinez (27:10), Grant Cook (27:11) and Nick Whise (27:13) all placed in the top 20 for the Saints. Rounding out the scoring for Aquinas was Caleb Teachout who placed 29th in a time of 28:02.

The rest of the Aquinas Saints will be competing today at the NAIA Preview Meet in Lawrence, Kansas. The men's race begins at 2:30 p.m. (EST)

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