The Carleton men’s cross country team used a very strong performance this last weekend to help them in their steady ascent up the national rankings. The team is now ranked 24th in NCAA Division III, after an impressive win at the Lewis and Clark Pioneer Open in Estacada, Oregon, last weekend. The team’s 37 points easily outdistanced second place Linfield’s 68 and third place University of Portland’s 77.
Carleton’s top finishing runners, Joe Sepe ’08 and Quentin Kennedy ’08, earned MIAC co-athlete of the week honors for their performances, as they finished second and third in the race. Sepe finished second in 25:20 and Kennedy was right behind him in third, finishing in 25:23. The pair was right on the heels of the winner from Division I University of Portland, who finished in 25:18.
After Sepe and Kennedy, Carleton had another pair of seniors not far behind, as John Nowinski and Andy Jahn finished in ninth and eleventh place, respectively. Nowinski finished in a time of 25:46, while Jahn finished in 25:50.
Overall, nine of Carleton’s runners finished in the top 24 of the race, catapulting them to an easy victory. The Knights were able to use good race structure to lead them to the win as they were patient as the majority of the runners in the race went out too quickly. After one mile, the top Carleton athlete was in 21st place, but they were able to finish strong as other athletes waned.
Other athletes finishing in the top 24 for the Knights were Charlie Gamble ’10 (15th), John Davis ’11 (18th), Mark Felice ’08 (21th), Meeks Brucker ‘09 (23rd), and Eamon Monaghan ’08 (24th).
“All of us, including Coach Ricks, were very pleased with the performance,” commented Sepe. “We went out and did what we were capable of doing, and the results took care of themselves,” he said.
The Knights now set their eyes on the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Championships October 27 at St. John’s. With most of the team logging 90-100 miles per week throughout the summer and fall, the athletes are in great shape and ready to make some noise at the end of the season.
“All we can do now for the conference meet is be as prepared and rested as possible, race intelligently, and the results will take care of themselves,” said Sepe. “You really can’t ask for much more than that. Win or lose, it is going to be a great race and a lot of fun. We are improving so much every meet that nothing would surprise me come conference, regionals, and nationals.”