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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Men’s and Women’s Cross Country sweep the MIAC

< this past weekend, the Carleton Cross Country teams can claim that they run this town. Carleton took out its broom and posted a clean sweep, capturing both MIAC team and individual titles. It was the first time since 1992 that one school captured both conference titles for cross country.  It was also the first time in MIAC history where one school won both the Men’s and Women’s team and individual titles. Meg Mathison ’20 won the women’s 6k title with a time of 21:57, edging out teammate Emily Kaegi ’18 by 2 seconds. Meanwhile, Donson Cook-Gallardo won the men’s 8k title in 25:22, finishing nearly 20 seconds faster than the runner up.

The men’s team won the team title with 26 points, 20 points ahead of the runner up, St. Olaf. This was the first MIAC title for the men’s team since 2002, and in the process they also halted St. Olaf’s five-year streak of MIAC wins. All season long, the Knights have raced without their top 5 runners fully healthy. This weekend, however, they demonstrated what they could do with all their runners healthy.

Behind Cook-Gallardo, Carleton’s next four runners finished in the top 10. Finishing in 3rd and 6th were first years Lucas Mueller and Matt Wilkinson, with times of 25:46 and 26:00 respectively. Right behind Wilkinson was Tris Dodge ’19, finishing 7th in 26:03. Rounding out scoring for the Knights was Cameron Meikle ’20, finishing 9th with a time of 26:06. All five scorers earned All-Conference Honors, Carleton’s highest total since 1994. Earning All-Conference Honourable Mention was Hiroshi Nakajima ’18, Carleton’s sixth runner, finishing 25th with a time of 26:47. Carleton’s 7th runner, Keenan Ronayne ’19, finished in 62nd place with a time of 27:27.

“It’s great to win the championship this year, especially because we broke St. Olaf’s win streak and most people didn’t think we could,” Muller said. “I wasn’t that nervous going into the race for myself, but for the team as many of us were sick.”

Wilkinson echoed that sentiment, saying that “winning that championship for this team felt like the accomplishment of a lifetime despite being on the team for only a few months.”

Both Muller and Wilkinson are excited for the upcoming regional meet. Wilkinson believes that they can upset a couple of teams at regionals, while Muller thinks they can nab an automatic qualifying spot, and potentially even win the race.

The women’s team posted an even more dominating result than the men, scoring 21 points en route to the title, finishing 49 points ahead of the runner up, St. Olaf. Along the way, the team set a conference record for the lowest team score. It was the 4th team title for the women in the past 5 years, and Carleton recorded all of its top seven runners in the top 12. Carleton demonstrated why it has been the top team in the central region and a top 10 team in the nation this year, relying on incredible depth from their team.

Behind the one-two punch of Mathison and Kaegi, first year Amanda Mosborg ’21 finished in 4th with a time of 22:34. Sam Schnirring ’19 finished in 6th with a time of 22:42. Rounding out the scoring was first year Emma Greenlee ’21, finishing 8th with a time of 22:50. These five runners all received All-Conference awards for their performances. Carleton’s 6th and 7th runners, Fiona Casey ’21 and Ruthie Boyd ’20, finished with times of 22:58 and 23:04, in 11th and 12th place. Casey and Boyd both also received All Conference, bringing the total number of Knights receiving that honor to seven, the most on one team since 1995.

“I am so proud of the team’s performance at conference. Going into the weekend, I knew that we had a solid chance [to win], but you never know until you get out there and race,” said Mathison. “I was definitely nervous before conference, but nerves are good for running.”

With regionals on the horizon, both Mosborg and Mathison feel very excited to race for the chance to qualify for nationals. “The results at conference bode very well for regionals and beyond. With our depth and the races we have completed thus far, I expect we will do very well. My goal is to take a strong squad of runners to nationals. All we need to do is keep on executing,” said Mathison.

Mosborg agreed, saying, “It´s nice to be ranked first, but pre-race rankings don’t matter once everybody is out on the course. But this lets us know that if we keep doing what we have been doing all season, we will succeed. I believe that we can win, especially if we keep up the positive attitude we have had all season long. As for nationals, I just want to get through regionals first!”

The Knights will host the Central Region Cross Country meet on Saturday, November 11, for a chance to qualify for nationals.

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