Photo by Ted Brakob
Photo by Ted Brakob
The 2015 season for men’s cross country was great on and off the course. Led by 4.0 seniors
Jacob Gerhartz and Dylan Baumann, St. Thomas had 24
returning student-athletes with cumulative grade-point
averages of 3. 9 or better. The Tommies showed they
could perform in the classroom, and on Sept. 5, they
performed well in their first meet by winning the three-team Crown Invitational. St. Thomas had 18 of the top 19
finishers, led by Gerhartz and junior Trevor Smith.
With only six season meets before the MIAC
Championships, the Tommies did not hold back. They
took third out of 20 teams on Sept. 19 at St. Olaf and
had 15 runners in the top 100. Then they travelled to
Wartburg College in Iowa and placed second. On Oct.
10, St. Thomas ran well at St. Kate’s Invite. Gerhartz
(12: 20) won the 2.49-mile race by seven seconds over
teammate Baumann with Smith and first-year Ephraim
Bird close behind. A few days later on Oct. 13, Gerhartz
was honored as the MIAC Men’s Cross Country Athlete-of-the-Week.
At the last season meet of the year, the Inter-Regional Rumble in Oberlin, Ohio, the Tommies placed
fourth among 32 teams and had eight runners break 26
minutes. The MIAC meet was held Oct. 31 at St. Paul’s
Como Golf Course. Gerhartz and Bird placed fourth and
14th and made the All-MIAC list out of 235 runners. At
the NCAA regional meet in Pella, Iowa on Nov. 14, the
Tommies placed ninth.
In addition to the success the men’s cross country
team had athletically, it continued to find success in the
classroom. Gerhartz was honored with the MIAC Elite
22 award. The award was created in 2013 to recognize
academic success across all sports, and Gerhartz has
now won back-to-back Elite 22 and all-conference
awards from the MIAC. He said, “I hope to inspire the
idea that balance is something you can attain in both
academics and sports… whether that’s your team during
competition or your group for a project in the classroom.
When you have people you care about, it pushes you
to work harder and do better than you could have ever
By Emma Bassier