HANOVER, Ind. – The St. Olaf men’s cross country team had four All-America finishes, led by Grant Wintheiser in third and Jake Brown in eighth, as the Oles held off a charge by runner up North Central College to claim the NCAA Division III Championship, the first NCAA team title in school history, on Saturday afternoon.
Wintheiser, the two-time MIAC champion, was just five seconds off the winning pace in third (24.34.8). Brown was about 30 seconds off the winning pace, in eighth place at 25:00.0.
Each of the Oles’ top four runners were ahead of North Central’s first four. Brian Saksa was 17th (25:07.3) and Jake Campbell 31st (25:19.7).
When accounting for individuals, St. Olaf held the No. 2, 4, 11 and 21 spot through the first four runners and needed the No. 5 scorer to clinch the title. Sophomore Calvin Lehn delivered, finishing 65th overall and 46th in the team scoring to help St. Olaf win its first team NCAA national title.
St. Olaf was ranked third in the latest national poll behind North Central and Washington (Mo.). Central College, which led early in the race and was ranked No. 8 finished sixth.
Mike Ludwig: email [email protected].