BLOOMINGTON, Minn. – The St. Olaf College men's cross country continued their impressive dynasty in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) at Saturday's 2016 MIAC Men's Cross Country Championships. Thursday, the Oles' celebration continued with the announcement of the 2016 MIAC Men's Cross Country Awards as they swept the top individual honors.
Joe Coffey (Klamath Falls, Ore. / Klamath Union) became the fifth-straight St. Olaf runner to win MIAC Men's Cross Country Athlete-of-the-Year honors thanks to his outstanding performance at the conference meet, and his coach, Phil Lundin, was voted the MIAC Men's Cross Country Coach-of-the-Year for the fifth-straight season in recognition of the Oles' "drive for five" straight MIAC championships.
Coffey's Athlete-of-the-Year award is in recognition of his first-place finish at the MIAC Championships, as the senior completed the 8k course in 25:56.9 to win by more than 10 seconds. He averaged 5:13.2 per mile and 3:14.6 per kilometer, and led a group of six St. Olaf runners in the top 18.
Coffey's rise to the top of the leader board was certainly impressive thanks to a huge jump in his junior season, and another leap this fall. As a freshman, he finished 139th at the MIAC Championships, and showed slight improvement to 130th as a sophomore. However, he vaulted all the way to 10th as a junior in 2015 to earn All-Conference honors, and capped it off with Saturday's first-place finish, more All-Conference accolades, and Athlete-of-the-Year honors.
Lundin - now in his ninth season at St. Olaf - guided the Oles to their fifth MIAC Championship in a row, and their ninth men's cross country title overall. This is Lundin's fifth-straight MIAC Men's Cross Country Coach-of-the-Year honor, and his sixth overall after also winning in 2008. He also has a pair of MIAC Track and Field Coach-of-the-Year honors, in addition to four Big Ten Coach-of-the-Year awards during his tenure at the University of Minnesota.
St. Olaf's latest title came with a strong challenge from runner-up Saint John's, but Lundin's crew placed two in the top five, and then three more from 10-to-16 to finish with a total of 44 points to continue its dynasty with a fifth-straight MIAC Championship. Lundin coached the individual champion and MIAC Athlete-of-the-Year for the fifth-straight season, and his team became just the sixth in conference history to win five (or more) MIAC men's cross country titles in a row, and the first since St. Thomas won 10-straight from 1984 to 1993.
In addition to the top individual honors, the MIAC Men's Cross Country All-Conference and All-Conference Honorable mention squads were also recognized. The top 15 finishers in Saturday's MIAC Championship race received All-Conference honors, while finishers 16-25 received Honorable Mention. The Oles led the way with four All-Conference runners while Saint John's, Gustavus and Carleton had three each and Saint Mary's and St. Thomas each had one. The 15 All-MIAC runners were made up of 10 seniors, four sophomores and one freshman.
As part of a conference-wide sportsmanship initiative, the MIAC announced the 11th annual All-MIAC Sportsmanship team for Men's Cross Country. Members of the All-MIAC Sportsmanship team are selected by their coaches and teammates as individuals who demonstrate ideals of positive sportsmanship both on and off the field of competition.
2016 MIAC Men's Cross Country Awards
Athlete-of-the-Year: Joe Coffey, St. Olaf (Sr./Klamath Falls, Ore. / Klamath Union)
Coach-of-the-Year: Phil Lundin, St. Olaf (Ninth season)
2016 MIAC Men's Cross Country All-Conference Team
|1.||25:56.9||Joe Coffey||St. Olaf||Sr.||Klamath Falls, Ore. / Klamath Union|
|2.||26:06.6||Ryan Bugler||Saint John's||Sr.||Okinawa, Japan / Kubasaki|
|3.||26:08.8||Jovan Newsum||Saint Mary's||Sr.||Glendale Heights, Ill. / Glenbard East|
|4.||26:16.2||Thomas Knobbe||Gustavus||Sr.||Decorah, Iowa|
|5.||26:17.3||Alexander Berthe||St. Olaf||So.||Rosemount, Minn.|
|6.||26:18.8||Evan Jones||Gustavus||Sr.||Pella, Iowa / Pella Community|
|7.||26:29.5||Trevor Smith||St. Thomas||Sr.||La Crosse, Wis. / Aquinas|
|8.||26:36.1||Maxwell Kuzara||Saint John's||Sr.||Deephaven, Minn. / Minnetonka|
|9.||26:41.9||Trey Collins||Saint John's||So.||Plentywood, Mont. / Royalton|
|10.||26:43.2||William Anderson||St. Olaf||So.||Deerfield, Ill.|
|11.||26:45.1||Cameron Meikle||Carleton||Fr.||Hamilton, Mont.|
|12.||26:45.5||Jacob Eggers||St. Olaf||Sr.||Minneapolis, Minn. / Minnehaha
|13.||26:46.6||Carston Dammann||Gustavus||Sr.||Lake City, Minn. / Lincoln|
|14.||26:47.1||Tris Dodge||Carleton||So.||Oakland, Calif. / The College Preparatory School|
|15.||26:47.3||Walter Edstrom||Carleton||Sr.||Plano, Texas / West
2016 MIAC Men's Cross Country All-Conference Honorable Mention
|16.||26:48.3||Jack Henschel||St. Olaf||Fr.||Minneapolis, Minn. / Hopkins|
|17.||26:49.5||James Logan||Hamline||Sr.||La Crosse, Wis. / Logan|
|18.||26:51.3||Thomas Lerdall||St. Olaf||So.||Plymouth, Minn.|
|19.||26:53.1||Abdul Salan||Augsburg||Sr.||Burnsville, Minn.|
|20.||26:54.2||Eric Bakken||St. Olaf||Jr.||Long Lake, Minn. / Orono|
|21||26:55.0||Brandon Franta||Saint John's||Sr.||La Crescent, Minn.|
|22.||26:57.5||Alex Wischnack||Gustavus||So.||Norwood Young America, Minn. / Central|
|23.||26:57.9||Parker Rosenau||St. Thomas||So.||West Fargo, N.D.|
|24.||26:59.8||Adam Brandt||St. Thomas||Sr.||Plymouth, Minn. / Wayzata|
|25.||27:02.1||Sam Bell||Hamline||Fr.||Orono, Minn.|
2016 Men's Cross Country All-MIAC Sportsmanship Team
Augsburg - Sean Adams (Sr., Zumbrota, Minn. / Zumbrota-Mazeppa)
Bethel - David Huffman (Jr., Woodbury, Minn. / East Ridge)
Carleton - Zach Edinburgh (Sr., Minneapolis, Minn. / Blake)
Concordia - Nick Solheim (Jr., Deerwood, Minn. / Brainerd)
Gustavus - Carston Dammann (Sr., Lake City, Minn. / Lincoln)
Hamline - James Logan (Sr., La Crosse, Wis. / Logan)
Macalester - Kemal Kirchmeier (Sr., Pardeeville, Wis.)
Saint John's - Sam Friesen (Sr., Excelsior, Minn. / Minnetonka)
Saint Mary's - Sherman Moga (Sr., Shoreview, Minn. / Mounds View)
St. Olaf - Justin Furcich (So., Monticello, Ill.)
St. Thomas - Trevor Smith (Sr., La Crosse, Wis. / Aquinas)