SMSU fights the elements at Roy Griak, Cross Country


On Saturday, Sept. 25th, the men’s and women’s cross-country teams raced at the Roy Griak Invitational hosted at the Les Bolstad Golf Course by the University of Minnesota. In the Maroon DII race The SMSU Men’s team placed 37th out of 41 teams, and the women’s team placed 32nd out of 41 teams.

Roy Griak is one of the toughest courses the Mustangs run, with constant rolling hills. Adding to the difficulty, it was hot and humid, reaching 90 degrees at the time of the race. Many runners from other teams were forced to drop out due to the conditions.

There are three races held at the invite every year, one for each division. This year, the DII and DIII races were combined, with a total 48 teams and 460 runners in the men’s race, and 53 teams and 410 runners in the women’s race. The women’s race was 6k, while the men’s race was 8k.

On the women’s side, Emily Daniels led SMSU placing 182nd with a time of 26:31. Other top finishers for SMSU included Abby Schotter was 184th with a time of 26:34, Emily Gillingham was 204th with a time of 26:54, and Kristen Weber finished 205th with a time of 26:57.

National champion Alexis Zeis from the University of Mary won the women’s race for the third year in a row, with a time of 21:41.3. The winning team was Pittsburg State (72), placing 26 points ahead of U-Mary.

For the men’s team, the top finisher was Logan Knutson finished in 189th place with a time of 29:27. Ben Broze and Clayton Hartle finished within a millisecond of each other, crossing the line at 29:39:06 and 29:29:07 to place 204th and 205th respectively.

Mason Phillips from the University of Sioux Falls won the men’s race in 25:31, becoming the first runner from USF to win at Roy Griak. The winning team was Augustana, with a score of 49 points.

The next race for the Mustangs will be on Friday Oct. 9th at the Bob Waxlax invitational hosted by St. Cloud.