Monday, September 26, 2011

Gophers Pleased with Griak Performances

The University of Minnesota cross country squads came away from Saturday's Roy Griak Invitational pleased with their performances in the meet.

The #24-ranked Gopher men scored 153 points to finish third in the 24-team Merrill Fischbein Men’s Gold Race, behind #11 Portland's 96 and #10 North Carolina State's 114.

The #30-ranked Minnesota women finished fifth with 182 points in the Jack Johnson Women’s Gold Race. Un-ranked California and #8 Iowa State tied with 128 points. #10 Arizona and #26 Michigan State also topped the Gophers in the 26-team field.

“It was a good day,” Gopher men's coach Steve Plasencia said. “We came in as the third highest ranked team today and got beat by the two teams ahead of us. Overall, this team really has some good depth and that showed today.”

Hassan Mead (pictured above) led the Gopher men with a third-place individual finish in 23:49. Pieter Gagnon finished 19th (24:35), Andrew Larsen was 27th (24:46), Bobby Nicolls was 49th (25:03),and Erik Truedson was 55th (25:06).

Women's coach Gary Wilson felt similarly.

“They did a really good job,” Wilson said. “There was a lot of good learning today. We beat Washington, Vanderbilt, Penn State and those are some good solid teams. I think this team will be ready to rock n’ roll, in one month (at the Wisconsin Adidas Invite).”

Washington entered the meet ranked #11, Penn State was #18, and Vanderbilt had received votes in the most recent NCAA Division I coaches' poll.

Stephanie Price (pictured below) led the Gophers with a 5th place finish in 20:51. Ashlie Decker was the Gophers' number two runner finishing 31st (21:25), freshman Molly Kayfas was 39th (21:36), Laura Docherty took 52nd (21:46), and Missa Varpness was 55th (21:48).

Find complete results of all the Roy Griak Invitational races HERE.

Find Flotrack's extensive coverage of the meet HERE.

Photos by Gene Niemi.

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