Monday, September 30, 2013

Five Runners in Griak Invite Selected as USTFCCCA Athletes of the Week

Five of the athletes who competed in the Griak Invitational on Saturday were selected as athletes of the week by the USTFCCCA.  See the list and their bios HERE.

News Bits

Perham Focus story and pictures on the Perham boy's and girl's teams at the Griak meet is HERE.

Red Wing Republican Eagle story on the Red Wing Invitational. Photos of the Red Wing boys in their mohawks is HERE.

Minnesota Daily story on the Gophers at the Griak is HERE.

Duluth News Tribune story on Grandma's race oganization's contribution to cancer fund is HERE.

FloTrack video of women's collegiate Gold race is HERE.

UTFCCCA DI regional rankings are HERE.

Girls Class AA HS XC Coaches Rankings

1     Wayzata                                              
2     East Ridge                                           
3     Edina                     
4     Eagan                                                
5     Eden Prairie              
6     Chanhassen                         
7     Lakeville South                             
8     Willmar                   
9     Moorhead                                    
10    Forest lake
11    Burnsville                
12    Marshall                  
 Others receiving votes:  Roseville, Sartell-St Stephen, Alexandria, White Bear Lake, Mounds View, Monticello, Bemidji
1     Anna French, 11               Wayzata                            
2     Megan Hasz, 10                Alexandria             
3     Jenna Truedson, 11            Bemidji                
4     Bethany Kozak, 12             White Bear Lake              
5     Bailey Ness, 12               East Ridge                         
6     Bethany Hasz, 10              Alexandria                   
7     Rachel King, 11               St Michael-Albertville 
8     Lizzy Heil, 9                 St Michael-Albertville
9     Anastasia Korzenowski, 9      Chanhassen                     
10   Emily Betz, 11                East Ridge             
11   Vivian Hett, 12               Burnsville                         
12   Annika Halverson, 12     Wayzata

Sunday, September 29, 2013

More Griak coverage

University of Arizona press release on their men's and women's team results at the Griak are HERE.

MileSplit post race interviews with high school gold race top three is HERE.

Wayzata HS video of the Griak boy's race is HERE.Girls race video is HERE.

High school Gold boy's race photos are HERE.Girls Gold race photos are HERE. Men's College Gold race photos are HERE.

NSIC press release on Augustana runners at the Griak is HERE.

NHSCA Power Rankings Rate Wayzata Girls Second in US in DI, Perham Boys Rank Second in DII

The National High School Coaches Association power rankings are HERE. Wayzata's girls are ranked second in Division I.  Perham's boys are second in DII with Minnehaha Academy seventh.  In the boy's DI rankings, Wayzata is 16th, Stillwater is 24th.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Gene Niemi's 2013 Griak Photo Album

Women's Maroon II (From Left to Right) Runa Falch,
Jennifer Agnew, Breanna Colbenson, and Taylor
Berg. Photo by Gene Niemi

Women's Maroon III winner Chelsea
Johnson. Photo by Gene Niemi

Men's Maroon II (From Left to Right) Matt Johnson, Paul Yak,
Sam Vincent, Adam Volkert, and Adam Braun. Photo
By Gene Niemi

Matt Berens. Photo by Gene Niemi
Shelby Houlihan. Photo
By Gene Niemi

John Simons, Andrew Colley, and Tylor Thatcher
Photo by Gene Niemi

Jordyn Colter Photo
by Gene Niemi

Anna French. Photo by Gene Niemi

The Griak: The Great Minnesota Get Together

The lead pack in the boy's Gold race.
(From Left to Right) Obsa Ali, Connor Olson, Keeghan Hurley,
Addison DeHaven, Olin Hacker, Chandler Austin.
Photo by Gene Niemi
It seems fitting that the annual Griak Invitational cross country meet is held near the Minnesota State Fairgrounds as it is something of a Great Minnesota Get Together for the singlet and shorts set.  With quite a few "invited guests."

Despite the rain and intermittent tent toppling winds, the only noticeable impact on the event was fewer spectators.  Either that or the spectators that came didn't linger as long, escaping when the race or races they came to watch were over.  The race results, displayed on the large framed mounted poster boards, got soaked and frayed in the inclement weather, but the runners hardly seemed to notice the sloppy conditions.

They came to race and test themselves, to hopefully improve on past performances.  St. Scholastica senior Chelsea Johnson came into the race healthier than last year when she was recovering from a winter injury and optimistic about what she could do.  A couple days before the race, she said, she was thinking "top three," but as the race got closer she decided why not try and win it.

"I went with how I felt," she said of her fast start, bolting to the front at the blast from the starter's pistol.  As the race progressed she noticed that nobody went with her.  "Why isn't anybody up here," she said to herself.  She had a few moments of doubt, bad patches, but was never challenged either by fatigue or the other runners as she cruised to a 16 second win over runner-up Noelle Olson, a St. Olaf freshman who had beaten Johnson last week.

Bethel's Matt Berens went to the front of the men's Maroon III race because he likes to run from the front, not due to any belief that he could run away from the rest of the field.  "I felt like I had a shot to win it," Berens said, who had evaluated the strength of the field and believed he had a chance at the top spot.  "I raced here(the Bolstad golf course) once in high school, and I always felt I could run well in adverse conditions."

Nobody went with Berens or got close enough to challenge him later in the race, so when Berens was feeling the effort around the four to five kilometer mark, he still had no reason to worry.  He just admonished himself to "stay tough."  And when another crisis of confidence came at 6K it didn't cause any panic as he maintained at least a 10 second advantage all the way to the finish.

St Augustine senior, Norwegian native Runa Falch did not have fond memories of running on the Griak course.  As a freshman she went out too fast and paid for it later in the race and another year she dropped out.  She didn't let that effect her, she said: "You can't let the past haunt you."  Older and wiser, she decided to be more conservative this time and it paid off in a new course record and a nearly five second margin of victory.

Drawn to the South Dakota school by being offered a scholarship, Falch is majoring in international politics and plans to go back to Norway and get a law degree when she graduates with the ultimate goal being doing work for a humanitarian organization.  For students at BYU, taking a year or more to go outside the US working for humanitarian causes is part of the curriculum.  It hasn't hurt the accomplishments of the school's athletes.  The BYU team won the men's Gold collegiate championship and senior Tylor Thatcher won the individual crown, outsprinting NCAA DII power Adams State's Kevin Batt.

"I knew it would be a battle," said Thatcher, as Batt had a better 5K personal best, but Thatcher was able to nip the Grizzly sophomore at the line.  Boy's high school Gold champion, Richflield senior Obsa Ali also knew he would have a battle as several other runners including Wayzata's Connor Olson and Perham's Keegan Hurley came into the event undefeated, as did Ali.They were joined by Brookings HS's Addison DeHaven, none of whom could challenge Ali when he unleashed his kick down the final straightaway.

"I felt great," said Ali.  "(In the early part of the race) I thought we were going slow. I tried to be patient."  Richfield coach Marty Huberty had mapped out a strategy when the team did a course tour the day before the race.  He took them to the rise overooking the finish and told Ali that it was a straight shot from there to the finish and this was where he should launch his kick.

Ali made a surge when the pack of five came through the four kilometer mark, he said, and the others went with him.  So, Ali settled in and waited for the final stretch where he quickly opened up a gap that grew as he sprinted toward the finish appearing totally in control.  "I really want to win the State Championship," said Ali of his season's goal.  After that he hopes for a top five finish at the Footlocker Championships.

While being interviewed after the Griak win, he was introduced to Gopher legend and US Olympian Garry Bjorklund, who was in town for the Roy Griak 50th part on Thursday.  The Gopher grad put in a pitch for Ali's next step after defending his 3200 track title and helping Richfield's 4 by 800 relay at next year's MSHSL track championships to be a Golden Gopher.  Later a recruiter from the University of Wisconsin was making their pitch to Ali and Huberty.

Ali had said after his win at the 2013 State track meet that he hoped his effort would attract the attention of college recruiters.  Appears his wish has come true.

Full results and race recaps are HERE and HERE.Running Times feature on Tylor Thatcher is HERE.

Griak: Rain, Wind, Lots of Running

The start of the Gold high school boys race.  Winner Obsa Ali in second
as the pack leaves the start. Photo by Jim Ferstle
Rain and wind didn't dampen the competition at the Roy Griak Invitational on Saturday as one course record was set and the competition was fierce.  Runa Falch, a Norwegian running for Augustana, set the Maroon II collegiate record, running 21:34 for 6K.  St. Scholastica's Chelsea Johnson and Bethel's Matt Berens dominated the Maroon III collegiate races leading from the start.  Johnson finished in the women's 6K race in 22:03, Berens the men's 8K in 25:45(8K).

The men's collegiate Maroon II race was a three way battle won by Pittsburg State's Adam Volkert in 25:10 for 8K.  The men's Gold race 8K was won by BYU's Tylor Thatcher in 24:26, while Arizona State's Shelby Houilhan won the women's 6K in 20:35

Colorado high schooler Jordyn Colter of Cherry Creek won the HS Gold girl's 5K race in 17:47, while Obasa Ali won the biggest battle of the afternoon running 15:30 to outsprint  four runners down the final straight. Wayzata swept the boy's and girl's team titles.  Trent Powell of River Falls won the boy's Maroon 5K race in 16:20. Girl's Maroon results aren't posted yet.

Full results are HERE, Interviews and observations coming later, as well as photos.
The lead pack early in the Women's Collegiate  Gold race.
Photo by Jim Ferstle

News Bits

FloTrack Griak pre-race photos at Bolstad golf course are HERE.

Sun Sailor pre-Griak feature on Wayzata girls is HERE.

Duluth News Tribune results from Hibbing Rotary Meet are HERE.

Running Times HS boys rankings are HERE, girls rankings are HERE.

Griak Meet info page is HERE.

Griak Meet women's Gold collegiate race preview is HERE. Men's Gold 8K preview is HERE.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Hall of Fame Ceremony a Family Affair

The induction ceremony for the Minnesota Track and Field Hall of Fame on September first was filled with stories of families and relationships.  As the moderator for the evening and organizer of the event, Tim Zibikowski, noted he was acting like many others in the Minnesota running community, giving back because of all the sport gave him.

Zbikowski, who ran under Armstrong High School coach Rick Kleyman and Gopher coach Roy Griak, who were both in attendance, said that he owed  his mentors for the contributions they made to his life.  Part of what they bequeathed on him was a "pay it forward" philosophy.  Two of the recipients of the Hall of Fame honors--Gopher grad Adam Steele, and Carrie Tollefson--are also giving back to the sport.  They told stories of what the sport has given them and how their siblings inspired them to pursue their athletic careers.

Adam recounted how his older brother Mike became a state champion, which prompted him to tell himself: "I want to do that someday."  He not only wanted to do what his brother did, he wanted to do more.  While Mike gave him a goal "to shoot for," there was also sibling rivalry.  If Mike could win one state championship, why not try and win two, or three.  Adam, who ran for Eden Prairie, proceeded to set the bar even higher for any other Steele siblings by running a leg on the state championship four by 800 relay, as well as individual titles in the 400 and 800.

His accomplishments didn't end there as what he did as a high schooler attracted a suitor--then Minnesota Gopher coach Phil Lundin, who, Steele noted, "called me every week." Then after getting Steele to come to Minnesota, Lundin, also had to convince him to stay.  "I wanted to transfer," Adam said,"but (Lundin) said: 'Give me one more year.'"  Steele gave not only a year, but a national championship(2003 NCAA 400 meters) and a berth on the US team for the World Championships(where he won a gold medal for helping the US win the 4 by 400 relay).

"To represent Minnesota on that stage," Steele said, "to put us on the map internationally" is a legacy Adam was proud to have achieved. He choked up while telling the audience:  "Putting on that uniform(for the US team)" meant a lot, especially as Mike, who was in the audience at the HOF ceremony, wore a uniform as well serving in the military in Iraq. "I'm very proud to be from Minnesota," said Steele, who is currently a police officer in Eugene, Oregon and hasn't given up the sport.  He won two bronze medals(400m/4 by 400 relay) in the World Police and Fire Games in NYC in 2011.
Adam Steele with one of his World Police & Fire Games medals
Carrie Tollefson is still active too, as if raising two kids and running her own media business isn't enough. She is running the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon next weekend.  Tollefson is "paying it forward" by helping keep the sport in the spotlight with her C Tolle Run reports, media work with the NYRR, and other enterprises.  "This sport has changed my life,"  Tollefson said.  With two older sisters, Carrie said, "I could follow in their footsteps."  But merely "following," as for Steele, was not enough.  "The third one in the family has to do something great."

Her two sisters "set the bar high," and they encouraged and pushed her "to do something great."

"Carrie, you're too good to not get after it," they told her, thereby giving her the tag line she uses profusely in her C Tolle Run weekly online webcast: "Get After It!"  Running, she says, "has been the joy of my life."  Much of what she cherishes has come through running, she noted: "I met the love of my life(husband Charlie Peterson) on a run" on the Stone Arch bridge in Minneapolis.  "I got to see what I was made of (during her career as a champion high school,  collegiate, and professional runner)."

Carrie, Ruby, and Charlie
While the athletic accomplishments have been satisfying, Tollefson noted, "the relationships are wonderful."  So much so that Craig Yotter, USATF Minnesota managing director who gave the acceptance speech for the HOF coaching inductee, Scott Christensen, who couldn't make the ceremony because he was with the Stillwater team in Wisconsin, prefaced his talk by noting that daughters of runners have gone out trick or treating "as Carrie Tollefson."  Can an "action figure" Carrie Tollefson be in the works?

News Bits

Dyestat boys HS individual rankings are HERE. Girls rankings are HERE. Two boys in the top 30, no girls.

Rochester Post Bulletin feature on Rochester John Marshall's Emma Christensen is HERE.

Sun Current story on the Apple Valley Eagle Invitational, girls race HERE, boys HERE.

Minnesota Daily preview on the Griak Invitational is HERE.

Mankato West Invitational results are HERE.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Gophers Celebrate Roy Griak's Half Century at the U of M

"The biggest thing is the relationship you've had with hundreds of young athletes," says Gopher coach Roy Griak of his 50 years at the University of Minnesota.  "That is the most important."

Tonight those friends and more honor Griak at the TCF Bank Stadium.  More info is HERE.

St Olaf Sweep as Wintheiser, Olson Named MIAC XC Athletes of the Week

The St Olaf men's cross country team captured first place in the 16-team field St Olaf Invitational  on Saturday led by defending MIAC  XC champion Grant Wintheiser (Sartell, Minn./Cathedral). The Ole junior finished second out of 272 runners, which was the best finish by a Division III or MIAC runner.For his performance, Wintheiser was named the MIAC Men's Cross Country Athlete-of-the-Week.
Wintheiser won the team's home invite a year ago, but even though he was the runner-up this time around his time was much faster. The junior completed the course in 25:06.2, which was 30 seconds faster than his 2012 winning time. 

St. Olaf phenom Noelle Olson (Big Lake, Minn.) continued her breakout season with a new meet record and first-place finish at the St. Olaf Invitational. She helped the Oles to a third-place team finish out of 15 teams. For her performance, Olson was named the MIAC Women's Cross Country Athlete-of-the-Week for the second time in 2013.
Olson completed the 6K course in 21:34, which is the fastest time ever run at the event, and the third-fastest time in Ole team history. She finished first in the 251-runner field, 14 seconds ahead of runner-up Breanna Colbenson of Division II UM-Duluth. The Oles were third in the 15-team field with 94 points, finishing behind only UMD and MIAC rival Carleton. Olson is the first repeat winner of the MIAC Women's Cross Country Athlete-of-the-Week award this season.Olson was also named the USTFCCCA Athlete of the Week.

Boys Class A HS XC Coaches Rankings

1     Perham                    
2     Waseca                    
3     Minnehaha Academy          
4     Mora                       
5     Martin County West         
6     Crosby Ironton            
7     Plainview-Elgin-Millville  
8     Canby/Minneota/LinHi       
9     Long Prairie/Grey Eagle    
10    Cotter                     
11    Mounds Park Academy        
12    Holdingford                
--    St. Cloud Cathedral        
--    Proctor                    
--    Esko                       

1     Keeghan Hurley, 12            Perham                  
2     Shane Streich, 11             Waseca                  
3     Ian Torchia, 12               Rochester Lourdes       
4     Ephraim Bird, 11              Hope Acad.              
5     Isaac Overmyer, 11            Park Rapids             
6     Billy Beseman, 11             Perham                  
7     Ethan Wagner, 12              Minnehaha Academy       
8     Ryan Phillips, 12             Redwood Valley Area     
9     Mike Destache, 11             St. Paul Acad.          
10    Jayden Cullen, 12             Perham                  
11    TJ Schiltz, 12                NRHEG                   
12    Ben Burgett, 11               Willmar Christian     
--    Matt Schrupp, 12              Cotter                  
--    Ben Sullivan, 12              Perham                  
--    Nick Golebiowski, 12          St. Cloud Cath.         

Pick Ten: Roy Griak Invitational

The 28th annual Roy Griak Invitational is scheduled for Saturday, September 28th.  The meet, hosted by the University of Minnesota Golden Gopher cross country teams at Les Bolstad Golf Course in Falcon Heights, features a wide variety of spectator-friendly races. These include six collegiate races (one for each sex in Division I, II and III), four High School races and even a kids race.  The meet is kicked off with the Maroon Women's III 6k at 9:00 A.M. and ends with the Maroon High School Girls 5k at 4:30 P.M.

The meet features many nationally-ranked teams, including some decorated teams from within Minnesota.  We will check out the collegiate races with the Pick Ten Contest.

Pick Ten has a simple concept: predict the finish place for each of ten Minnesota athletes at the Roy Griak Invitational. You will score points for each athlete who scores at or above the finish place you predict for them, following the 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 scoring system.

For example: If you pick Molly Kayfes to place first in the Jack Johnson women's gold race, and she places first, you get 10 points. If you pick Kayfes to place first and she finishes second, you get zero points. If you pick Kayfes to finish third in the event and she places first, second or third, you get 6 points by the scoring system above, since she placed at least as high as you predicted.

To play Pick Ten, cut and paste the list of names/events below into an e-mail and add your place predictions -- 1st or 2nd or 3rd...8th. Send your predictions by 9:00 A.M. CST on Saturday, September 28th to DtBFantasy [AT] gmail [DOT] com. Make sure your full name is in the e-mail. As with our Yes/No contests, we don't offer any prizes, so no one needs to fear running afoul of NCAA or other anti-gambling regulations.

We'll announce the winner of this week's contest and compile results of all of the year's Pick Ten contests to name a grand champion for 2013.

Pick 10 ... Roy Griak Invitational:

Molly Kayfes, University of Minnesota (DI):
University of Minnesota Women (DI):
University of Minnesota Men (DI):
Jessica Young, Winona State (DII):
University of Minnesota - Duluth Women (DII):
Devin Allbaugh, Minnesota State, Mankato (DII):
Minnesota State, Mankato Men (DII):
St. Olaf Women (DIII):
Matt Berens, Bethel (DIII):
Bethel Men (DIII):

Here is some information to help you with your picks:

Molly Kayfes finished twelfth at the Griak Meet in 2012.  This year she finished second to teammate Laura Docherty at the Oz Memorial Run in early September.  The Gophers women are currently ranked 20th in the nation while the men are presently unranked nationally.  In 2012, the Gopher women finished third and the Gopher men won their race at the Griak Invitational.

Jessica Young finished eighth in the Griak DII race last year and was the only non-senior in the top ten.   The UMD women are ranked #16 in the nation and second in the region.  Devin Allbaugh finshed fifth in the 2012 Griak DII race and his team, Minnesota State, Mankato was ranked #22 in the country in the preseason poll.  At the 2012 Griak race, UMD women finished seventh and MSU men were second.

Matt Berens finished 20th in the 2012 DIII Griak race and seven of the top ten in that race were seniors.  Berens has been on a roll in 2013; he shattered a course record at the Les Duke Invite this year, a record that had stood since 1996.  The Bethel men finished eighth in the Griak Meet last year and are currently unranked.  The St. Olaf women finished third at this meet in 2012 and are ranked twelfth in the national polls.

There is a lot of good information provided by the Gophers HERE.  For last year's results, as well as previous years, check out Apple Raceberry Jam.

Good luck!

Last week there were four question regarding the Milaca Mega Meet for the Yes/No Contest.  Here is a summary of the questions and correct answers:

Yes/No#1: Will any of the varsity races (girls and boys, all four classes) course records be broken this weekend at the Milaca Mega Meet?  The answer was yes - Jenna Truedson and Isiah Barlow both broke course records.

Yes/No#2: Will any varsity team score fewer than 35 points at the Milaca Mega Meet?  The answer was no - Minnehaha Academy was the lowest scorer with 54 points.

Yes/No#3: Will ten or more boys break 16:00 in the Varsity Boys 5000 Meters (adding up all four classes combined) at the Milaca Mega Meet?  This was also no - seven boys broke 16:00 minutes.

Yes/No#4: In the varsity races (girls and boys, all four classes) will a runner from a Minnesota take first place individually in all eight races?  Minnesotans swept the individual races making the answer yes.

Twelve people answered correctly distributed between the four questions.  Mary Varney and Lori Anne Schwiesow are in first place with 21.  Dimitri Drekonja is now one point back at twenty points, while Pat Foley has 19.

After four Pick Ten contests, the overall leader is Mike Henderson (125 points) followed by Rachel Karel (121).  Andrew Nussbaum and Rich Cowles are next at 120 points.

For full standings of both contests, please visit DtB Fantasy Corner.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

News Bits

USTFCCCA National poll for DII is HERE. Note that the top ranked men's and women's teams are running in the Griak Invitational this weekend.  DI os HERE. DIII is HERE.

Perham Focus story on the Perham boys HERE and girls HERE performances at the Milaca Mega Meet.

Stillwater Gazette article on the boys team win at the Milaca Mega Meet is HERE.

Red Wing Republican Eagle story on the New Prague Invitational is HERE.

Rochester Post-Bulletin feature on Ruth Morrey's third place finish in the World Duathlon Championships is HERE. Kingsland Invitational boys results are HERE, girls HERE. Mankato West Invitational boys results are HERE.

Duluth News Tribune story on induction of Duluth native David Jones to MSU Mankato Sports Hall of Fame is HERE.

Apple Valley Invitational results are HERE.(link is to girls varsity results, other races can be accessed by clicking on the appropriate link near the top of the page).

Heartland Classic results are HERE.

NSIC Weekly Wrap Up

NSIC Men's Cross Country Athlete of the Week
Matthew Horan
Sioux Falls, SD
Roosevelt HS
Univ. of Sioux Falls

Matt Horan won the men's race at the St. Olaf Invitational 8K in 25:01.4, a meet record by 16 seconds. The Cougar men would come away from the meet with a runner-up finish and were the top NSIC school at the meet. The Cougars will compete next at the Briar Cliff Invitational in McCook Lake, SD on Saturday, October 12.

Team Notes
Minnesota State Mankato
 Rated tenth in the region, the Minnesota State Mankatomen's cross country team finished sixth at the St. Olaf Invitational on Saturday. Senior Devin Allbaugh, was third in 25:09. He was followed by senior Jacob Ball (8th, 25:33), junior Matthew Stocker (25th, 26:22), junior Josiah Swanson (49th, 27:14), sophomore Daniel Kroenke (58th, 27:28) and junior Alex Schoneberger (27:57). Next action for the Mavericks is the Roy Griak Invitational.
St. Cloud State
The St. Cloud State University men's cross country team placed 12th at the St. Olaf Invitational. The Huskies were led by Chris Caron (63rd, 27:25.0), followed by Tom Mountain placed (73rd, 27:35.4), Jonathan Hess (92nd, 28:09.9), Ra'shad Harris (176th, 29:35.7), Paul Maile 
(169th, 29:36.9).   SCSU will continue its season at the  Roy Griak Invitational this weekend.

NSIC Women's Cross Country Athlete  of the Week
Breanna Colbenson
Elmwood, Wis.
Spring Valley HS
Minnesota Duluth

Breanna Colbenson led the University of Minnesota Duluth to the women's team title at the St. Olaf College Invitational.  It was the second championship for the Bulldogs in two meets thus far in 2013.  UMD placed five runners in the top 16. Colbenson completed the 6K race in 21:48.3 to finish second to St. Olaf's Noelle Olson (21:34.4).

Team Notes
Minnesota Duluth
UMD won their second championship in two meets at St. Olaf. Individual race runner-up,Breanna Colbenson was the team's top finisher. Fellow freshman Samantha Rivard was sixth among 251 competitors, in 22:36.9.  Junior Alexandra Rudin (9th place; 22:56.3), sophomore Kaelyn Williams (13th; 23:08.1) and sophomore Hannah Jocelyn (16th; 23:24.5) were UMD's other scorers. They were followed by sophomores Erica Seidenkranz (24th; 23:41.5) and Hannah Olson (26th; 23:47.7).

The Bulldogs scored 46 points, 22 points better than runnerup Carleton College. A total of 15 schools took part in Saturday's event.

Minnesota State Mankato
The Minnesota State Mankato was fifth at the St. Olaf Invitational. Sophomore Emily Knapczyk led the team finishing in 18th in 23:27.  Senior Sarah Bowler (22nd, 23:37), junior Marina Paul (27th, 23:49), junior Samantha Soupir (30th, 23:53), freshman Maddi Sjelin (43rd, 24:14), senior Jessie Dejong (44th, 24:20), and junior Stephanie Steenhoek (51st, 24:36) followed.  Next action for the Mavericks, who are ninth in the region, is the Roy Griak Invitational. 

St. Cloud State
The St. Cloud State were ninth at the St. Olaf College Invitational. Kassie Vaness (11th overall, 22:59.2) was the team's top finisher. Samantha Sunstrom (13th overall, 23:07.8), Rachel Sakry (78th overall, 24:52.9), Jenny Metzler (90th, 25:08.0), Kylie Bass (109th, 25:36.8), Lindsay Stassen (113th, 25:39.8), and Lauren Johnson (141st,  26:10.8) followed.  The Huskies return to action at the prestigious Roy Griak Invitational.

Girls Class A HS XC Coaches Rankings

 1     Waseca                    
2     Annandale                  
3     Perham                     
4     Trinity at  River Ridge    
5     Holy Family Catholic      
6     Dover-Eyota                
7     Lac qui ParleValley-DB    
8     St. Cloud Cathedral        
9     Fairmont                   
10    Canby/Minneota/Linc HI    
11    Spectrum                   
12    Mora                      
--    Esko                       
--    Rochester Lourdes          
--    St. Paul Academy/Summit    
--    Martin County West         
--    Holdingford               

1     Emi Trost, 12                 Cannon Falls            
2     Madison Schandelmeier, 9      Luverne                 
3     Kayla Huhnerkoch, 11          Redwood Valley Area    
4     Courtney Alama, 12            Annandale              
5     Nicole Slater, 12             Adrian                  
6     Alaysia Freetly, 11           Lac qui ParleValley-DB  
7     Rachel Eickhoff, 11           St. Cloud Cathedral     
8     Mary Naas, 11                 St. Paul Academy/Summit 
9     Elizabeth Schlafke, 10        Annandale               
10    Maria Eastman, 10             Holy Family Catholic    
11    Becca Wilkin, 10              Trinity of River Ridge  
12    Bethany Coop, 12              Mora                    
--    Kailee Kiminski, 11           Esko                    
--    Sally O’Brien, 11             Waseca                  
--    Madeline Huglen, 11           Roseau                  
--    Janessa Meuleners, 11         Belle Plaine            
--    Maykala Hohn, 12              Luverne                 
--    McKenzie Holt, 12             St. Cloud Christian    

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

News Bits

Duluth News Tribune story on the Superior 100 Mile is HERE.

Minnesota Daily story on Gopher women 800 meter runners training for track by running XC is HERE.

Star Tribune stories on "What's the right distance for girls' XC?" are HERE and HERE.

IAAF feature on Barbora Špotáková is HERE.

FloTrack Pro will be live streaming the Griak Invitational this weekend. If you can't make it out to the course for the races, you can still watch.  For more info go HERE.

USTFCCCA Regional DIII team rankings are HERE.  DII are HERE. DI HERE.

Not online, but it's a free publication, the Highland Villager has Sarah Barker's story on Carrie Tollefson and her training for the Medtronic TC Marathon

St Olaf's Noelle Olson Named USTFCCCA DIII Female Athlete of the Week; St. Olaf Invitational Results

St Olaf freshman Noelle Olson is off to a historic start to her collegiate career. On Saturday she won the St. Olaf Invitational 6K in 21:34.4 in her first race at the distance, smashing by 14 seconds the existing course record set in 2009.  The field she beat, also by 14 seconds, included three ranked teams from Division III and 16th ranked  Minnesota-Duluth of Division II. Her time is the third-fastest 6K time in program history, and follows her school-record 4K (14:26) and a 5K (17:38) ranked second in program history. Her performances earned her this week's USTFCCCA Athlete of the Week honors. Full St. Olaf Invitational women's results are HERE. Men's results are HERE. Men's race photos are HERE. Women's photos are HERE.

Boys Class AA HS XC Coaches Rankings

1              Wayzata
2              Stillwater
3              Edina
4              Eden Prairie
5              Hutchinson
6              Rosemount
7              Centennial
8              Robbinsdale Armstrong
9              Mounds View
10           Totino Grace
11           Hopkins
12           Bemidji
Other Teams receiving votes: Alexandria, Chanhassen, Moorhead

1              Obsa Ali, Richfield
2              Connor Olson, Wayzata
3              Jacob Mc Dermott, Cretin-Derham Hall
4              Isaiah Barlow, Hutchinson
5              Cal Lawton, Eden Prairie
6              Logan Ramlet, Edina
7              Hunter Bailey, Winona
8              Zack Benning, Hastings
9              Matt Lumbar, Edina
10           Sam Carlson, Bemidji
11           Jaret Carpenter, Wayzata
12           Joe Louuiselle, Totino Grace
Other Athletes receiving votes: Tayler Aarness, Stillwater; Ian Eklin, Wayzata; Ashenafi Hatte, Washington Technical Magnet; Chris Meados, Andover

Monday, September 23, 2013

News Bits

Red Wing Republican Eagle continues its chronicling of Goodhue HS's first cross country season in 30 years HERE.

Winona Daily News photo coverage of the Jim Flim XC Meet is HERE. Feature on Winona's Hunter Bailey is HERE. Story on the meet is HERE.

Worthington Daily Globe story on the Jackson County Central Invitational is HERE. Feature on Worthington HS XC coach Ken Henkels is HERE.

Minnesota Monthy October issue feature on a variety of Minnesota runners is HERE.

MileSplit finish photos from the Milaca Mega Meet are HERE.

Schedule for the Griak Invitational is HERE.

Girls Class AA HS XC Coaches Rankings

1     Wayzata                                              
2     East Ridge                                  
3     Eagan                                                
4     Edina                     
5     Eden Prairie              
6     Chanhassen                         
7     Lakeville South                             
8     Willmar                   
9     Mounds View               
10    Monticello                         
11    Moorhead                  
12    Bemidji
 Others receiving votes:  Roseville, Forest Lake, Sartell-St Stephen, Alexandria, White Bear Lake, Totino Grace, Marshall    

1     Anna French, 11               Wayzata                            
2     Megan Hasz, 10                Alexandria                   
3     Bethany Kozak, 12             White Bear Lake                    
4     Jenna Truedson, 11            Bemidji                
5     Bailey Ness, 12               East Ridge                         
6     Bethany Hasz, 10              Alexandria             
7     Rachel King, 11               St Michael-Albertville 
8     Lizzy Heil, 9                 St Michael-Albertville
9     Anastasia Korzenowski, 9      Chanhassen                     
10    Anna Van Wyk, 11              Eagan                        
11   Emily Betz, 11                East Ridge             
12   Vivian Hett, 12               Burnsville

Sunday, September 22, 2013

All Minnesotans Finish in Top 11 at Fifth Avenue Mile; Meghan Peyton Seventh in USA 5K Championships

Garrett Heath led the Minnesota contingent at Sunday's Fifth Avenue Mile in the Big Apple with a third place finish in the men's race in 3:53.  Will Leer was fifth in 3:53.1 and Ben Blankenship finished 10th in 3:55.7.  TC Mile Champ Nick Willis won the race in 3:52.1.
Photo finish of men's mile

In the women's race Team USA Minnesota's Heather Kampf was eighth in 4:27.8 and her teammate Gabriele Anderson 11th in 4:29.  Full results are HERE. Picture of Heather and Gabe at the starting line is HERE.

Team USA Minnesota's Meghan Peyton came in seventh in the USA 5K Championships(eighth overall in the CVS Caremark Downtown 5K in Rhode Island) in 16:04.1.  Twin Cities Track Club's Joe Moore was 14th overall in 14:29.   Top  ten for men and women are HERE.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Results from the Milaca Mega Meet

Bemidji's Jenna Truedson broke her own meet record in the Class AAAA girls race.  Hutchinson's Isaiah Barlow broke Chaska's Joey Duerr's boys AAA record(Duerr did not run in this year's meet) by 12 seconds in 15:30.  They were the only meet records set this year as Minnesota runners won all eight varsity races.

Low scoring team was Minnehaha Academy, which won the boys' AA title with 54 points.  A total of seven boys in the four classes broke 16 minutes.  The two defending team champions from last year's Minnesota State Meet, Stillwater, which won the AAAA team competition in Milaca with 70 points, and Class A MSHSL champ Perham, which finished second in the Milaca AAAA race with 84 points.  Perham's Keegan Hurley won the Milaca AAAA individual race in 15:33.4.

Meet results are HERE (Click on results they go to the various races and click on each to get full results).

Peterson Fourth and Carlson Sixth in Cow Harbor 10K

Team USA Minnesota's Jonathan Peterson finished fourth and Andrew Carlson sixth in the Cow Harbor 10K on Saturday.  Peterson ran 29:54.5, 22.3 seconds behind winner Fernando Cabada.  Carlson's time was 30:26.1.  Twin Cities Track Club's Stephanie Price was 11th in the woman's race is 36:55.4. Race preview is HERE. Results are HERE(click on Results on the left side of the page, go to 2013 race results).

Friday, September 20, 2013

Goucher Not Running NYCM

Kara Goucher won't be running the ING New York City Marathon this year.  She writes about it in her blog HERE.

Minnesota Coach Goes Blue

University of Michigan men's track and field head coach Jerry Clayton announced the hiring of Steven Rajewsky (pronounced rah-jes-kee) as an assistant coach for the Wolverines. Rajewsky will oversee Michigan's sprinters and hurdlers.

"We are excited about the addition of Steve to our track and field program," said Clayton. "He will coordinate our recruiting and coach the sprints-hurdle and assist with the field events. Steve understands the team concept of track and field and has aided in seven conference championships during his career. He has experience in the Big Ten Conference and has had great success with the development of student-athletes under his tutelage."

Rajewsky is no stranger to Big Ten track and field, earning his start in Division I coaching as a volunteer assistant coach with the women's track and field program at the University of Minnesota from 2004-06. He concentrated on the Gophers' sprints, jumps, hurdles and multi-event groups. In 2006, he helped lead Minnesota to the Big Ten Outdoor championship, guiding six student-athletes to individual conference titles. He also directed three Big Ten Freshmen of the Year, five school record-holders, seven NCAA Championship qualifiers, six NCAA All-Americans and one NCAA champion (800-meter run).

The Blue Earth, MN native was a six-time All-MIAC performer and 2004 team captain of the University of St. Thomas men's track and field program. Rajewsky was a 2003 Provisional NCAA Championship qualifier and helped lead St. Thomas to eight MIAC team titles (indoor and outdoor championships from 2000-04). He graduated from St. Thomas in 2004 with a bachelor's degree in sociology and a teaching licensure in social studies.

Rajewsky joins the Wolverine staff after spending the past six seasons (2008-13) as an assistant coach at Kent State University, working with their men's and women's sprint and hurdles groups. During his time at KSU, he helped lead the Golden Flashes to eight Mid-American Conference (MAC) championships, including four straight women's outdoor titles (2010-13), three women's indoor crowns (2010, 2012-13) and the 2009 men's indoor championship.

Under Rajewsky's guidance, his student-athletes garnered three MAC Athlete of the Year citations and three MAC Indoor Track Performer of the Meet awards. In addition, he coached 28 MAC champions, 64 All-MAC performers, 11 school-record holders, 12 NCAA East Preliminary qualifiers, one NCAA Championship qualifier and three USA Junior Championship participants.

Prior to his stint at Kent State, Rajewsky served as the interim head coach at Ball State University from 2006-08, working with the Cardinals' jumps, hurdles and multi-event student-athletes. At Ball State Rajewsky's student-athletes recorded nine MAC individual titles, five school records, 19 All-MAC performances, seven NCAA Mid-East Regional qualifying performances and four NCAA Championship qualifying performances. Rajewsky guided two-time MAC record-holder Amber Williams to All-America honors in the 100-meter hurdles, a fourth-place finish at the USA Indoor Championships and participation at the 2007 USA Championships. During his time at Ball State, Rajewsky also earned his Master of Arts in sports administration for higher education in 2008.

Rajwesky has spoken at, and helped direct, several camps and clinics across the country in both track and field and basketball.