FALCON HEIGHTS, Minn. — After a year absence, the Roy Griak Invitational returned in thrilling fashion on Friday as the No. 10 University of Minnesota women’s cross country team captured its sixth overall title and second in the last three runnings of one of the nation’s top cross country competitions.
The 35th Roy Griak Invitational also saw the University of Minnesota men’s team finish fourth behind a trio of nationally ranked opponents at Les Bolstad Golf Course.
The No. 10 Gophers put on a show for their first win of the season, placing four runners in the top 10 of the Jack Johnson Women’s Gold (DI) Race to total 51 points in the winning effort.
Minnesota finished 30 points ahead of No. 30 Iowa State in second while Tennessee and Liberty each totaled 100 points and No. 6 Michigan State finished fifth at 101 points.
Bethany Hasz paced the Maroon & Gold in fourth place at 21:02.2 while Abby Kohut-Jackson came in fifth at 21:04.4. The back-to-back Gopher finishes were repeated quickly as Megan Hasz clocked a time of 21.10.2 to place ninth while Anastasia Korzenowski came across the finish line next in 10th at 21:11.7. Jaycie Thomsen was the final scorer for Minnesota with a 23rd-place finish and a time of 21:50.5.
Cailie Logue of Iowa State won the individual crown at 20:57.9 to give the Cyclones their second-ever Griak Invitational champion in the race after Betsy Saina in 2012.
Alec Basten led the Maroon & Gold men’s team with a 10th-place finish in the Merrill Fischbein Men’s Gold (DI) Race at the Griak Invitational while Jack Manderscheid and Matt Wilkinson also finished among the top-20 in 17th and 20th, respectively.
Basten’s time of 24:51.2 was quickly followed by Manderscheid at 25:02.3 and Wilkinson at 25:05.8. Owen Hoeft clocked a time of 25:23.2 to place 35th and Khalid Hussein came in 64th (55th among scorers) with a time of 25:50.5 to round out the scoring for the University of Minnesota.
The Gophers finished fourth in the team competition with 137 points behind No. 3 BYU with 34, No. 10 Iowa State with 35 points and No. 26 Michigan State with 86 points.
Along with its third Griak team title (2005, 2013), BYU also won the individual title for the fourth time at the Griak as Conner Mantz clocked a 25:53.9 — the ninth fastest time ever at the race and the fifth fastest time by a winning runner.
“It was an awesome day! We always love the Griak, and I think not having it last year makes you appreciate it even more. It’s great to have it back, let’s enjoy it,” Minnesota head cross country coach Sarah Hopkins said. “Obviously it went pretty well across the board. It was great to have so many people out and to have fans out. It makes it feel like regular cross country again.”