Over the Homecoming weekend, the DSU men’s cross country team traveled up to St. Paul, Minnesota for the Roy Griak Invitational. Andy Coy, Nic Penning, Andy Quenzer, and Taylor Hauge ran for the Trojan team, as Michael Hoffman and Matthew Fideler ran the race unattached. More than 30 teams and 401 runners ran the hilly University of Minnesota Les Bolstad Golf Course. The winning team was Colorado Springs with a score of 93 and the winner of the race was Emilio Trujillo from Colorado Springs with a time of 25:22.6.
Andy Coy finished 40th running the course in 26:33.0. Nic Penning finished next placing 160th and finishing with a time of 27:55.1. With a time of 29:49.1 Freshman Taylor Hauge came in 308th, and rounding it out for the Trojans was Andy Quenzer completing the race in 31:07.1 and placing 358th. Matt Fideler finished 22nd with 26:07.1 and Michael Hoffman got 140th and ran a 27:41.8.
When asked the benefits of big races like this, Coach Anthony Drealan commented, “We began going to the Roy Griak Invitational in 2009 because we had our strongest men’s team in several years, and had a chance to qualify for the NAIA National Cross Country Championships as a team, which we ended up doing successfully. Going to Roy Griak is the perfect simulator for national meet experience. Most of our athletes rarely run in such a large field that is ultra competitive like Roy Griak. I believe that taking athletes to Roy Griak better prepares them to be competitive at the national meet, and they learn how to run in such a large pack successfully.”
Coach Drealan also shared his thoughts on the race, “We looked a little flat this weekend at Roy Griak and didn’t have our best performance there. We are five weeks into a long cross country season, and the workouts and mileage are taking effect in fatiguing our men. I think that we are very fit, but the flip side of being fit is that as athletes, you are constantly riding that fine line of over-training. I believe after some adjustments in our training, we will cut significant time off of our 8K times. It is a long season, and our goal is to be at our fastest at the end of the season, which requires us to run a little tired at this time of the season. We didn’t have a bad performance, but I know that each of our men are faster than their times indicated.”
Back in Madison, the Trojan women’s team competed in the Homecoming 5K. The Trojans had 3 that placed in the top ten with Summer Bronson leading the charge by finishing 7th with a time of 22:03.9. Following her was Kayla Sveen running a 25:05.05 and placed 8th. Then it was Stephanie Uher got 9th place by running a time of 22:08.03. Brooke Fritz got 11th in 22:32.08, Anastasia Asmiakopoulos ran 22:54.01 and placed 12th, and ending the pack was Amber Wiebenga by placing 13th finishing in 22:56.02.
Coach Drealan said, “Our women ran terrific as a pack this weekend, and our gap from our number 1 to 5 runners is very good. As we get into our last 3 meets, hopefully we can drop our times as a pack, and we will be competitive.”
The Trojans will head to the Blair Cliff Invite at McCook Lakes next Saturday.
Featured photo: There is no photo available from either Saturday’s meets, so here is a photo of the DSU women from earlier in the year. As always, we thank the folks at DSU Athletics for allowing us to use photos that we have no way of obtaining otherwise.