Gophers Open Season with Win at Oz Memorial Run
Sep 6, 2013
FALCON HEIGHTS, Minn. - The Minnesota men's cross country team listed five of the top seven finishers at the Oz Memorial Run including individual winner Steve Sulkin, who posted the Gophers' fastest time at the meet since 2009 on Friday at the Les Bolstad Golf Course.
Sulkin crossed the finish line in 19:17.7 to finish first overall and pace the Gophers contingency on Friday night. The senior overtook Joel Reichow of South Dakota State down the home stretch to give Minnesota its first individual winner at the Oz Memorial Run since Pieter Gagnon (19:04.58) in 2009.
The Gophers took first as a team on Friday with a total of 23 points in the five-team field, one point shy of Minnesota's team total in 2009 - the last time the program earned a team title at the meet. South Dakota State finished second at the meet with 50 points followed by Drake (76), Minnesota State (108) and North Dakota (110).
Redshirt freshman Troy Koivisto finished fourth overall with a time of 19:32.5 in his first career start as an attached runner for the Gophers while he also led a pack of four-straight finishers for the Maroon and Gold. Junior Blayne Dulian came in fifth with a time of 19:35.2, followed by sophomore Christian Skaret in sixth at 19:42.1 and redshirt freshman Cole O'Brien in seventh at 19:42.6. Redshirt freshman Riley Macon finished 16th overall and 13th among attached participants with at time of 19:59.5 but did not factor into Minnesota's team score.
Minnesota also featured four unattached freshmen runners in the top 20 at Friday's meet. Charlie Lawrence came in 11th with a time of 19:48.1, Eric Colvin finished 13th at 19:56.1, Wayde Hall finished 15th in 19:58.7 and Bradley Woodford came in 20th at 20:20.8.
The Gophers return to action later this month with the Roy Griak Invitational. The 28th annual running of the Griak is set for Saturday, Sept. 28 at the Les Bolstad Golf Course as part of Minnesota's homecoming festivities.