Ali, Zutz Lead Gophers at Griak Invitational
Obsa Ali
Sept. 26, 2015

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Griak Results | Men's Gold Results

FALCON HEIGHTS, Minn. (GopherSports.com) - Gophers Obsa Ali and Adam Zutz posted top-20 finishes on Saturday afternoon as the University of Minnesota hosted the 30th annual Roy Griak Invitational as Les Bolstad Golf Course.

Behind Ali and Zutz, the Gophers men's cross country program finished fifth in the Merrill Fischbein Men's Gold Competition with 107 points. Michigan State won the team title with 74 points while Southern Utah (88), Cal (94) and Colorado State (96) rounded out the top five.

All five scorers for the Gophers posted finishes among the top-30 participants for the eight-kilometer course on Saturday.

"Today was a great day for cross country and a great way to honor the memory of Roy Griak," Minnesota Director of Men's Track & Field and Cross Country Steve Plasencia said. "We had a real battle in our race today, and I think our guys went out and competed in a way that would have made Coach Griak proud."

A sophomore from Richfield, Minn., Ali improved both his time and finish from his Griak Invitational debut one year ago, clocking a 25:20.5 on Saturday to lead the Gophers with a 15th-place finish.

"We really wanted to do well for Coach Griak today," Ali said. "Every hill, every stride, we were just thinking, `this one's for Roy'."

A native of St. Francis, Minn., Zutz was close behind his teammate with a time of 25:24.0. The redshirt senior captain put together his best career finish at the Griak Invitational in his final appearance, placing 17th.

Aaron Bartnink, a redshirt senior captain from Eden Prairie, Minn., finished 21st with a time of 25:29.9 while Charlie Lawrence (25:38.0) and Matt Welch (25:41.1) closed out the Gophers scoring in 25th and 29th, respectively.

Sam Carlson (26:03.9, 50th), Riley Macon (51st, 26:04.5), Cole O'Brien (56th, 26:07.5), Wayde Hall (67th, 26:18.7) also ran for the Gophers on Saturday while freshmen Connor Olson (81st, 26:29.1), Evan Ferlic (138th, 27:18.4), Shane Streich (147th, 27:27.8), Joey Duerr (167th, 27:49.4) ran as unattached competitors.

Colorado State also boasted the top two individuals in the race including individual champion Jefferson Abbey, who clocked a 24:51.4 over the eight-kilometer course.

"As a team, our goal was to win. Finishing first and second is something (Jerrell Mock) and I dreamed about this summer," Abbey said. "The team ran really well, and collectively, we just trust each other and our coaches."

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