The Minnesota men’s cross country team finished fourth in the Roy Griak Inviational’s Gold Race at the Les Bolstad Course in Falcon Heights, Minn., on Saturday. The Golden Gophers enjoyed impressive outings from their top two runners, Chris Rombough and Hassan Mead, but didn’t have the team depth to move up in the standings.
Rombough posted a third-place finish in a time of 24:29.9, marking the highest a Gopher individual has ever placed at the prestigious Griak Invitational. Previously, the highest a Gopher finished was sixth by Andrew Carlson in 2004. Mead, a true freshman, matched Carlson’s finish of sixth, running his first collegiate Griak in a clocking of 24:32.3.
The Gophers’ third and fourth runners posted solid finishes as well with Forrest Tahdooahnippah crossing the finish line in 24:56.4 for 19th place and Matt Barrett in 25:01.6 for 22nd place. The Gophers dropped in the team results due to sophomore Mike Torchia, Minnesota’s No. 5 finisher in the BYU meet earlier this season, missing the meet with a leg injury.
“I was very pleased with how our top four runners competed today,” said Golden Gopher head coach Steve Plasencia. “We would have been in a great position to contend for the team title had Torchia been able to go today.”
With Torchia out, Minnesota scored Ben Kampf’s 57th-place finish in the team score. Kampf posted a time of 25:43.2.
Northern Arizona used a 1-2 individual finish to power the Lumberjacks to the team title with 84 points, edging Arizona State’s runner-up tally of 88. Junior All-American Lopex Lmong captured medalist honors with a winning time of 24:04.2. Freshman teammate David McNeill was second in 24:26.5.