Sept. 23, 2017
FALCON HEIGHTS, Minn. - The No. 19 Golden Gopher women's cross country team placed three runners in the top 15 and all five scoring runners among the top 30 to secure a podium finish in third place at the Roy Griak Invitational at Les Bolstad Course on Saturday.
Minnesota's top three runners finished within eight seconds and four places of one another. Madeline Strandemo led the Gophers in 10th place overall in 21:47.1 followed by Bethany Hasz on Strandemo's heels in 21:51.6 for 11th. Megan Hasz came in 13th in 21:54.2.
Bailey Ness (22:25.1) and Courtney Alama (22:32.6) came in 24th and 27th, respectively, to round out Minnesota's scoring runners in a field of 188 finishers at the 32nd annual Griak Invitational, where runners faced temperatures near 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
"We had a good day today at Griak," head coach Sarah Hopkins said. "It was a hot day. A lot of conditions played into the race today, but I thought we managed that really well. There's always a little extra pressure at our home meet, so I thought maybe we were a little bit tight sometimes.
"Overall, we put three in the top 15," Hopkins continued. "Our four and five really stepped up today. We had a much smaller gap from four to five than we've had for a long time, and I thought that was really impressive. Courtney Alama did a really nice job for us at five."
No. 8 San Francisco cruised to the team title with the top four overall individuals in Weronika Pyzik (21:09.2), Charlotte Taylor (21:11.4), Isabelle Brauer (21:30.3), and Marie Bouchard (21:30.3). The Dons scored 22 points to finish ahead of runner-up and national No. 23 Iowa State with 72 points. No. 19 Minnesota scored 85 points in third, followed by No. 20 Michigan State (91 points) and South Dakota (208 points) in the top five.
"We ended up third; we ended up with a trophy, which is always nice," Hopkins said. "We ended up right in the hunt for second. I think it was a really close race. Second, third, and fourth were all really close, which is what the rankings show right now nationally."
Strandemo's 10th-place showing was the first top-10 individual finish by a Gopher since Laura Docherty took fourth overall in 2012.
The Gophers will split the squad for a pair of meets next weekend. Minnesota's top runners will travel to Louisville, Ky., for the Louisville Classic 5K on Saturday, Sept. 30 while the rest of the team competes locally at the UW-Eau Claire Blugold Invite on Friday, Sept. 29.
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Griak Jack Johnson Women's Gold Team Results
1. San Francisco, 22
2. Iowa State, 72
3. Minnesota, 85
4. Michigan State, 91
5. South Dakota, 208
10. Madeline Strandemo, 21:47.1
11. Bethany Hasz, 21:51.6
13. Megan Hasz, 21:54.2
24. Bailey Ness, 22:24.6
27. Courtney Alama, 22:32.6
35. Zetta Mason, 22:45.1
43. Patty O'Brien, 22:49.4
49. Emily Betz, 22:54.9
52. Abby Kohut-Jackson, 22:58.3
63. Molly Eastman, 23:13.4
73. Jaycie Thomsen (UA), 23:22.2
84. Elyse Prescott (UA), 23:35.0
88. Abby Lange, 23:38.6
100. Carissa Dock, 23:58.7
105. Kelli Schmidt, 24:04.1
113. Anastasia Korzenowski (UA), 24:11.7
115. Maria Eastman (UA), 24:12.6
124. Ally Smith, 24:26.1
131. Sarah Werking, 24:35.6
133. Sarah Klecker, 24:38.3
135. Bit Klecker (UA), 24:41.6
139. Sophie Schmitz (UA), 24:53.8
140. Tate Sweeney (UA), 24:55.1
154. Paige Peschel, 25:16.1
173. Abby Kargol, 25:54.0
175. Samantha Prouty, 26:00.1
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