Gophers Set to Host 2013 Griak Invitational

Go Gophers! Coach Roy Griak
Go Gophers!
Coach Roy Griak
Go Gophers!

Sept. 23, 2013

2013 Griak Invitational

MINNEAPOLIS – The Golden Gopher cross country program is set to host the 28th annual Roy Griak Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 28 at Les Bolstad Golf Course in Falcon Heights. One of the largest meets in the country, the Griak includes six collegiate races and four high school races and begins with the Suzy Wilson Women's Maroon III (Division III) Competition at 9 a.m.

The No. 19 Gopher women’s cross country team races in the Jack Johnson Gold (Division I) Competition at 1:10 p.m.

"The Griak is an opportunity for us to bring a lot of high-caliber athletes to our campus, which is awesome," head coach Sarah Hopkins said. "To have a cross country meet that’s this high quality up and down the line from Division I, Division II, Division III and high school – I really think it’s cross country at its finest. We try to make it not just a meet, but almost like a carnival. Everybody has a good time, and it’s a really big deal for a lot of people.

"Having the meet in honor of Roy is really special. He’s done so much for the sport of cross country and for the university. To honor him with the meet is awesome."

The 2013 edition of the Jack Johnson Women’s Gold Race features 26 teams, including some of the nation’s top Division I cross country runners. The field includes eight teams that competed in the 2012 NCAA Championship, seven teams from last year’s Griak Invitational and three 2012 conference championship teams. Nearly 350 runners will take part in the 6-kilometer race.

Griak Invitational
Date Saturday, September 28, 2013
Location Les Bolstad Course, Falcon Heights, Minn.
Schedule Maroon Women's III, 6K, 9 a.m.
Maroon Women's II, 6K, 9:50 a.m.
Maroon Men's III, 8K, 10:40 a.m.
Maroon Men's II, 8K, 11:30 a.m.
Merrill Fischbein Gold Men's, 8K, 12:20 p.m.
Jack Johnson Gold Women's, 6K, 1:10 p.m.
Goldy's Kids Run, 1:45 p.m.
Larry Zirgebel Gold HS Boys, 5K, 2 p.m.
Gold HS Girls, 5K, 2:50 p.m.
Maroon HS Boys, 5K, 3:40 p.m.
Maroon HS Girls, 5K, 4:30 p.m.
Live Video Flotrack Video
Women's Gold Teams Minnesota, Adams State, Arizona, Arizona State, Butler, Central Michigan, Colorado State, Creighton, Drake, Florida Gulf Coast, Georgia, Grand Valley State, Iowa, Iowa State, Michigan State, Missouri, Nevada, North Carolina State, Northern Illinois, South Carolina, South Dakota, South Dakota State, Syracuse, Vanderbilt, Weber State and Wyoming
Men's Gold Teams Minnesota, Adams State, Arizona, Arizona State, Brigham Young, Central Michigan, Colorado State, Creighton, Drake, Florida Gulf Coast, Georgia, Grand Valley State, Iowa, Lewis, Michigan State, Missouri, North Carolina State, Oklahoma, South Dakota, South Dakota State, Weber State and Wyoming

Last Time Out: Docherty Leads Gophers at Oz Memorial
Minnesota claimed 22 of the top 25 places to win the 2013 Oz Memorial Run at Les Bolstad Course on Sept. 6. Senior Laura Docherty (St. Paul, Minn.) paced the field in 21:48.0, winning her second-straight Oz Memorial title after claiming the 2012 crown in 21:31.4. Junior Molly Kayfes (Maple Grove, Minn.) followed close behind (21:54.7), and senior Maggie Bollig (Cross Plains, Wis.) rounded out the top three in 22:01.9.

Becca Dyson (Roseville, Minn.), Liz Berkholtz (Sun Prairie, Wis.), Katie Moraczewski (White Bear Lake, Minn), and Kelli Budd (Omaha, Neb.) rounded out the top seven places to give the Gophers a perfect team score of 15. At the Oz, Minnesota faced South Dakota State (67 points), Drake (74), North Dakota (112) and Minnesota State (121).

Minnesota’s only other competition this season was the Intrasquad Meet on Aug. 30. Kayfes won the 5K in 18:24.88, followed by Docherty (18:27.54) and Bollig (18:33.96).

Gopher Lead Midwest Region
Minnesota is the top-ranked Midwest Region team, ahead of Big Ten Conference foes Northwestern (fifth), Illinois (14th) and Iowa (15th). Oklahoma State and Iowa State round out the top three teams, respectively. The Gophers are currently No. 20 in the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) National Coaches Poll as well.

Nationally-Ranked Griak Field
Ten of the 26 teams in this year’s Griak field received attention in this week's USTFCCCA Division I national coaches poll, including No. 5 Arizona, No. 12 Michigan State, No. 19 Minnesota, No. 20 Vanderbilt, No. 21 North Carolina State, No. 26 Iowa State and No. 29 Butler, along with three teams that received votes in the poll: Weber State (15), Syracuse (12) and Georgia (3).

2012 Griak Rewind: Jack Johnson Gold Division
The Gopher women finished third overall at the 2012 Griak, led by Docherty’s fourth place finish. Docherty beat out Iowa's Mareike Schrulle for fourth place at the end of the race. All five Gopher scorers finished in the top 30. Kayfes took 11th in 21:38.5, and Ashlie Decker (17th), Moraczewski (24th), and Drake (30th) rounded out Minnesota's top five.

Iowa State took both the team and individual titles last season, and Weber State finished second. Both squads joined the Gophers in qualifying for the 2012 NCAA Championship and return for the 2013 Griak.

Roy Griak 50-Year Celebration
The "M" Club and the University of Minnesota athletics department will honor coach Roy Griak for his 50 years (and counting) of dedication and service to Golden Gopher Athletics. The celebration will take place on Thursday, Sept. 26 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the DQ Club Room at TCF Bank Stadium.

The evening will consist of hors d'oeuvres and a cash bar, as well as a short program. Cost is $15 for active "M" Club members and $20 for the general public.

About the Griak Invitational
The meet is named for legendary Gopher coach Roy Griak, who retired from coaching in 1996. Griak served as Minnesota's cross country and track & field coach for 33 years from 1963-1996. During that time, he led the Golden Gophers to Big Ten cross country titles in 1964 and 1969. His 1968 cross country squad finished second at the Big Ten meet and placed fourth at the NCAA Championships. Griak added a Big Ten track and field title to his resume in 1968.

In addition to three Big Ten titles, his cross country squads produced three second-place and seven third-place finishes in league meets. Overall, he coached a total of 47 cross country and track and field All-Americans during his tenure, including three NCAA champions. His athletes collected 60 Big Ten Conference individual titles as well. Griak still serves as administrative assistant to the program, and still attends the meet named for him.

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