Sept. 29, 2012
Women's Maroon III
The UW-Eau Claire backed up its 2011 Griak Invitational title with another win today. The Blugolds were led by race runner-up Ashlyn Mauer (22:03.2).
Linda Keller of Minnesota Morris was runner-up at last year's Griak, but this year she was second to no one. The Cougar senior crossed the finish line with a time of 21:48.9.
Wartburg's Alana Enabit led for most of the race, and ended up finishing third (22:05.4). Keller took the lead about 2.5 miles into the race. Mauer overtook Enabit around the last 300 meters of the race to finish with a time of 22:03.2.
"Last year I pushed the pace the first mile, so I was in the lead for a while," Keller said. "It was nice to have the moment of being first, but I eventually paid for it because I started too quick. This year, I had more of a controlled start, increasing as I went. It paid off."
Women’s Maroon II
Colorado Springs took this year’s Maroon II title, led by top-10 finishers Megan Burrell (seventh) and Angie Martell (10th).
Dani Stack, last year’s Gold Race champion, took top individual honors. Stack exhausted her cross country eligibility at Iowa State, and competed unattached today. She finished in 21:46.
A pack of seven runners led the race for first kilometer and a half. Stack pulled away around two-kilometer mark. Runner-up Melissa Agnew of the University of Mary pulled away from the pack later in the race.
“The strategy was basically to feel good,” Stack said. “I started out a little conservative and picked it up the last couple kilometers. I think I was able to accomplish it, but I could have done a little bit better."
Men's Maroon III
UW-La Crosse, last year’s runner-up, won the team championship. Individual runner-up Josh Kaul (25:38.3) led a trio of top-10 finishers that also included Josh Dedering (fifth) and Tom Linner (ninth).
UW-Stout’s Tim Nelson won the race with a time of 25:32.9. The Blue Devil senior was about 20 runners back until he made his move around the five-kilometer mark. Kaul was also back a ways before moving up at about the same time as Nelson. Kaul finished second (25:38.3).
“My plan really did not have to do with me,” Nelson said. “It had to do with my team. I was trying to get them into the top 20. Around the five-kilometer mark my coach gave me the go-ahead to see if I could catch the leaders. So, honestly my number one priority was just to get my teammates going thru five kilometers.”
Men's Maroon II
Colorado Springs took both the team and individual titles today. All five of the Mountain Lions’ scorers finished in the top 39.
Sophomore Emilio Trujillo won the race with a time of 25:22.6. He and runner-up Phillip Miller (25:34.4) of Southwest Baptist led for most of the race.
Lakehead’s Dylan Brown was behind at the five-kilometer mark and caught up to take lead until the last kilometer, when the first pair caught up and pulled away in the last 300 meters.
“I wanted to throw it down in the last 1,000 meters,” Trujillo said. I have had a lot of practice running up the hills of Colorado, so I thought I would take it. I feel the course was just right. Running the hills at the five-kilometer mark and six-kilometer mark were difficult. I stayed steady through the hills and once I got through those, I picked the pace up to get to the finish line.”
High School Boys' Gold
Dowling Catholic, last year’s boys’ runner-up, came away with the team trophy this year. The Maroon effort was led by 15th, 16th, and 17th-place finishers in Spencer Clark, Jeff Derocher, and Jason Thomas.
Bismarck senior Jake Leingang won his second straight individual title by one second over Brookfield’s Carl Hirsch, with a time of 15:42.4. Bismarck finished second in the team standings.
“I knew that (it was going to be harder to win a second time) coming in, so I tried to prepare the best I could,” Leingang said. “It was a great race, and I am glad I won.”
High School Girls' Gold
Naperville North won the girls’ team competition with its five scoring runners in the top 50. Junior Maria McDaniel led the team with an eighth-place finish (18:57.5).
Shakopee senior Maria Hauger took top individual honors with a time of 17:50.0. Shawnee Mission West’s Alli Cash and Eagan’s Danielle Anderson finished second and third, respectively.
“I knew it was going to be a tough race,” Hauger said. “I knew the race was going to go out fast. I just wanted to stay with the leaders. I was prepared and kept going. I was running as hard as I could at the end. I felt like my heart was going to burst.”
High School Boys' Maroon
Monticello won the Boys’ Maroon team championship. Junior Derek Secord was the team’s top finisher in 11th place.
Richfield junior Obsa Ali won by 51 seconds with a time of 16:17. Emmett Stifler of Wasau East and Reed Parent of Rogers finished second and third, respectively.
“I was just trying to stay with the leaders,” Ali said. “They were going kind of slow, so I just took off. Right at the four-kilometer mark, I thought I should just go.”
High School Girls’ Maroon
Notre Dame East claimed this year’s Girls’ Maroon team championship. All five of the team’s scorers finished in the top 36, with Olivia Letter leading the way in 11th.
White Bear Lake junior Bethany Kozak took top individual honors with a time of 19:08. Morgan Florsheim of Shorewood and Hannah Oscarson of Minneapolis Washburn followed in second and third.
“I wanted to go out at a pace comfortable for me,” Kozak said. “(My coach) said to find my edge and break when you feel it is time to go. That was right around the four-kilometer mark for me.”
Gophers Earn Top-20 NCAA Finish
Minnesota finished 18th in the team race for its highest NCAA finish since 2009.
Berkholtz Honored By USATF Minnesota
Senior Liz Berkholtz was named the USATF Minnesota Female Athlete of the Month for October.
No. 23 Gophers Head to NCAA Championship
Fifth-year seniors Liz Berkholtz and Kaila Urick lead Minnesota into its 11th-straight NCAA Championship this weekend.