NORTHFIELD, Minn. – The Michigan Tech men's and women's cross country teams both ran strong meets on Saturday at the St. Olaf Invitational. The women were sixth (1:59:42.0) in the 6k meet out of 23 teams while the men placed second (2:11:36.0) in a field of 20 teams at the 8k race.
"The men had an outstanding day today finishing second in front of Minnesota-Duluth and Minnesota State who are both ranked regionally," Head Coach Joe Haggenmiller said. "This was a real exciting team result for the men and it was an outstanding race for Matt Pahl. For a sophomore to come here and finish in the top five was a great accomplishment for him. We had great efforts as well from Jason Saliga, Kyle Hanson, and Daniel Kulas coming through with top 20 finishes and that was big for us. The times may not look all that impressive, but with the course soggy from rain it slowed the field down. For us to have nine runners in the top 50 is a really good day with this competition."
Pahl led the charge for the Huskies, placing fourth overall with a time of 25:49.0. He was only a few seconds off the pace of Darin Lau of Wisconsin-Eau Claire who won the individual championship with a time of 25:27.0. Saliga followed Pahl landing in 10th place with a time of 26:08.0 in his first competition of the season. Hanson crossed the line in 13th position recording a time of 26:14.0 while Kulas ended the day 19th by covering the 8k course in 26:30.0.
Grant Brown had a strong race for the Tech men and had the fifth best team time when he hit the line in 26:57.0 to round out the team scoring. Marcus Shamburg (43rd 27:13.0), Nate Carey (46th, 27:16.), Corey Zeutzius (49th, 27:24.0), and Brendan Klynstra (50th, 27:24.0) rounded out the field of top 50 finishers for Tech in the field of 296 total competitors
"I think the guys from top to bottom all battled hard and had some good races," Haggenmiller added. "It really shows how their training has been paying off."
"On the women's side, it was a very competitive field as well and I'm happy with the way they ran and the finish they turned in," Haggenmiller said. "We had two runners in the top 20 with Sophia Farquhar and Emily Byrd competing well in a very tough field. Sonja Hedblom and Emily Vigil had some solid races and it was an exciting day for our team."
Farquhar logged a sixth place finish thanks to a time of 22:51.0 on Saturday followed by Byrd who crossed the line in 16th place after turning in a time of 23:36.0. Hedblom was 41st by covering the course in 24:15.0 and Vigil landed in the top 50 at number 48 with a time of 24:24.0. Saturday's field on the women's side had 378 runners.
Amanda Kautzer rounded out the top five for Michigan Tech in 62nd place with a time of 24:39.0. Carly Huggins (86th, 24:57.0), Julia Manzano (115, 25:25.0), and Robyn Holmes (124, 25:35.0) all had solid races as well.
"It was a fun day for our cross country teams and a great day to be a Husky," Haggenmiller said. "We took advantage of having a chance to race against good competition so I'm excited about how we competed and we'll look forward to building on this and having some more great results in the future."
Michigan Tech will be back on the course on Saturday September 30th at the Wisconsin-Eau Claire Blugold Invitational.