FALCON HEIGHTS, Mich. – The Michigan Tech Cross Country Teams competed at the Roy Griak Invitational hosted by the University of Minnesota Saturday, Sept. 23 at Les Bolstad Golf Course. Two Huskies cracked the top 20 of the Division II runners; Emily Byrd and Matt Pahl.
The Roy Griak includes six collegiate races and is among one of the largest meets in the country. Today's conditions were far from ideal, with a 90+ degree heat index. There were 61 women's teams and 60 men's teams across the board.
"This was a great test of our poise today dealing with the heat and the number in each race," said Tech coach Jake Isaacson. "Our women continue to impress me each week, and today was awesome to see them compete well with the best teams in Division II."
In a field of 392 runners and out of 41 teams, the Michigan Tech women's cross country team placed 12th overall in the 6k race of the Division II attendees. Leading for the Huskies, was sophomore Emily Byrd, securing 11th place overall. Byrd hit the line at 22.58.8. Following Byrd, in the top five women's finishers were Liz Bloch (51st, 23:53.4), Emily Vigil (84th, 24:26.7), Julia Manzano (140th, 25:35.3) and Katherine Schneider (144th, 25:38.9).
"Our men were very solid through 6k, but we faded a bit towards the end," Isaacson added. "With six freshmen in our top-10 that may be expected, but we have our goals set and we need to focus on continuing to get better."
Junior, Matt Pahl led the Huskies pack in 15th place in the 8k competition with a time of 26:35. Brendan Klynstra finished second for the Huskies in 92nd place at 27:39, followed by Luke Moore (116th, 28:08), Grant Brown (125th, 28:12) and Robert Beggs (162nd, 28:40).
"This was a great experience for our athletes to get some big stage race experience, and we'll build on these races to be ready for October," said Isaacson.
The Huskies are back on the road next weekend for the Bay College Invite Saturday, Sept. 30th in Escanaba, Mich.