Cross Country Shows Well at Griak Invitational

Abigail Busse
Sept. 26, 2015

Men's Results Get Acrobat Reader | Women's Results Get Acrobat Reader

MINNEAPOLIS – The Marquette University men’s and women’s cross country teams competed at the 30th Annual Roy Griak Invitational hosted by the University of Minnesota Saturday afternoon, Sept. 26, finishing 18th and 16th, respectively, at the meet held at the Les Bolstad Golf Course.

“We had set a strategy of going out cautiously and then moving up throughout the race,” head coach Mike Nelson said. “I felt like both sides moved up very well and executed our race plan to perfection.”

The Marquette men were able to put four runners inside of their top finishing time from a year ago at this race. The Golden Eagles were led by sophomore Alec Miller, who placed 72nd overall with a time of 26:24.

Following through with the strategy, Miller ran the first kilometer relatively slow and was in 158th place at that juncture. He was 165th at the one-mile marker and turned it on down the stretch, passing over 40 runners over the final two kilometers to place in the top-75.

He was followed by senior William Hennessy, who bounced back after a so-so outing at Notre Dame last week to take 103rd with a time of 26:56. He passed roughly 65 runners over his final five kilometers to complete a strong outing.

Freshmen Jon Klaiber (26:58) and Brad Eagan (27:02) were close behind in 104th and 108th, respectively. Nelson said Klaiber dealt with some heat issues and grinded out the final kilometer of the race to hang on for a tough finish.

“It was a step in the right direction and we still have much room to improve,” Nelson said of his team’s finish. “William (Hennessy) had a really great race and Jon (Klaiber) and Brad (Eagan) showed just another really impressive performance by the freshmen today.”

Juniors Nate Gomoll and Cody Haberkorn, as well as senior Patrick Campbell, represented Marquette’s fifth through seventh runners with strong races.

“On the women’s side, we wanted to use a similar strategy as we did with in the men’s race,” Nelson said. “The course was very challenging with rolling hills throughout and parts were muddy. I knew times weren’t going to be particularly great, so I asked the girls to go out conservatively to start and then move up because I knew a lot of runners would go out fast and then fall back.”

Junior Brittney Feivor and the rest of the team carried out the strategy to perfection in the six-kilometer course. Feivor crossed the finish line in 42nd place with a time of 22:38 and made up more than 60 spots over the final three kilometers in another impressive outing.

Sophomore Jennifer Parker was once again not far behind, taking 80th with a time of 23:15 after sitting 123rd after three kilometers.

Nelson said he was very pleased with the efforts of senior Kayla Spencer and junior Clare McDonald, who placed third and fourth on the team and 103rd and 113th overall, respectively.

Freshman Nora Keller came in fifth for the Golden Eagles and 125th overall with a time of 24:01, while sophomore Abigail Busse (24:33) and senior Nicole Ethier (24:46) weren’t far behind.

“Abby Busse ran a really smart race,” Nelson said. “She moved up well and probably put together her best cross country race ever and best 6K race ever. She has dealt with some setbacks throughout her career, so to come out and put together her best performance at such a challenging course was really nice to see.”

After two straight weeks of competition, the Golden Eagles will be off until Oct. 16, when they head to Peoria, Illinois to take part in the Bradley Classic.




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