IOWA CITY, Iowa — The University of Iowa men’s and women’s cross country teams competed in the 31st annual Roy Griak Invitational on Saturday afternoon in Minneapolis.
The men’s team competed in the 8,000-meters for the second time this season while the women stepped up their distance and raced in the 6,000-meters for the first time.
The men raced first, placing 15th overall out of 29 teams. Senior Ben Anderson crossed the finish line first for the Hawkeyes in 34th place with a time of 25:50. It was the second time this season he has led the team.
“We need this experience,” UI coach Randy Hasenbank said. “The men finished in the middle of the field, but I did not feel that we ran all that well as a team. It was a very challenging course and we were all over the map with our lineup. Ben Anderson ran a terrific race and Nathan Mylenek continues to impress.”
In familiar fashion, junior Michael Melchert finished behind Anderson in 56th place, clocking in a time of 25:50.
Senior Kevin Docherty and sophomore Ian Eklin returned to their hometown track at the Griak Invite. Docherty made his season debut, finishing with a time of 27:32 while Eklin recorded a time of 27:58.
The women placed 24th in the 6,000-meters in a crowded 34 team race.
“On the women’s side, we may have been a bit overwhelmed with the depth and quality of the meet,” Hasenbank said. “Tess and Andi raced well but I think the ladies would agree that we had a very average meet which leaves a lot of room for improvement.”
Tess Wilberding led Iowa for the third straight race, placing 94th with a time of 23:23. After recording a personal best at the ISU Invite, sophomore Andrea Shine was the second Iowa runner to finish, placing 101st overall with a time of 23:27.
The Hawkeyes return to Iowa City on October 1st for the Regional Preview. The first race is set for 8:30 a.m. (CT) at the Ashton Cross Country Course.