Women repeat at Griak

The Minnesota womenâÄôs cross country team successfully defended its Roy Griak Invitational title on Saturday after posting a winning score of 31 points âÄî the lowest score the Gophers have ever recorded at the Griak. After an illness sidelined her earlier this week, junior Megan Duwell broke up what would have been a one-two-three finish by Arizona State to grab the runner-up finish in a time of 21:26. âÄúIt started out as a cold and ended up getting worse, so I was frustrated having to miss a couple days of practice,âÄù Duwell said âÄùBut I ended up recovering just in time, so I feel really lucky and blessed that I was able to recover and feel good today.âÄù Arizona State and Minnesota combined for the top six finishes and nine of the top 13, but four top-10 finishes gave the Gophers all they would need to clinch the team title. âÄúWe saw [Arizona StateâÄôs] group of three pass us around the [three-kilometer mark] and I think all of us Gophers up front knew that wasnâÄôt what we wanted to have happen,âÄù Duwell said. âÄúWe just focused on the back of their jerseys and tried to attack them and break that up, and thatâÄôs exactly what we did.âÄù Senior Gabriele Anderson took fourth âÄî one position and four seconds in front of teammate and junior Jamie Cheever. Junior Heather Dorniden posted a time of 21:43 to place ninth in her first official race of the season, while junior Mallory Van Ness rounded out the Gophers in 11th place. Arizona StateâÄôs Kari Hardt took individual honors with a time of 21:19. Men take fourth In his first event of the season, sophomore Hassan Mead didnâÄôt disappoint The Gophers runner finished second Saturday at the Griak with a time of 24:08 while Minnesota repeated their fourth-place finish from one year ago. âÄúYou really have to come out and race well and being the first race of the season, it went well,âÄù Mead said. âÄúIt went very well.âÄù Mead, however, couldnâÄôt contend with AuburnâÄôs Elkanah Kibet, who built a large cushion from the rest of the field to cruise to the individual title in a time of 23:56. âÄúI kind of laid back for the first two miles and from there I really took off,âÄù Kibet said. âÄúThat was my plan coming in and it really seemed to work.âÄù Minnesota senior Chris Rombough finished 13th after posting a third-place finish last year, while Division II Adams State took the team title in the Gold race with three runners in the top 11. âÄúWe hadnâÄôt let [Adams State] into the Divison I race before and [this year] we did and look what happened,âÄù Minnesota menâÄôs cross country coach Steve Plasencia said. âÄùI donâÄôt know if weâÄôll let them in again next year.âÄù