Despite the heat, Minnesota has three runners finish top-15

Madeline Strandemo was the team’s best finisher, coming in tenth.

Megan Hasz competes at the Roy Griak Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 23 at the Les Bolstad Golf Course in St. Paul.

Courtney Deutz

Megan Hasz competes at the Roy Griak Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 23 at the Les Bolstad Golf Course in St. Paul.

Anthony Bryant

The weather on Saturday caused havoc at the Roy Griak Invitational, but three Minnesota runners fought through it together. Minnesota had three runners finish in the top 15 for the six-kilometer scorcher, all within a few seconds of each other.

With temperatures reaching around 90 degrees, No. 19 Gophers took third place at the Roy Griak Invitational at Les Bolstad Golf Course. 

“It was a hot day. A lot of conditions played into the race today,” said head coach Sarah Hopkins. “Some people get affected by the heat a little more than others.”

Madeline Strandemo seemed unaffected.

Strandemo led the Gophers in 10th place out of 188 runners with a time of 21:47.1, the first top-10 finish at the Griak for the Gophers since Laura Docherty took fourth place in 2012.

“My game plan was to go out a little more conservatively than I usually do,” Strandemo said. “I’ve been telling people I had a great 5,900 kilometers, and the last 100 I kind of lost a bit due to the heat.”

Bethany Hasz (21:51.6) followed right behind Strandemo with an 11th-place finish, while her sister Megan Hasz (21:54.2) took 13th place.

Other standouts included Bailey Ness (22:25.1) and Courtney Alama (22:32.6) who came in 24th and 27th to finish in scoring positions for the Gophers.

No. 8 San Francisco dominated the event, ending with the top four runners and a first place overall finish in the team standings with 22 points. No. 23 Iowa State (72 points) finished second, while Minnesota (85), No. 20 Michigan State (91) and South Dakota (208) rounded out the top five.

Next week the Gophers will send their top runners to Kentucky for the Louisville Classic 5K Sept. 30, while the rest of the team will run in the UW-Eau Claire Blugold Invite Sept. 29.

“I think we can be better,” Hopkins said. “I thought it was a B plus race today, and we’ll try and get that A plus race coming up in the next month.”