Bartnik paces Minnesota to third place

Redshirt junior Aaron Bartnik finished the Griak eighth overall.

Aidan Coleman

Despite humid weather, the Gophers performed well at the Roy Griak Invitational on Saturday.

Minnesota finished third overall, led by a strong performance from redshirt junior Aaron Bartnik.

Bartnik, who was the Gophers’ top finisher at both the Griak and the UC Riverside Invitational, said he was happy to be running well.

“Aaron has come into his own here since last spring,” head coach Steve Plasencia said. “During track last spring, he started to get momentum and got his confidence going. He is a great kid, a smart kid, and runs races tactically well, and I thought he did [that] again today.”

The team finished behind Southern Utah and Colorado State. Nine points separated the top four teams.

Bartnik, who placed eighth overall, finished the race in just over 25 minutes. Teammates Adam Zutz, Alex Brend, Obsa Ali and Charlie Lawrence followed.

Plasencia said he was pleased with the team’s performance.

“I think the good thing about this group is that they listen,” Plasencia said. “They want to learn; they want to get better.”

Women meet goal, finishing seventh

Head coach Sarah Hopkins views the Griak as the team’s first midterm exam.

However, her team didn’t get a perfect score, as it finished seventh overall.

“I think it was about a ‘B’ day for us,” Hopkins said. “It was solid, especially considering theconditions with the heat and the humidity. Our goal was a top-10 finish, and we met that goal. But knowing how close fifth place was, it would have been nice to be up there.”

The hot conditions didn’t seem to bother redshirt junior Kaila Urick, who finished 25th overall and first for the Gophers.

“It was different than last year’s Griak, which was cold and rainy,” Urick said. “But I like running in the heat, so it was a lot of fun.”

Redshirt junior Becca Dyson, one of Minnesota’s top performers this season, had an off-performance, finishing 112th overall.

But the Gophers had other runners step up, including redshirt freshman Danielle Anderson, who finished second on the team, and freshman Bailey Ness, who finished fourth.

Minnesota will have little time to rest, as it has two meets coming up next weekend: the UW-Eau Claire Blugold Invite and the SDSU Classic.