Winona State University's Newspaper since 1919

The Winonan

Winona State University's Newspaper since 1919

The Winonan

Winona State University's Newspaper since 1919

The Winonan


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Cross country successful at difficult meet

Cross country successful at difficult meet

Emma Cavanaugh / Winonan

Saturday morning found the Winona State University cross country teams at their second meet of the 2016 season. The Roy Griak Invitational was held at Les Bolstad Golf Course in Falcon Heights, Minn. The meet is one of the most competitive meets in the country all year, according to the team’s head coach Brett Ayers.

“It’s a very difficult course, a lot of up and downs and tight turns, the water tends to collect. It’s a very, very challenging course,” Ayers said.

He predicted it was going to be a difficult meet, adding that the warm and rainy weather was not going to help. Senior Seth Reel contributed input about the course.

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“The Griak course was as brutal as it always is. I have run there twice before but this year was definitely notable. There was some pretty constant rain the days before and the course was a total mud pit,” Reel said.

Regardless of the weather and difficult course, the men’s team finished 21st in their division, with Seth Reel taking home a 16th place finish at 26:50. Junior Reed Parent took 62nd place at 27:44, and junior Charles Schauer took 87th with a time of 27:58.

The women finished 13th in their division.  Junior Raissa Hansen took 31st with a time of 24:07.2, closely followed by senior Heidi Hujik’s time of 24:57.2 for a 73rd place finish. Junior Hannah Lewis finished in 76th place at 25:02.5.

The Roy Griak Invitational was the second meet this year, the first being the Augustana Twilight invitational hosted at Sioux Falls. Both teams performed equally well at the first meet, with senior Seth Reel taking home a first-place finish in his division with a time of 18:54.50.

This win earned Reel the title of NSIC Athlete of the Week. Ayer explained that Augustana University’s team is ranked seventh in the nation this year, and Reel ended up beating Augustana’s entire team.

Reel has worked hard the last couple years to get where he is now. In his sophomore year, his running season was ended unexpectedly after an injury. Reel is pleased to be named NSIC Athlete of the Week again this year.

“It was a tough road to success and it’s really nice that it hasn’t gone unnoticed. I couldn’t have done any of this without the support from my family, teammates, and coach,” Reel said.

In the NSIC, the top four women’s cross country teams in the conference are nationally ranked. For the men’s teams, their top three teams in the conference are nationally ranked.

Both teams continue to keep their eyes on performing well at the conference meet, and the teams will continue to be pushed to grow through challenging meets.

“We really don’t have any easy meets this year, we’re pushed every week. [Reel] is running really well this year. Our men’s team is pretty solid behind Reel. We have three or four guys who could be all-conference this year,” Ayers said.

Reel concurred, and said, “The season is going really well so far. I am really happy with the work ethic of the guys at practice and in the classroom. We trained really hard all summer and its really showing right now.”

-By Emma Cavanaugh

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