The “Griak” will be a huge test for the team this season, facing the best competition in the country.
The men and women’s cross country teams travel to Minneapolis to compete in the 33rd annual Roy Griak invitational this Saturday.
“The Griak”, one of the biggest meets in the country, attracts teams from all over the nation to compete at the Lee Bolstad Golf Course.
Even though this course is known to be one of the toughest around the country, the men and women have been looking forward to this meet since the start of the season.
“Griak is such a tough course because runners are unable to get into a groove,” said men’s head cross country coach, Chris Rombough, “you’re always going uphill or downhill, and there are many turns. It requires true mental and physical toughness to race well on that course.”
The challenge of the Griak has always been attractive to many teams and coaches. Large universities such as Iowa State University and small high school teams from Wisconsin travel to compete at the distinguished meet every year.
The Lady Mavericks have some work to do this weekend to show they can be a threat in the upcoming postseason.
“The women need to close the gap between the 1st and 5th runner to under 30 seconds,” said the head women’s cross country coach, Jen Blue.
The women’s team ran at the St. Olaf invite last weekend in Northfield, Minn. and placed 3rd behind the University of Minnesota and Carleton College.
“The women train together and I have seen them step up the past few weeks being we are without 2 of our top 7 runners,” said women’s head cross country coach, Jen Blue.
The men’s team competed at the Oz Memorial three weeks ago on the same course that the Griak is hosted on. They took last weekend off and are coming into Griak with fresh legs looking to prove they are ready to compete.
“From looking at the teams competing this weekend, I think we’ve got a great opportunity for a top three finish,” said Chris Rombough.
Looking ahead for the team after this weekend, the NSIC Championships are in just a couple of months for the Mavericks. They will take place on Saturday, Nov. 3rd in Aberdeen, SD, while the NCAA Central Regional race will be held on Saturday Nov. 17th in Joplin, MO for the squad.
In these meets, the team certainly can run, but they can’t hide from the competition. The Mavericks look to show who the real rulers of the NSIC are during the next set of meets.
Feature photo from Reporter Archives.