Top Competition Awaits Cougar Harriers at Griak Invitational

Sept. 23, 2003

Saturday, September 27, 2003Roy Griak Invitational, Les Bolstad Golf Course, Minneapolis, Minn.10 a.m. PT Men's 8,000m race11 a.m. PT,  Women's 6,000m race

Sundodger Invitational, Lincoln Park, Seattle, Wash.9 a.m. PT Women's 5,000m race9:30 a.m. PT Men's 8,000m race

THIS WEEK: The Cougars will send a team of cross country runners to Minneapolis for the Roy Griak Invitational Saturday, while a second group will compete in the Sundodger Invitational at Seattle.

THE GRIAK: The men's 8K race includes 30 teams and features Pacific-10 Conference teams from Arizona, Arizona State, and Oregon...the women's 6K race will be run by 27 teams...a total of 19 teams that competed in the 2002 NCAA Championships will run in the men's and women's Gold Race (Division I race)...detailed information on the meet can be found at

THE SUNDODGER: The Cougs are also sending three runners to Seattle for the races, including senior Steve Barrus, junior Jonathan Manthey, and sophomore Hailey Young...Barrus, a graduate student in the school of communications, teaches a class Fridays and his availability to travel is limited...Sundodger information can be found at the Washington website,

WSU WOMEN: A team composed of senior Anna Blue, juniors Ana Cabrera, Molly Bull and Julia Corbett, and freshmen Grace Coulter, Karen DeMartini, Kayle Peterson, Kelly Ramirez, Natalie Smith, and Katie Troy will compete for WSU at the Roy Griak Invitational...after two weeks of only training runs, the Cougs will get good experience in a large race format this weekend...Blue looks to improve her 2002 finish of 55th place.

WSU MEN: The Washington State men will be led by junior Danny Wolf...senior Ian Johnson, juniors Mike Heidt and Justin Ireland, sophomore Reid Carrell, and freshmen Ryan Freimuth, Alex Grant, Andrew Jones, Matt Knoff, and Chris Williams comprise the Cougar contingent...the squad has spent the past two weeks working on conditioning to gear up for the race in Minnesota...Wolf, who defended his title at the Idaho Invitational Sept. 1, will look to improve on last year's 46th place finish.

LAST YEAR AT THE GRIAK: The Cougars finished in the lower half of the field, with the women's team placing 18th out of 22 teams, and the men finishing 21st out of 27 teams.

COACH Jason Drake ON GOALS: 'Our training went really well the last few weeks. Now it's just a matter of putting that together in a race. They don't need to do anything special, just what they are capable of doing. On the men's side, we would like to sneak in and beat some of these lower-ranked teams; teams like Iowa, Minnesota, teams ranked 25th or 26th in the country. If we could beat some them we could score some points towards an at-large bid to the NCAA (Championships). Beating teams in other regions that qualify for nationals will help us in our region. The women's team is just on the edge of sneaking up on a couple of teams but we're not quite there like we are on the men's side. Our main goal is to do better than we did a year ago, and we should do that. Disaster would have to strike for us not to (do better). We hope to score a lot better to show that we're moving in the right direction. '

NEXT COMPETITION: WSU will have a week off before hosting the Cougar Invite, October 11, at the WSU Golf Course.

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