ASU Harriers Earn Pair of Runner-Up Finishes at Roy Griak Invitational
Sept. 29, 2007
Complete Results (pdf)
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - In two closely contested races, the Arizona State University cross country teams finished as runners-up at the Roy Griak Invitational in Minneapolis, Minn., Saturday morning. The Sun Devil men, unranked in the national polls, placed second behind No. 19 Northern Arizona, 84-88, while the No. 6 ASU women were three points behind winner No. 8 Minnesota, 97-100.
With their close finish, the Sun Devil men finished ahead of four nationally ranked teams as well as two others squads that had earned votes in the USTFCCCA poll. ASU placed ahead of ranked foes No. 29 Iowa State (third, 99 points), No. 18 Minnesota (fourth, 107), No. 28 Virginia (fifth, 126) and No. 23 Michigan State (eighth, 255) as well as bettering team scores from Washington State (seventh, 185) and Kansas (13th, 315), both of which received votes. The runner-up showing for the men marked the best finish ASU has recorded in the meet, bettering its third-place finish in 2004 and fourth-place showing last year.
On the women's side, ASU placed ahead of ranked teams No. 9 Michigan State (third, 109) and No. 10 Virginia (sixth, 190) and a trio of teams that received votes in UC Santa Barbara (fourth, 156), Nebraska (fifth, 163) and Northern Arizona (seventh, 194). The runner-up finish for the women is fourth in the nine years ASU has competed in the Griak and brought their streak to nine in a row of placing no lower than third place in Minneapolis. ASU has placed second two years in a row and has won or took runner-up honors in each of the last seven years.
In the men's race, Kyle Alcorn opened his season in strong fashion as he led the Sun Devils with his fifth-place finish, covering the 8,000m course in 24:37.5 and earning just the third Top 5 individual placement for a Sun Devil male. Alcorn was followed across the line by a quartet of Top 25 finishers, including Jeff Helmer (14th, 24:52.7), Ben Engelhardt (20th, 24:58.8), Mikias Gelagle (24th, 25:06.4) and Joey Heller (25th, 25:06.7). Also competing for the Sun Devils were Garrett Kelly (46th, 25:41.0), Alonso Contreras (48th, 25:42.1), Santos Castro (87th, 26:12.6), David Gott (89th, 26:16.0) and Collin Eckelman (117th, 26:38.9).
The women had a pair of Top 6 placers with the addition of two more runners earning Top 16 finishes to surge the team toward the top of the standings. Kari Hardt led the charge as she placed fourth overall in 21:21.0 on the 6,000m course with Jenna Kingma just behind her in sixth place at 21:28.0. The Top 5 scorers were rounded out by Ali Kielty (15th, 21:52.9), Angela Spadafino (16th, 21:55.2) and Cassie Bando (67th, 22:49.0). Also competing for the Sun Devil women were Krystal Duke (73rd, 22:59.8), Whitney Lemieux (81st, 23:13.8), Whitney Blue (169th, 24:37.7) and Chelsea Caloia (181st, 24:51.1).
Following a weekend off from competition, the Sun Devils return to action on Oct. 5 as the program plays host to its annual home meet, the ASU Invitational, at Kiwanis Park in Tempe.