Cougars Return to Compete in the Roy Griak Invitational

Sept. 23, 2008

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PULLMAN, Wash.: Washington State University's top cross country runners head to Minneapolis, Minnesota, for the 23nd Annual Roy Griak Invitational Saturday, Sept. 27.

THE GRIAK: The Griak features 10 races with the WSU men's team competing in the Gold level races reserved for NCAA Division I's 8K Gold race begins at 12:10 p.m. CT...detailed information on the meet can be found at

DRAKE'S TAKE ON THE GRIAK: 'This is the start of how you score points to get to nationals,' head coach Jason Drake said. 'This is a large team meet that has teams from all different regions. It's a good indication of where we are. We will run up against some ranked teams there and the hope is to beat some of those teams to help us get some points for the nationals.'

COUGAR CROSS COUNTRY CONVERSATION WITH COACH DRAKE: Cougar Head Coach Jason Drake will conduct a brief meeting with all Cougar Cross Country family and friends in attendance at each competition this season...the meet and greet for the Griak Invitational meet will begin at 11 a.m. and Coach Drake will be at the Washington State team tent to talk over what he's looking for from the team at this meet and answer questions about Cougar Cross Country teams.

WSU RECEIVES RANKINGS: Both the men's and women's teams were recognized in the Sept. 15 Division I Cross Country Regional Rankings...Cougar men ranked eighth in the West Region...women ranked tenth...West Region includes Washington, Oregon, Idaho, California, Nevada, and Arizona.

WSU MEN AT GRIAK: The Washington State men will be led by seniors Drew Polley and Evan Blanshan...juniors Sam Ahlbeck, Dominic Smargiassi and Mark Moeller...sophomores include David Hickerson, Luke Lemenager and Peter Miller along with freshmen Jono Lafler and Justin Englund will fill out the Cougars competitive roster...Moeller is coming off an 8th place finish at the Sundodger...Hickerson and Miller also competed in Seattle ...the rest of the squad enters the race rested after spending the past few weeks working on conditioning to gear up for Minnesota.

RETURNING TO THE GRIAK: Four of the runners competing this weekend have previous experience at the Griak...senior team captain Drew Polley finished 34th last year...Dominic Smargiassi and Sam Ahlbeck both competed as sophomores while David Hickerson competed as a freshman.

NEXT COMPETITION: WSU squads will head to Missoula to compete Oct. 4 at the Montana Invitational.
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