Cross Country Teams to Compete at Roy Griak Invitational

Sept. 23, 2009

THIS WEEK: The Washington State University cross country teams travel to Minneapolis, Minnesota, Saturday, September 26, for the Golden Gophers' Roy Griak Invitational at the University of Minnesota's golf's 8,000 meter race will take place at 12:10 p.m. CT while the women's 6,000 meter race will start at 12:55 p.m...another set of Cougars will travel to Spokane Valley, Washington, to compete in the Runners Soul / Erik Anderson Invite hosted at the Plantes Ferry Complex...women's 6,000 meter race will begin at 10:45 a.m. while the men's 8,000 meter race will start at 11:30 a.m.

THE GRIAK: The 24th Annual Roy Griak Invitational takes place at the Les Bolstad Golf Course in Minneapolis and is hosted by the University of features 10 races with the Cougar men and women competing in the Gold level races reserved for NCAA Division I schools...Griak is a prestigious meet that is expected to have 3,500 runners competing...Cougar men will be competing against top teams, including No. 17 Minnesota, No. 25 Iowa State, Missouri, Duke, and Michigan State...WSU women's team will be racing against No. 8 Minnesota, No. 28 Iowa State, Connecticut, and Oklahoma along with other top teams...for more information and results, visit

THE RUNNERS SOUL: WSU will compete at the Runners Soul / Erik Anderson Invite in Spokane Valley at the Plantes Ferry has been the host for three national cross country is a wide open course that is mostly grass with some dirt trail...this year, the Runners Soul will be hosting a collegiate race as well as multiple high school races...the race will honor Community Colleges of Spokane cross country coach Erik Anderson who was killed in a tragic accident last November.

COUGAR COACH Pete Julian's TAKE ON THE GRIAK: 'As a team, and that's really what we are focusing on, we have been working quite hard and I expect the men to do quite well,' WSU Coach Pete Julian said. 'We may surprise a few people and I'd like to believe of the 30 teams we could potentially be in the top five. We may even do better than that. This is a very competitive invitational. We are not running Dominic (Smargiassi) and Peter (Miller), who are two of our top five, but we are deep and I'm trying to give other guys the opportunity to compete. Sam (Ahlbeck) is not only our team captain but is running quite strong. Marl Moeller, David Hickerson and Andrew Kimpel are all capable of breaking into the top 10. The women's team is not at full health right now although we are coming close and by Pac-10s we should be where we need to be as far as full health. But it is a tough group of women I expect the women's team to do quite well at Griak. Individually Lisa (Egami) and Chelsea (VanDeBrake) have been running quite well and I think they can run with anyone at this meet.'

COUGAR COACH Pete Julian's TAKE ON THE ANDERSON INVITE: 'We will be running some unattached people there and athletes who need more experience. This is a great meet in the Spokane area and there is a lot of talent around here. It is a meet that we will support because it is in honor of a great coach, Spokane Community College's coach Erik Anderson, who tragically died last year. It is a meet that in the future we might send a full squad there. I might emphasize this meet more in the future. I like where it's at, I like what it's for and I think it would fit well into the schedule. We have a pretty rough schedule after the Griak with Pre-Nationals, Pac-10s and Regionals, and those meets are all huge.'

NCAA REGIONAL RANKINGS: The Cougar men's and women's cross country teams received recognition in the September 14, Division I Cross Country Regional's team was ranked 13th in the West Region while the women were ranked 11th...West Region rankings include Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, Arizona, and Idaho.

WSU MEN THIS WEEKEND: The Washington State men's team will be represented by eight runners including seniors Sam Ahlbeck and Mark Moeller, juniors Dan Geib and David Hickerson, sophomores Justin Englund and Jono Lafler, as well as freshmen Andrew Kimpel and Jayson Taylor...Ahlbeck finished 37th at the Griak last season while Englund was 51st and Moeller finished 53rd...junior Luke Lemenager as well as freshmen Drake da Ponte, Jason Stoker and Andrew Gonzales (unattached) will travel to Spokane, for the Runners Soul / Erik Anderson Invite.

WSU WOMEN THIS WEEKEND: The Cougar women will send a team of eight runners to the Griak led by seniors Lisa Egami and Chelsea VanDeBrake, who are coming off a first and second place finish at the Clash of the Inland Northwest Race...also competing will be senior Marisa Sandoval and juniors Ashlee Wall and Amanda Andrews, sophomore Emily Farrar and true freshmen Alyssa Andrews and Caroline Austin...freshman Molli Bahlenhorst will run unattached at the Runners Soul / Erik Anderson Invite.

NEXT COMPETITION: The WSU men and women teams travel to Terre Haute, Indiana, to compete at the ISU Pre-National Invitational and will also head to Moscow, Idaho, to compete at the Idaho Invitational October 17.

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