Facing a chance to prove themselves against some of the best teams in the Midwest, the Lawrence University men’s cross country team came up way short of where they wanted to be.
At the Roy Griak Invitational in Minneapolis last Saturday, the Vikings finished 12th as a team, which despite being where they finished the previous year is not a true display of where Head Coach Jason Fast believes the team is currently with their fitness. Junior Mike Mangian, who was perhaps the only Viking to race well, noted, “The way we’ve been training in our workouts just wasn’t shown in our performance this past week.” He stated, “The team has been doing some really good work during practice; perhaps even better than when we won the conference meet last year.”
Senior Sam Stevens led the charge for the Vikings but still finished 29th overall with his time of 26:43, which is over half a minute slower than last year when he finished 17th overall. Behind him was junior Curran Carlile, who traversed the demanding 8,000m course in 27:07 to finish 44th. Behind Carlile and Stevens, the times suffered immensely. Junior Jamie Brisbois finished respectably with a time of 28:08, but freshman Jonah Laursen and sophomore Kyle Dockery, who usually are out in front of Brisbois, finished behind him with times of 28:18 and 28:21 respectably. Notably, Mangian was able to shave 17 seconds off last year’s time at this meet, and he finished as one of the only Vikings to have a decent race this week.
On the women’s side, there was not too much more to be excited about. Freshman Clare Bruning was the first Lawrentian to cross the line, coving the 6,000m course in 24:20, which was good enough for 50th place. Behind her were juniors Katherine Dannecker, Anna Ratliff and Alyssa Herman, who finished in 26:30, 26:48 and 26:53, respectively. Perhaps the best sign from the results of this meet was the fact that in the top seven runners, four of them were freshman. Isabella Schleisner, Haedyn Smith and Liz Landes, all freshmen, finished with times of 27:10, 27:33 and 27:41, respectively.
While the Vikings were not too thrilled with their performance at the Griak Invitational, they are strongly looking forward to this upcoming weekend where they will host the Gene Davis Invitational at Reid Golf Course in Appleton on Saturday. The meet, which begins at 10 a.m., is open to all Lawrence students who want to come and cheer on their team.