MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – The Michigan Tech cross country team ran at the Roy Griak Invitational Saturday morning and came away with high team finishes for both the men's and women's teams. The men placed second in the 8K, and the women secured a fifth-place finish in the 6K race.
With 55 team points, the Tech men's team finished 13 points behind Augustana (S.D.) and 41 points ahead of Sioux Falls for second place. Senior Matt Pahl and sophomore Braden Reichl finished in the top five for the second consecutive race of the season, with Pahl placing fourth in 25:20.8 and Reichl taking fifth at 25:23.0. Sophomore Clayton Sayen finished 12th in a time of 25:54.0, and junior Nathan Carey crossed the line four seconds behind Sayen for the 14th-place finish. Senior Brendan Klynstra broke the tape at 26:19.8 for a finish of 22nd, giving the Huskies five runners inside the top 25 at Les Bolstad Golf Course.
Five other Huskies competed in the men's race on Saturday. Junior Robert Beggs finished with a time of 26:34.5, followed by junior Chase Scheel at 26:48.6, junior Robbie Watling at 27:14.5, sophomore Ben Passolt at 27:27.5, and junior Luke Moore in a time of 27:28.8.
"Today was a great day for the men," said head coach Jake Isaacson. "We showed some big signs of progress compared to MSU, and we're excited for the big races approaching."
The MTU women totaled 162 team points for a fifth-place finish. The Huskies, finishing five points ahead of St. Thomas (Minn.) and 49 points behind Western Washington, were led by returning All-American senior Emily Byrd. Byrd crossed the finish line with a time of 23:07.5 for a 17th-place finish. Sam Kurkowski finished 23rd with a time of 23:17.2, continuing the good start to the year for the sophomore, followed by junior Carly Huggins in 30th (23:28.4), sophomore Gabrielle Feber in 40th (23:41.9), and senior Sarah Goble in 70th (24:14.1).
Also running for the Michigan Tech women on the day was freshman Mady Van Wieren (24:21.5), sophomore Michelle Bollini (24:22.3), freshman Lauren Konkol (24:31.4), senior Madisyn Estkowski (24:39.3), senior Julia Manzano (24:43.8), freshman Abby Martin (25:16.9), freshman Katelyn Feldpausch (25:41.3), and sophomore Theresa Passe 26:27.0.
"It was a big step forward as a team today. We're still not content with where we're at, but we can't argue with progress," Isaacson said. "Carly, Sam, and Sarah had big days for the team, and were crucial in the women finishing in the top five for all teams."
Michigan Tech is back in action on October 4 as they run in the Blugold Invite, hosted by the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. The men's race will begin at 4:15 p.m., followed by the women's event at 5:15 p.m.