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Men’s Cross Country wins Wayne State Warrior Invite, Women place 2nd

Men’s Cross Country wins Wayne State Warrior Invite, Women place 2nd

NEW BOSTON, Mich. – Michigan Tech men's cross country took first place in a field of 10 teams and women's cross country came in second at the Wayne State Warrior Invitational. The men ran 8,000 meters at Willow Metropark while the women ran a 6,000 distance. 

Clayton Sayen (third), Samuel Lange (sixth), and Nick Niemi (ninth) were all top-10 individual finishers. Braden Reichl (11th) and Tucker Ringhand (13th) also helped the Huskies score 42 total points to edge out Wayne State (57 points) on the podium. Sayen posted the team's best time of 25:05.1

"We had three men in the top-10 and then a heavy pack of men right behind them," commented head coach Kristina Owen. "We were particularly excited about Sam's performance as a second-year freshman. He was flying around the course with his signature wide grin, eating up the hills. All in all it was a good early season race.  We executed the race plan reasonably well, and it's always fantastic to be able to bring home the win. I think there's still room for improvement, and this is not going to be the fastest we race this year."

Eastern Michigan (65 points), Saginaw Valley State (90 points), and Calvin College (151 points) rounded out the top five teams in the men's 8K.

For the Michigan Tech women, Michelle Bollini led the way with a time of 23:15.2 and fourth place. Sam Kurkowski came in right behind in fifth (23:17.2) with Elsa Huckels 12th, Ingrid Halverson 14th, and Chloe Strach 15th. Halverson is a dual-sport athlete for the Huskies, also competing in Nordic Skiing this year as a freshman.

Host Wayne State won the event with a team score of 31, followed by Tech (50), Saginaw Valley State (52), Kalamazoo (105), and Adrian (151). 

"I felt it was a great showing for our first race of the year," Owen said. "One of the key focuses on the women's side was to work together as a pack, and we were able to stack a lot of results closely together. Michelle (Bollini) ran a really nice race, and so did Sam (Kurkowski).  Second-year Elsa Huckles was our third woman, making her collegiate debut and she is going to be one of the future leaders of our team. It was so great to see her coming into her own. 

Next up for both teams is an annual appearance in the Roy Griak Invitational, hosted by the University of Minnesota at Les Bolstad Golf Course Friday, September 24. The men's 8K is slated for 12 p.m. while the women take their mark at 12:45 p.m.