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No. 15 Carleton cruises to win at Roy Griak Invitational

September 23, 2017 at 3:07 pm
By Kevin Grow '18
Roy Griak Invitational team champions!
Roy Griak Invitational team champions!

FALCON HEIGHTS, Minn. -- The No. 15-ranked Carleton College women’s cross country team took part in the prestigious Roy Griak Invitational on Saturday and pulled away from the pack for the Division III team title.

The race featured a crowded field of 61 total college teams from D-II and D-III. Although the race was run as one event, the scoring was split up by division. The Knights put six runners inside the top-10 for Division III and raced to a first-place result, finishing with a team score of 26 points.

A day after learning that the D-II and D-III races would be combined, the Knights did not let that faze their strategy.

"The team learned some valuable lessons in the meet and showed the ability to race as a team in a field packed with a large number of competitors," said Carleton head coach Donna Ricks.

Next behind the Knights was No. 22 St. Thomas (67 points) and regionally-ranked UW-River Falls and UW-Oshkosh with 82 and 129 points, respectively. Interestingly for the Knights, their combined team time of 118:34.6 bested that of No. 9 UW-La Crosse (D-III) by about 10 seconds (118:44.3). While running in the same race as Carleton, UW-La Crosse was scored in the D-II section and placed eighth. Carleton’s team time would have placed them at 7th in the D-II results that featured four nationally ranked programs.

The Knights were led by senior Emily Kaegi (Williamstown, Mass./Mount Greylock), who finished second in the field of 154 D-III runners with a time of 22:56.3 for the six-kilometer route around Les Bolstad Golf Course. Her time would have ranked ninth-best in the D-II “race,” which included a whopping 402 runners in the field.

Also placing near the top of the D-III leaderboard were Amanda Mosborg (Fy./Edina, Minn./Edina) and Helen Schuda (So./Seattle, Wash./Roosevelt). Mosborg was the second Carleton runner to cross the line, taking fourth place among D-III runners with a time of 23:40.9. She was the fourth-best first-year finisher in the combined race including the D-II racers. Schuda was third for Carleton, placing fifth among D-III competitors with a time of 23:41.9.

Pack running to top-10 finishes were Sam Schnirring (Jr./Eden Prairie, Minn./Eden Prairie), Emma Greenlee (Fy./Aurora, Minn./Mesabi East), and Yoshiko Lynch (Fy./Littleton, Colo./Philips Exeter) as they placed seventh, eighth, and ninth respectively, with times of 24:07.4, 24:08.1, and 24:11.8.

Carleton’s seventh finisher was Grace Leslie (Fy./Orono, Minn./Orono) with a time of and 25:01.5, good enough for 17th place, and fellow rookie Sarah Allaben (Fy./Gates Mills, Ohio./Hawken) was 20th at 25:13.12.

“This was a tremendous team effort all the way around,” said Ricks. “I am so proud of them and am glad that this team had the opportunity to run at Griak. It really is a celebration of running and a very fun environment.”

The Knights look to build off of their momentum next week as they host the annual Running of the Cows Meet on Saturday, Sept. 30 in the Carleton Arboretum.