Cross Country Team Shows Well at Roy Griak Invitational


ThunderwolvesMinneapolis, MN – (With files from Alastair Brown) – The Lakehead University Thunderwolves’ Cross Country teams opened up their season this weekend at the 26th Annual Roy Griak Invitational. Featuring teams from Saskatchewan to California, the Roy Griak Invitational is the largest and arguably most competitive non-championship cross-country meet in North America. Despite the stiff competition Lakehead held their own, with the women finishing sixth out of 31 teams in the Maroon Division III race while the men finished 10th out of 32 teams in the same division.

Leading the pack for the women was fifth-year senior Tess Naroski (Thunder Bay, ON). Tess finished seventh in a huge field of 385, completing the six-kilometre course in a new personal-best time of 23:01.1. Close behind Naroski was fifth-year senior Lisa Alaimo (Hamilton, ON), who finished 18th in 23:14.4. Rounding out a strong top four were third-year Hilary Quirion (Thunder Bay, ON) and second-year Callie Roelfsema (Olds, AB), who finished 30th and 62nd, respectively. Second-year Danielle Thiel (Regina, SK) was the fifth and final scorer for the ‘Wolves, but she faltered in the second half of the race, ultimately fading to 145th place with a 25:41.9 clocking. Thiel has been injured lately but is on the road to recovery. A Lakehead team with Thiel in full health should be even more formidable than they were today. Vanessa Ivec (Thunder Bay, ON) and Britt Bailey (Thunder Bay, ON) acted as displacers for the ‘Wolves, finishing in 163rd and 169th place, respectively. The overall team title was won by the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire, with Christy Cazzola of Wisconsin–Oshkosh taking the individual win in 22:06.5.

On the men’s side, fourth-year Alastair Brown (Winnipeg, MB) started off his season with a strong 13th place showing in a field of 331, covering the 8km course in a new personal-best time of 26:07.4. Two through four for the ‘Wolves were very tight, with rookie Dominque Aulagnon (Thunder Bay, ON), third-year Travis Roske (Regina, SK), and second-year Dalton Rismay (Brampton, ON) finishing within five seconds of each other. Aulagnon was 60th in 27:05, Roske was 64th in 27:07, and Rismay was 70th in 27:09. Third-year Chris Brown (Thunder Bay, ON) rounded out the scoring for the men, finishing 107th in a time of 27:42.2. Connor Price (Ottawa, ON) and Geoff Chambers-Bedard (Thunder Bay, ON) acted as displacers, finishing in 149th and 161st place, respectively. Devin Monson of Hamline took the overall win, easily dispatching the field in a time of 25:33.9. University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh edged out Wisconsin-LaCrosse for the overall win, 69 to 85.

Coach Kip Sigsworth was very pleased with the weekend’s results. “It has been a long time since both the women’s and men’s teams have finished in the top 10 at the Griak Invite,” said Sigworth. “It was great to see our two 5th year girls, Tess and Lisa, finish in the top 20 – they have come a very long way since high school. The best news is that even though both teams started the season very stong there is still lots of room for improvement. We need to get back to work continue to do the things we need to do everyday to be at our best come the end of the season”.

The next stop for Lakehead is the Blue – Gold Open next weekend in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.

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