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Waldorf cross country competes in Roy Griak Invitational

Waldorf Warriors LogoBy Chasen Selsor

FALCON HEIGHTS, MINNESOTA – Competing throughout the race, warriors placed 28th on Saturday, September 24, 2016 against 39 other teams at the prominent Roy Griak Invitational.

“We all competed hard out there and I was impressed with how well we raced with the conditions,” Waldorf Coach Nathan Christianson said. “The course had continuous hills, with soft and muddy ground.”

The team finished with a score of 747 points, which is 586 points better than the previous year at this same race. Junior Marquis Cox led the team, finishing with a time of 28 minutes, 13.4 seconds in 105th place.

“The race in its conditions made it really fun and in a way made us stronger for the rest of the season,” Cox said

Senior Nathan Meiners ended his race in the time of 28 minutes, 18.5 seconds in 113th place. Waldorf junior Nic Ganzeveld trailed behind in 115th place with a time of 28 minutes, 22.3. Ganzeveld had a rough race but did not let it get to him for he had flipped the switch at 300 meters of the race passing plenty of competitors to secure his position.

The course was indeed difficult, and it challenged all runners with various obstacles such as slippery hill sides and spongey grounds. With dense rainfall the whole week before, the course turned from great racing condition to sloppy and slushy. Some spots where the runners were going was so soft their feet were sinking ankle deep while splashing water with every step. This turned the race more into a race rather than runners worrying about their times.

“Cross country isn’t always about time and we get lost in that because time is a big part of it, but we got out and performed well,” Christianson said.

Freshman Andrew Murley was still persistent with his performance with a time of 29 minutes, 23.5 seconds finishing in 194th place. Senior Aaron Ward brawled through his race placing 220th with a time of 29 minutes, 53 seconds.

“Aaron stepped up for us today when we really needed him,” Christianson said.

Junior Chasen Selsor placed 243rd with a time of 31 minutes, 7 seconds with sophomore Mark Ahlers following behind in 247th place with 31 minutes, 21 seconds. Senior Cassidy Warson fought to finish 401st with a time of 32 minutes, 45 seconds. Sophomore Jesse Vega came across the line in 439th place (35:41) and Senior Adam Brinkman crossed at 442nd (35:48).

For preventative reasons, senior Ovan Garcia and junior Bryce Elm did not run. These runners are two of the top five on the team, and without them the team still did a fantastic job. Waldorf defeated two of the biggest teams that are in their conference, Dickinson State University and Dakota State University, and that was without Garcia and Elm. Conference is looking great for the Waldorf cross country team.

The women’s cross country team continued to make several steps forward at their 6k course at the impressive Roy Griak Invitational held at the Les Bolstad Golf Course.

Racing against nearly 400 competitors, the warriors worked hard to finish in the places they did. The course was not easy and was distinctively difficult. The women runners had raced against the NCAA Division II competition and competed well.

Freshman Marissa Kuik finished with a personal record for a 6k race with a blazing time of 26 minutes, 59 seconds. She finished 222nd place, which beat nearly half of the NCAA Division II competition.

“Marissa started off with a great attitude and competed really hard,” Christianson said. “The first 6k race as a freshman is hard and she did a great job.”

Freshman Marissa Widener also raced to a personal record of 29 minutes, 28 seconds, finishing 334th place. Junior Charley Buddenhagen crossed the finish line with a time of 33 minutes, 48 seconds to place.

“The girls all competed very well,” Christianson said.