Drake Men Look to Griak!

What’s Ahead: The Drake men’s cross country team, after placing third at the Oz Memorial earlier this month, returns to the Lee Bolstad Golf Course in Falcon Heights, Minn. to compete at the Roy Griak Invitational on Saturday (Sept. 29). The 8,000-meter race, described as rolling hills and grassy terrain, will begin at 12:20 pm.

Last Time Out: In a dominating team performance the Bulldogs swept the top-four spots at the Grand View Invitational on Friday (Sept. 21).

Senior Mike Rodriguez (Chanhassen, Minn.) won the 8,000-meter event in 26:12. He was followed closely by junior Ryan Flynn(Bettendorf, Iowa), in 26:16, junior Guy Eckman (Iowa City, Iowa), in 26:25, and sophomore Tyler Nelson (Lone Tree, Colo.), 26:48.

The Bulldogs won the team event with 17 points, two above the lowest possible score.

A Year Ago: In a field of 220; Brogan Austin (Boone, Iowa) finished in 57th-place to lead the Drake contingent at the Roy Griak Invitational in the Men’s Gold Division. As a team the Bulldogs earned a 22nd-place finish against some of the top teams in the nation.

Omet Kak (Des Moines, Iowa) was 97th crossing the finish line in 25.37.50. The graduated tandem of Colin Hagan (26:04.70) andBen Jaskowiak (26:23.20) were next two across the line for the Bulldogs in 135th and 156th places respectively.

Charlie Lapham (Golden Valley, Minn.) clocked in at 26:29.10. Conor Wells (Des Moines, Iowa) and Tyler Nelson (Lonewood, Colo.) ran their first collegiate 8,000-meter races in times of 26:34.8 and 26:40.70 respectively.

North Carolina State won the team title while Lawi Lalang of Arizona claimed the individual title in 23:15.50, 29 seconds faster than Ryan Hill of North Carolina State.

USTFCCCA Rankings: In the third week of the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association poll, Drake holds steady to their rank of 14th in the Midwest Regional Poll.

The Bulldogs began the year ranked 12th before a three-week lull in the schedule. The team hopes to shoot up the rankings with an impressive showing at the Roy Griak Invitational this weekend.

Drake is one of three Iowa teams ranked in the regional poll. Iowa State claimed the fifth spot while the University of Iowa sits in ninth. The Bulldogs are also one of three Missouri Valley schools in the rankings. Southern Illinois is ranked 10th while Wichita State is ranked right ahead of Drake at 13th.

Next Up: The Bulldogs will trip to central Illinois to compete against fellow MVC schools in the Bradley Cross Country Classic on Oct. 12.

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