Cross country: Elk girls fourth in Griak maroon meet

Elk leader Rachel Ness strided (right) alongside a Wausau, WI, runner, on the way to ninth place in the 50-team competition. (Photo by Michelle Haugen)


The Elk River girls placed fourth among 50 teams in the Maroon Division of the Roy Griak Invitational on Saturday, hosted by the University of Minnesota.

Elk freshman Rachel Ness placed ninth (20:01) at Les Bolstad Golf Course in Falcon Heights. Senior Anna Haugen was 54th (21:29), sophomore Gabriella Jung 55th (21:31), eighth-grader Maria Brown  69th (21:49),  and freshman Gracie Scheid 99th (22:15).

“Ness ran a very nice race. Our girls team did well overall,” said coach Mike Niziolek.

Kennedy Warner, who’s been second and first on the team in previous meets, had an off-day and was sixth on the team, but Scheid stepped up nicely, earning a counting score (top five) for the first time.

“Gracie is one of our up-and-coming runners,” Niziolek said.

Notre Dame Academy won the multi-state meet with  151, followed by Sioux Falls Washington (165), Shorewood (221), the Elks (286) and White Bear Lake (299).

White Bear Lake’s Bethany Kozak placed first in 19:08.

Conference rivals the Elks beat were Anoka (18th), Champlin Park (28th), and Blaine (46th).

In the Gold Division, Coon Rapids of the NWSC placed 26th and Andover 28th.

This event is billed as the nation’s largest cross country meet. There are D-I, D-II and D-III college races alogn with two divisions of high school races.

The Elks will run at Sartell on Tuesday.

Gabbi Jung of the Elks turns a corner on the U of M golf club course. (Photo by Michelle Haugen)