Jacks see mixed results at Griak Invite

Spencer Chase

In one of their toughest meets of the season, the SDSU men’s and women’s cross country teams brought home mixed results against some of the best runners in the region in Falcon Heights, Minn.

The men finished in 7th place behind strong performances from Michael Krsnak and Trent Lusignan. Krsnak was the top runner for SDSU, finishing in 5th place, and Lusignan came in 18 seconds later in 12th. Head cross country coach Rod DeHaven said high placement was crucial in the team finishing as high as it did.

“Putting a couple guys in the top 20 goes a long way as far as your team score goes at a meet that big. They both ran really well against some really tough competition,” DeHaven said.

The Jacks also had a top-50 finish from Jared Ailts, who came in 36th, followed by Drew Kraft in 64th and Joel Reichow in 73rd. DeHaven said Reichow is a freshman who could   have run a better race had it not been for an injury suffered during the race.

“We had high expectations for Joel this week. We were thinking he might be closer to Jared, and he might have been, but he suffered a side stitch that slowed him down,” DeHaven said. “We need to work at getting more guys closer to Drew and Jared.”

The problem of a lower 4th and 5th place finish is nothing new to the SDSU men, and it even dropped the club from 2nd to 3rd place in the Summit League last season.

The women didn’t fare quite as well as the men due to heat issues that DeHaven said affected the women across the board more than the men. The day ended with a 15th place team finish without Erin Hargens, one of the team’s top runners, who didn’t compete due to injury issues.

“It was a hot day and a little tougher course than usual, so we ran a little more conservative than usual.” DeHaven said.

Tera Potts was the high finisher on the day for the SDSU women, coming in 59th, followed by Laura Wolles in 67th, Cheyanne Bowers in 80th, Courtney Neubert in 98th, and Laura Lawton in 101st.

Lawton and Bowers are part of a talented freshman class that has had an unusually impactful season so far. DeHaven said this class could serve as X-factors towards the end of the season.

“We look at the group as people that will ultimately be difference makers at the conference meet,” DeHaven said. “There could be a surprise 4th or 5th runner somewhere in that group by the time we get to the end of the season.”

The Jacks now have a bye week before they head to the Chilli Pepper Invite Oct. 13 in Fayetteville, Ark., as their last meet before the Summit League Championships Oct. 27 in Rochester, Minn.