LARAMIE, Wyo. (Sept. 21, 2017) – After three weeks of hard training following the season-opening CSU Duals, the University of Wyoming cross country team travels to St. Paul, Minn., for the 32nd annual Roy Griak Invitational on Saturday.
Sophomore Harry Ewing had a breakout race at the Roy Griak Invitational as a freshman in 2016 and will look to continue his success on the cross country course set up at the University of Minnesota’s Les Bolstad Golf Course. Ewing clocked a time of 25 minutes, 55 seconds on the 8-kilometer course last season, finishing in 45th place in the field of 275 runners to lead the Cowboys. He finished eighth among freshman competitors as the Cowboys placed 17th in a 29-team field. This year, just 16 Division I men’s teams will be present at the meet.
Sophomore Christopher Henry, who placed 26th out of 120 runners at the CSU Duals to cross the finish line as the top Cowboy, enters Saturday’s meet looking to improve on his 2016 finish in Minnesota. He took 198th last season, posting a time of 27:39. Henry found his stride later in the 2016 season and has emerged as one of the team’s leaders in 2017 in the absence of his brother Jonah, who is redshirting. Freshman Jerald Taylor, a state cross country champion at Custer County High School in Westcliffe, Colo., in 2016, will be making his collegiate cross country debut on Saturday and will attempt to contribute for Wyoming immediately.
On the women’s side, senior Kerry White enters the Roy Griak Invitational coming off a great 14th-place finish in a field of 90 runners at the CSU Duals. Saturday’s meet will mark her third appearance at the Roy Griak Invitational after the New Zealand native has contributed solid finishes at the meet in each of the last two seasons. Impressively, White finished 28th in the field of about 250 runners at the Roy Griak Invitational in 2015, clocking a time of 22:26. She finished 113th in a field of about 350 last year, finishing in 23:31.
Fellow senior and reigning Second Team All-Mountain West selection Lauren Hamilton will be making her 2017 debut on Saturday. Hamilton led the Cowgirls in all five meets she competed in last season, including a team-leading 63rd-place finish in 22:59 at Griak. The Cowgirls were 17th in a field of 36 teams last year, while just 18 Division I women’s teams compose the field this season.
The Roy Griak Invitational features an electric environment with a variety of high school and collegiate races. The Merrill Fischbein Men’s Gold Competition, the 8K race for Division I teams, will begin at 11:10 a.m. MT while the Jack Johnson Women’s Gold Competition, the 6K race for Division I teams, will start at 12:20 p.m. MT. A live stream of the race is available via paid subscription to FloTrack, while fans can follow along with the Cowboys and Cowgirls at @wyo_track on Twitter.