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Colfax gets taste of big time competition at Griak Invite

UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA — Competing against schools of all sizes and a few different states, the Colfax cross country teams had a chance to see how they stand when they competed at the Roy Griak Invitational held Sept. 29 on the U of M campus.

After placing 41st last year, the boys team looked pretty impressive as they placed 13th in the Maroon Division in a field of 49 teams. They finished ahead of teams from the Twin Cities area and larger schools from Wisconsin as Lachlan Hinwood cracked the top 10 individually with a tenth place finish out of 455 runners. Hinwood ran the 5K in 17:26 while the winner from Richfield, MN came in at 16:17.

Following Hinwood, Matthew Almquist was 71st in a time of 18:27, Michael Larson 105th at 18:54, Jeremiah Harder 131st at 19:07, Garrett Miller in his best race of the year came in at 19:09 for 138th place, Hunter Lieffort was close behind in 143rd at 19:13 and Zac Arvold was the seventh runner for the Vikings in 303rd at 21:36. Also running for the team were Zac Christianson who placed 394th at 21:48 and Nate Leibfried in 424th at 23:03.

“This is pretty much the same team as last year for our boys but we are much tougher physically and mentally this year,” Colfax coach Joe Doucette said. “Lachlan had probably the best race of his career and to finish in the top ten of a race this caliber is a great accomplishment. From there we were solid  and everyone had a nice second half of the race. Garrett finished strong and we will need him to be good with conference coming up.”

Although Dempsey Fogarty placed seventh out of 416 individuals in the 5K race (girls usually run 4K) for Colfax,the rest of the team struggled, according to Doucette. Fogarty was one of four freshman along with an eighth grader to finish in the top 10 as she completed the course at 19:55 with the winner from White Bear Lake, MN coming in at 19:08. Courtney Dresel, who has been running behind Fogarty all year, was hampered by an injury and did not have a time recorded for the race. Filling the second spot for Colfax was Brittany Rothbauer in 139th at 22:55 and Heidi Lieffort came in 226th at 24:23 followed by Kenna Breckner in 259th at 25:11. Mallie Doucette was 285th at 26:00 and McKenzie Anderson was 305th at 27:02. As a team, they were 35th in a field of 50 in the Maroon Division.

“With the exception of Dempsey,  we did not compete very hard at all,” Doucette said. “We looked tired and disinterested and had a lot of aches, pains and problems. I’m hoping we were just tired from the busy homecoming week but for us to do well at conference we will have to improve a lot.”

“This was our fifth year in a row we have had at least one team in the competition,” Doucette added. “The college races were earlier in the day and it gave our runners a chance to see some of the best Division I college runners in the nation who are all on scholarship, as well as some of the best high school teams in the nation. It was really a neat experience for everyone.”

The Vikings are off until the conference meet Oct. 11 which will be in Mondovi.