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Viking runner face tough competition at Griak Invite

Running at the prestigious Roy Griak Cross Country Invitational held at the University of Minnesota campus Sept. 28 gave the Colfax boys’ and girls’ cross country teams the opportunity to compete against some of the top schools in both Minnesota and Wisconsin.


The Viking girls placed 20th out of 50 teams from all size schools in the High School Maroon Division while the boys finished 49th of 60 teams in the same division. (The High School Gold Division was named after former Boyceville coach and cross country official Larry Zirgebel).

Dannielle Dachel led the Colfax girls with a 50th place at 21:04 in the 5K race while Courtney Dressel was close behind in 65th place at 21:22. Dempsey Fogarty followed in 79th at 21:29 and Abbagail Schotter was just seven spots back for 86th at 21:34. Heidi Lieffort finished in 361st place at 24:32 and Ally Heidorn was 376th at 24:48. Their were 445 individuals in the race which was won by Emily Covert of Minneapolis Washburn in 19:00.

“We were not great but we were solid,” coach Doucette said. “Our top four hung together. Dannielle is mentally strong and does not get bothered by too much. She just goes out and competes and does the best she can. We need someone in the next group to get closer to the top group if we want to be competitive.”

Zack Arvold stepped up to lead the boys, finishing 202nd out of 521 competitors with a time of 18:57 and Tucker Hovde was chasing him down as he was just two spots and one second behind him at 18:58. Brett Prince had a good showing as he came in for 240th place at 19:09 while Jacob Larson and Hunter Lieffort (who missed two meets with an injury), both just missed breaking the 20:00 mark as Larson came in at 20:08 for 379th and Lieffort was 382nd at 20:09. Brady Simonson finished 400 th in 20:16 and Isaac Lee was 424th at 20:28. A Wisconsinite,Trent Powell of River Falls won the race in 16:20.

“Our boys ran pretty well but the competition is tough,” Doucette said. “We were hoping to have 5-6 runners under 20:00 on the demanding course and we were close. Our top five were pretty close to each other and it was good to have Hunter back from an injury.”