MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – For the second time in the their last three visits to the prestigious Roy Griak Invitational hosted by the University of Minnesota, the Utah Valley University men's and women's cross-country teams finished in the top 10 Saturday.
Behind a 13th-place finish by Cliff Nielson (25 minutes, 6 seconds) and a 33rd-place finish by freshman Darian Sharp (22:21), the men's and women's teams each placed 10th.
"He went out there and ran with the top guys for most of the race. He fell off a little near the end, but had a great finish to pass a lot of those buys back up," coach Scott Houle said. "He had a great race locking in with those great runners."
Houle also spoke highly of Sharp.
"She doesn't act like a freshman," Houle said. "She loves to run and she doesn't care what the competition is. We're excited in her confidence."
The men's (8,000m) and the women's (6,000m) were contested at the Les Bolstad Golf Course.
The University of Minnesota (67) won the men's race, followed by Iowa State (84) and the University of Guelph (117), which is located in Canada. Utah Valley finished with 220 points.
Iowa State (47) won the women's meet, followed by Weber State (82) and Minnesota (86). Utah Valley finished with 279 points.
Behind Sharp, Krystal Harper (22:41) placed 50th overall, followed by Ivie Gonsalves (56th, 22:57) Angela Blackham (64th, 23:15) and Bridget Hazel (72nd, 22:41). Ally Deeter placed 82nd (23:37) and Stephanie Christensenwas 92 (23:54).
Behind Nielson, Macy Butterfield (25:50) placed 39th; Mike Felix (43rd, 25:53); Trevor Sharp (65th, 26:21); Chris Dorton (71st, 26L29) and Logan Wood(86th, 27:00).
Iowa State's Besty Saina (20.50.5) won the women's individual title, while Kelly Wiebe (Regina, Canada) won the men's at 24:18.8.
The Wolverines are back in action at the SUU Invitational in Cedar City Oct. 6.
Jay Hinton is a sports information assistant at Utah Valley University.
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