Bethel Cross Country has strong showing at The Griak Invitational

Kelly Hinseth | Staff Writer

Last Saturday, you may not have seen hundreds of Bethel students decked out in flannel at the University of Minnesota’s Roy Griak Invitational, but you would have seen Bethel place third overall at the meet, the top finish for all MIAC competitors.

Matt Berens put forth the headlining effort, finishing first in a field of 153 runners, for the second time in his career.

Sam Nelson (left), Tom Ritter (middle), and Connor Haugen compete in the Roy Griak Invitational on Saturday. Photo by Nathan Klok.

The team had a total five runners on the men’s team finish in the top 31. Senior Tom Ritter and freshman Evan Hatton were in the top-25 and junior Connor Haugen cracked the top-30.

The meet is one of the largest in the country and features teams from all three collegiate divisions.

“As a team, we have the Griak date marked on our calendar the entire year,” Ritter said. “It’s a very difficult course and one that tests us mentally as well as physically.”

Also finishing the day strong was sophomore Annika Halverson, who ran with the lead pack for the entirety of the women’s race, finishing in the top-10.

“It’s hard not to be excited after our finish at Griak,” Ritter said. “At the beginning of the season we believed we were capable of doing some great things and this race confirmed our goals.”

As a result of their performance, the team is hopeful and confident for the rest of the season. The Royals have a number of meets still this fall including the MIAC conference championship at the end of October and the St. John’s Fall Finale in November.

The team gathers for prayer before their meet. Photo by Nathan Klok.

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