FALCON HEIGHTS, Minn. – Wyoming freshman Harry Ewing had the biggest performance of his young career on Saturday, taking 45th place overall to lead the Cowboys to a 17th-team finish at the 31st annual Roy Griak Invitational. Ewing finished the men’s 8-kilometer race in 25 minutes, 56 seconds at the University of Minnesota’s Les Bolstad Golf Course. Junior Lauren Hamilton led the Cowgirls for the second straight meet, finishing 63rd with a time of 22:59 in the women’s 6-kilometer race as Wyoming’s women’s harriers took 17th place as a team.
Junior Jonah Henry took 53rd in the men’s race with a time of 26:03. Henry led the Cowboys for a large portion of the race, but Ewing snuck past his teammate to record his first team-leading performance in a Brown and Gold uniform. Ewing finished eighth among freshmen competitors in the 275-athlete field.
“I thought he competed really well,” said UW head coach Bryan Berryhill of Ewing. “He was really poised all race. He put himself in a good position early and had a really good finish.”
Senior Mike Seas crossed the finish line in 26:48 to take 124th overall, while Ricky Faure was close behind at 26:59 to finish 144th. Freshman Daniel Hintz rounded out the Cowboys’ top five, taking 156th in his first collegiate 8K with a time of 27:08.
On the women’s side, freshman Kacey Doner followed Hamilton to cross the line as the Cowgirls’ second finisher. She took 96th overall, clocking a time of 23:23. Kerry White was next, taking 113th in the field of nearly 350 athletes with a time of 23:31. Seniors Megan Brunette and Audra DeStefano followed, placing 120th and 128th, respectively, with times of 23:36 and 23:42. The Cowgirls had another impressive pack split, with just 43 seconds elapsing between Hamilton and DeStefano crossing the finish line.
Portland swept the team competition with five men’s runners in the top 25 and five women’s runners in the top 35. Iowa State, Boise State, Michigan and Michigan State rounded out the men’s top five teams, while Michigan State, Penn State, Boise State, and Michigan rounded out the women’s top five. Colorado State junior Jerrell Mock won the men’s individual title with a time of 25:07 while Boise State sophomore Brenna Peloquin pulled away from Michigan senior Erin Finn to win the women’s individual title at 20:50.
While Wyoming has a long competition break before its next meet, Berryhill plans to use the extra time to figure out some of the team’s struggles. “We’ve got to work hard the next two weeks,” he said. “We looked a little flat today, but we’ll just go back to work.”
Cowboy and Cowgirl harriers will travel to Terre Haute, Ind., for Pre-Nationals on Oct. 15. The 2016 Mountain West Cross Country Championships will follow on Oct. 28 in Kuna, Idaho.