Jerrell Mock joined a short list of runners to repeat as champions at the Roy Griak Invitational. Behind a strong performance from Mock, the men’s team placed first, while the women’s team placed sixth Saturday in Minnesota.
Mock finished his 8k with a time of 24:52 to win his second consecutive individual men’s championship. With Mock’s win, CSU became the only team in the history of the Roy Griak Invitational to have the individual men’s champion on their team for three consecutive seasons, a streak that started in 2015 by Jefferson Abbey.
Mock became only the third runner in meet history to repeat as champion, the first since the 2002-2003 season.
“Those guys stepping up is huge for our team,” head coach Art Siemers said in a release. “We have even more guys that can step up, but in these kinds of conditions, everybody takes the heat and humidity a little differently. But this is what a good team does.”
In addition to Mock’s individual win, solid performances from Cole Rockhold, Eric Hamer, Grant Fischer, and Wayde Hall led the rams to their first ever team team win at the Minnesota-based Invitational.
Rockhold finished with a time of 25:19, placing seventh while Hamer finished with a time of 25:29 and placed 10t. Fischer finished with a time of 25:30 and placed 11th behind Hamer, while Hall finished with a time of 25:48, placing 17th.
The women’s team finished sixth, an improvement of seven spots from a year ago. McKenna Spillar finished the 6k with a time of 22:36 to place 30t. Ali Kallner finished with a time of 22:47 and placed 37th. Spillar and Kallner were the only ram women to finish in the top 40.
“Dom (Dominique Ward) and Mary (Franke) (also) had very good races and McKenna (Spillar) has been very consistent for us,” Siemers said of the women’s performance. “It’s a step in the right direction for us. We really wanted to be a few teams higher, but it’s a good start. We’re just going to keep working hard. We have three weeks to prepare for the Wisconsin (Nuttycombe Wisconsin Invitational) – that’s going to be the meet of the year. We’re going to keep building on what we learned today for the next one.”
All of the Rams that competed improved from their performances last year except for Mock, who finished first in 2016. The Rams’ next meet is scheduled for Oct. 13 at the Nuttycombe Wisconsin Invitational in Madison, Wisconsin.
Collegian sports reporter Mamadou Balde can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or Twitter @mamadoubalde62.