Sept. 24, 2011
FALCON HEIGHTS, Minn.—The Arizona State University men’s cross country team posted a solid fourth-place finish on Saturday while the women finished 11th at the 26th Annual Roy Griak Invitational in Falcon Heights, Minn.
Junior Darius Terry paced the men for the second time in as many races, running to a time of 23:55 over the 8,000-meter Les Bolstad Golf Course to finish fifth overall out of 220 scoring competitors. Terry was just 10 seconds out of the runner-up position and looks primed to be making his mark on the national scene this season.
“He’s unbelievable. He’s running against some top-10 type guys and he’s running with them the whole time,” ASU head coach Louie Quintana said of Terry’s performance. “He’s certainly a guy that can be a top-20 guy at the NCAA Championships and if things go well, a top-10 guy.”
Boise State transfer Brian Pierre looked strong in his Sun Devil debut as the senior scored a 39th-place finish as the team number four runner in 24:51. Junior Doug Smith showed no ill-effects after suffering a trip at the start of the George Kyte Classic a couple weeks ago that knocked him out of the race, as he was the fifth Sun Devil across the line Saturday in 73rd place in 25:23.
“I felt like the guys just went after it today,” Quintana said after the race. “At some point you just got to go and try to race hard and we did a great job doing that.”
Arizona State was the highest finishing Pac-12 team in the field and second among teams in the NCAA West Region.
On the women’s side, ASU got a look at things to come as freshman Shelby Houlihan was the first across the line for the Sun Devils in her collegiate debut. A prep star out of Sioux City, Iowa, Houlihan wasted no time showing why she was one of the top distance recruits in the country with her 24th-place finish in 21:18.
Senior Lindsay Prescott, the team’s top returning runner, also opening up her season and did so to the tune of a 47th-place finish in 21:43. Junior Natasa Vulic was next across the line in 21:54 to finish 59th while another freshman left her mark in her collegiate debut as Macy Bricks was the teams fourth scorer with a 71st-place, 22:03 minute effort.
Senior Kauren Tarver rounded out the scoring individuals for ASU with a time of 22:06 to finish 77th.
The Sun Devils will now have a couple weeks off before the head to the Grand Canyon Invite in Goodyear, Ariz., on Oct. 14. Following that, the team will have its first chance to score points towards the NCAA Championship this season when they head to compete at the Wisconsin Invitational in Madison, Wisc., on Oct. 14.