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ASU Cross Country Travels To Roy Griak Invitational
Courtesy: Sun Devil Athletics
Release: 09/18/2000
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Sept. 18, 2000

Saturday, Sept. 23-- Roy Griak Invitational, St. Paul, Minn.
Men: 9 a.m. (PT), 8K, Women: 10 a.m. (PT), 6K

This Week:
Arizona State cross country returns to the great wide open this weekend, as the seventh-ranked women and 11th-ranked men cross country squads are set to compete in the 16th annual Roy Griak Invitational hosted by the University of Minnesota at Les Bolstad Golf Course in St. Paul, Minn. on Saturday, Sept. 23. The men's 8,000 meter gold race is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. Pacific Time (11 a.m. CST), while the women's 6,000 meter gold race will begin at 10 a.m. Pacific Time (noon CST). The Griak is the third largest meet in the country, falling just behind the NCAA Championship and the Pre-NCAA meet.

The Field:
Teams competing in the Roy Griak Invitational include Arizona, Army, Auburn, Brigham Young, Bulter, Cincinnati, Colorado State, Delaware, Eastern Michigan, Indiana, Iowa, Loyola-Chicago, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Oregon, Penn State, Purdue, Utah, Weber State, Western Michigan, and Wisconsin.

Sun Devils In the Polls:
The ASU women have climbed to a seventh-place ranking in the FinishLynx Women's Cross Country Poll released Sept. 18, after opening the season ranked No. 10. The women were also ranked eighth in Sports Illustrated for Women's fall college preview. The ASU men opened the season ranked 11th in the MONDO poll. The first regular season poll for the men will not be released until Sept. 26.

Repeat Performance?:
The Sun Devil women will look to defend their meet title, when they take to the course at the Griak on Saturday. Last year, ASU dominated the women's 5,000 meter race, placing three runners in the top 10. Then-sophomore Lisa Aguilera led the pack with a second place finish (17:32) behind Duke's Sheela Agrawal (17:31). The Sun Devils were also sparked by then-juniors Kelly MacDonald (5th, 17:47) and Mary Duerbeck (6th, 17:53).

Last Time Out:
Racing without their top men and women runners, ASU cross country squads opened the 2000 season with third and fourth place finishes respectively at the UC Irvine Invitational Saturday, Sept. 9 at Central Park in Huntington Beach, Calif. Junior Brianna Torres claimed first place in the women's 5,000-meter run in a time of 18:30.2, her first ever meet title as a Sun Devil.

Rounding out top-25 women finishers were senior Colleen Burke who finished seventh (19:00.3) and redshirt-freshman Beth Martin who finished 25th (19:42.4).

In the men's 8,000 meter, ASU freshmen Juan Reyes and Ryan Bousquet were the top two Sun Devil finishers in their collegiate debuts. Reyes finished ninth and had the fastest ASU men's time of 26:18.8, while Bousquet finished 10th in 26:21.3. Senior Garrett Jensen was just three seconds behind Bousquet, with a time of 26:23.9.

Other ASU men finishing in the top-25 were redshirt freshman Dan Maher (17th, 26:44.2), sophomore Ronnie Buchanan (18th, 26:44.8), senior Cheyne Jones (23rd, 26:59.7) and junior J.R. Cox (26:59.9).

Head Coach Walt Drenth:
Walt Drenth, in his fifth year as Head Cross Country Coach at Arizona State University, has taken the Sun Devils to unprecedented heights. He was named the Pac-10's Coach of the year in 1999, after leading the Sun Devils to their best finish in school history. Under his tenure, ASU has posted the best Pac-10 finishes in school history (Women 2nd in 1999, Men 4th in `98 and `99) and the best regional finishes in school history (both finished 3rd last year). In addition, the men are made their first appearance in school history at the NCAA Championships in 1999 and finished 14th, while the women earned back-to-back berths to nationals, including a 12th-place finish in 1999. Drenth came to Tempe after spending the previous six years (1990-95) at the College of William & Mary and six years at Central Michigan (1985-90). He is a seven-time conference coach of the year and two-time District Coach of the Year and has led six squads to the NCAA Championships.

Up Next:
ASU will return to the desert for the Canyon West Invitational at Kiwanis Park in Tempe, Saturday, Sept. 30.

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