Men's Cross Country Ready for the Roy Griak Invitational
Senior Dominic DellaPelle
Sept. 23, 2011
ANNAPOLIS, Md. - The Navy men's cross country team will travel to Falcon Heights, Minn., this Saturday for the 26th annual Roy Griak Invitational. Navy will compete in the men's Gold Race, which will consist of 26 teams and at total of 278 runners.
About the Roy Griak Invitational
The Griak Invite, hosted by the University of Minnesota, is one of the nation's largest cross country events. This year's 8k race will take place at the Les Bolstad Golf Course and will begin at 1:20 p.m. ET.
Navy will be part of a 26-team field at this year's event that will feature several strong programs from major conferences. Arizona, Arizona State, California and Washington will represent the Pac 12, while Big Ten schools Iowa, Michigan State and Penn State will join the host Gophers, which are ranked No. 24 in the latest United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) national coaches' poll.
No. 11 North Carolina State and Duke will represent the ACC, with Big 12 schools Iowa State, Kansas and Kansas State also competing.
The third nationally ranked team competing in Saturday's race is Portland, which is currently slotted No. 10 in the USTFCCCA coaches' poll.
Boise State, Butler, Cal Poly, Colorado State, Drake, Idaho State, Long Beach State, North Dakota State, South Dakota State, UNC Charlotte and Vanderbilt round out the field.
Navy placed sixth at last year's Griak Invitational - finishing one point ahead of 21st-ranked Iowa State.
Quoting the Coach
Coach Al Cantello's take on this week's upcoming race...
"Iconic meet, iconic coach (Griak), and a national field. This weekend puts us against six nationally ranked teams in the last three weeks. I don't know how else to run a program."
Patriot League Recognizes Rome Again
For the second consecutive week, senior Cody Rome was named Patriot League Runner of the Week. Rome finished fifth out of 102 runners at last weekend's Navy Invitational, helping the Mids to a second-place finish.
Rome also took the conference honor the previous week by finishing third out of 214 competitors at the Fordham Fiasco in New York.
Navy and the USTFCCCA Rankings
In the most recent USTFCCCA regional rankings released on Monday, Navy remained fifth in the Mid-Atlantic region. The top-four teams in the region - Princeton, Villanova, Georgetown and Penn State - remained in spots 1-4, respectively.
Navy remains the highest ranked Patriot League team in any region.
The Last Time Out
Navy placed second out of 10 teams at the Navy Invitational, while No. 28 Eastern Kentucky won the event. Led by Cody Rome, who placed fifth, Navy was the lone school to place four runners in the top 12. Ken Bunnell (ninth), James Pearson (10th) and Kyle Satterwhite (12th) followed Rome to help Navy secure second place.
Navy will travel to Bethlehem, Pa., for the Paul Short Invitational on Friday, Sept. 30.