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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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A&M cross country set sights on Roy Griak

The Aggies will head to Minneapolis, Minn., to compete in the 29th annual Roy Griak Invitational on Saturday at Les Bolstad Golf Course in Falcon Heights.
The invitational is one of the largest meets in the nation, hosting thousands of runners and many powerhouse cross country teams each year. The meet will consist of more than 30 schools, including 10 nationally-ranked teams representing seven regions.
“That’s the reason we’re going there,” said A&M assistant coach Wendel McRaven. “It’s one of the better regular season meets in the country. There’ll be a handful of nationally ranked teams and good individual talent there, so it’ll be a good opportunity for us.”
Despite the stress of running in such a well-known meet, McRaven is not worried about his team crumbling under pressure.
“They already understand that it’s a business trip and they already understand we’re going there for a purpose — we’re going there to compete,” McRaven said. “I want them to be relaxed and treat the days leading up to the meet just like it’s any other day. I don’t want them to spend too much time focused on it. If they sit around just thinking about the competition, then they’re going to waste a lot of emotional energy before they even run the race.”
The Aggie women, ranked No. 4 in the South Central Region rankings, are led by a power-trio consisting of seniors Hillary Montgomery, Grace Fletcher, and sophomore Karis Jochen. The threesome finished first, second and third on the 4,100 meter course last Saturday at the Texas A&M Invitational. McRaven said he is anxious to see how they will perform against such high-caliber competition.
“This will be a good test for them,” McRaven said. “I’ve told them so far that I want them to compete exactly the way they’ve been competing. This meet they’ll have some good competition individually. They should all three have a chance of being in the top 10 or top 15.”
The Aggie men, sitting at No. 3 in the South Central Region rankings behind Arkansas and Texas, are led by senior Isaac Spencer, who won the individual 6,000-meter title at last week’s invitational. The men were also able to claim the team title. Despite the impressive performance, McRaven wants to see more teamwork from the second group on such a challenging course.
“Isaac and Austin Wells did a nice job at the front last week,” McRaven said. “I think the key for those guys is to run smart, run intelligently. I’d like to see them do a better job of finding each other earlier in the race and run it together. You want to see them working together, helping each other out.”
Despite the current runners’ inexperience on the 8,000-meter course they will run Saturday, McRaven said his own familiarity could prove advantageous for the Aggies.
“It’s primarily rolling with a couple decent hills on it,” McRaven said. “It’s a good course, a challenging course that’ll beat you up a little bit. None of our team has actually been there, but hopefully my experience and the fact that I’ve been on it on multiple occasions will help out and give them some insight.”

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