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DSU fails to meet expectations at Roy Griak Invitational

MINNEAPOLIS -- Dickinson State cross country head coach Mike Nekuda had high expectations for his teams going into the Roy Griak Invitational Saturday afternoon.

But when the men's team finished 24 of 44 teams with its best runner placed 60th, he was really letdown.

"I know the sport pretty well and I know the teams that were running there's no doubt in my mind that we were a top 18 at that meet, without a doubt," Nekuda said. "And we took 24 and sometimes I don't know what to say. We didn't run real well and I have to take the responsibility for that."

Senior Denis Patrick finished at 60th with a time of 26 minutes, 43 seconds and the closest DSU runner was sophomore Dante Carter who finished at 81st. On the girl's side, the team overall placed second-to-last (34) with freshman Ashly George leading her team at 112nd. The next two finishers for the Blue Hawks were a pair of Dickinson High graduates as Stormie Sickler finished in 186th followed by Meleah Leiss at 190th. Shelby Snare (204) and Camille Ness (217) rounded out the top five for the Blue Hawks.

Despite the Blue Hawks looking fatigued during the meet, Nekuda realized not all the blame can be put onto the runners and takes the blame for their poor finishes.

"You got to take a close look at everything and take a look in the mirror and say 'if everybody didn't run good, I know these guys really well and that they gave their full effort that's probably on me,'" Nekuda said. "I'm going to take the responsibility of how we ran I just think we were a little bit tired and I don't think we were ready to go and I think that was my fault more than their fault."

The team has two weeks to prepare for the Montana State University-Billings Yellowjacket Invitational on Oct. 12. Nekuda said that he won't be changing up his approach to training and understands that his team's tiredness is normal and takes a little time to get used to.

"It takes the body a little while to adapt to the training and I believe we're about two weeks behind some of these teams that really really get after intensity wise," Nekuda said. "Where I think we're going to catch them and exceed them at the end of the year that's what we did on the men's side last year ... I have confidence our bodies are going to adapt to what we're doing."

Roy Griak Invitational

At Le Bolstad Golfcourse, University of Minnesota


Team scores: Augustana (S.D.) 54, UW -La Crosse 105, Central Missouri 131, Lakeland University 190, 206 UC San Diego 206, Pittsburg State 262, Nebraska-Kearney 278, Iowa State Running Club 327, Southwest Baptist 355, Run n Fun 365.

Individual top 10: 1, Adam Volkert, Pittsburg State, 25:10.5, Paul Yak, Augustana 25:20.1, Adam Braun, Augustana, 25:25.0, Sam Vincent, Bison Track Club, 25:29.8, laban Sialo, Central Missouri, 25:31.2, Aaron Easker, unattached, 25:31.7, Tyler Stuber, Central Missouri, 25:37.2, Kevin Tree, Lakeland University, 25:42.6, Devin Allabaugh, Minn State Mankato, 25:43.5, David Stitlin UW-La Crosse, 25:45.7.

Other Dickinson finishers: 60, Denis Patrick 26:43, 81, Dante Carter 26:59, 162 Delano Lilly 27:56, 170, Dustin Sandbak 28:01, 174 Jeffrey Segovia 28:02, 212 Eddie Meneses 28:47, 261, Daniel Patrick 30:26.


Team scores: Augustana (S.D.) 83, Minnesota-Duluth 121, Pittsburg State 146, University of Mary 185, Southwest Baptist 199, UC San Diego 199, Nebreaska-Kearney 207, Oliviet Nazarene 226, Northern Michigan 242, Winona State 247.

Individual top 10: 1, Runa Falch, Augustana, 21:34.3, Jessica Macy Pittsburg 21:39.1, Taylor Berg, Run n Fun, 21:54.9, Bevin Kennelly, unattached 21:59.4, tephanie Jenks, unattached, 22:06.7, Jennifer Agnew, University of Mary, 22:10.4, Breanna Colbenson, Minnesota-Duluth, 22:16.4, Klye Blakeslee, unattached, 22:27.2, Missa Varpness Run n Fun, 22;28.0, Jillian Tholen, Run n Fun, 22:33.2.

Other Dickinson finishers: 112, Ashly George 24:59.5, 186, Stormie Sickler, 26:54.4, 190 Meleah Leiss, 27:09.1, 204 Shelby Snare, 28:15.3, 217, Camille Ness, 29:45.4, 223 Shayna Tonderum, 30:01.8, 230, Shelby Stagner, 34:32.8.