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NIACC runners fare well at Griak Invite



This news story was published on September 26, 2021.
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ST. PAUL, Minn. – NIACC’s Melvin Kipkemboi placed fourth in the Maroon Division II race at the 35th annual University of Minnesota’s Roy Griak Invitational on Friday.

Kipkemboi, the defending NJCAA Division II champion, covered the rainy 8-kilometer course on the Les Bolstad Golf Course in a time of 25 minutes, 48 seconds in a race made up mainly of NCAA Division II runners.

Michigan Tech’s Clayton Seven was the Maroon race champion in a time of 25.17.7. Wayne State’s Ransom Allen was second in 25:22.5 and Wayne State’s Zac Truman was third in 25:41.3.

Kipkemboi’s fourth-place finish in the Division II race was the highest ever by a NIACC men’s runner. NIACC’s Wal Khat placed fifth in 26:18 in the Division II race in 2016 and Trent Smith placed ninth in 2012 in 25:55.

NIACC’s Brian Jacques won the Griak Division III race in 2017.

Kipkemboi’s time of 25:48.7 is the fastest ever by a NIACC men’s runner at the Griak Invitational. The previous best time was Smith’s 25:55 in 2012.

NIACC, which is ranked seventh in the NJCAA Division II, placed 19th with 560 points. Wayne State (Mich.) was the team champion with 68 points and Western Washington was second with 72 points.

Also for NIACC on Friday, Peyton Seiler was 171st (28:32), Christian Rodriguez was 226th (29:14), Pudens Kipkosgei was 232nd (29:18), Richard Marcoux was 233rd (29:20), Bryden Juelsgaard was 254th (29:34) and Maxwell Deeter was 361st (34:40).
NIACC returns to action Oct. 8 with the Trent Smith Invitational on the NIACC campus.

On the women’s side, NIACC’s Sarah Bertry placed 29th in the Division II Maroon race at the University of Minnesota Roy Griak Invitational on Friday afternoon on the rainy Les Bolstad Golf Course.

Bertry, who was the NJCAA Division II runner-up last season, covered the 6-kilometer course in 23 minutes, 29 seconds. Winona State’s Lindsay Cunningham was the Maroon race champion in a time of 21:44.

Bertry’s place was the third highest ever by a NIACC women’s runner in the Division II race at the Griak Invitational. Bertry’s time of 23:29 was also the third highest by a NIACC women’s runner at the Griak Invite.

NIACC’s Anna Buenneke placed 11th in 22:42 in 2011 and Hannah Palmeter placed 27th in 22:55 in 2014.

Also for NIACC on Friday, Lilly Stockberger was 253rd in 27:28 and Brianna Ross was 283rd in 28:23.
NIACC returns to action Oct. 8 with the Trent Smith Invitational on the NIACC campus.

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