Men's Team Places Top-25 at Competitive Griak Invitational

By Jacob Most
Sept. 28, 2014 -

MINNEAPOLIS – The UK cross country teams returned to competition this weekend at the Minnesota’s Roy Griak Invitational in Minneapolis.

The UK men’s team placed 21st overall with 532 points. The meet marked UK’s first competition of 2014, which could be considered as part of teams’ body of work when at-large bids are awarded for the NCAA Championships.

Friday was the first day meets were considered.

The UK men’s team’s top-5 runners were Zack Beavin, Ryan Polman, James Brown , Matt Hillenbrand and Michael Iacofano respectively.

Beavin and Polman each posted top-100 8k finishes as Beavin placed 67th (26:09.9) and Polman was 85th (26:19.9).

The Griak boasted one of the strongest fields of any meet in the country this weekend.  The men’s race had three ranked teams in No. 24 Texas, No. 27 Iowa State, and No. 29 Colorado State.

The women team race featured No. 3 Michigan State, No. 9 Iowa State, No. 11 Butler, No. 20 Boise State, No. 22 Vanderbilt, No. 28 hosts Minnesota, and No. 30 North Carolina.

The young UK women’s team was led by freshman Aundrea Busse, who finished 48th overall with a 6,000-meter time of 22:21.9. Katy Kunc also turned in a strong performance with a top-100 finish against a strong field. She clocked in at 22:58.6.

The women’s team did not have five finishers, and thus did not qualify for a team score (cross country team scores are tabulated by calculating the lowest aggregate of individual placement with each team’s top-5 runners’ finish tabulated).

The Wildcats will compete on consecutive Saturdays for the first time this season next weekend at the Greater Louisville Classic.

Kentucky would only be scheduled to compete two weeks in a row one other time this year, should they qualify for the NCAA Championships after the NCAA Southeast Regional.

UK Results (Griak Invitational)
Men’s Team – 21. Kentucky -532
Men’s Individual
67, Zack Beavin JR 26:09.9
85. Ryan Polman JR 26:19.9
106. James Brown JR 26:32.5
155. Matt Hillenbrand: 27:05.5
157. Michael Iacofano: 27:06.4
163. Jared Phillips: 27:12.2
171. MacKay Wilson: 27:16.5
206. Spencer Hrycay: 27:46.8
209. Keffri Neal: 27:50.1

Women’s Individual Results
48. Aundrea Busse: 22:21.9
94. Katy Kunc: 22:58.6
277. Jill Weston: 24:53.5
312. Michelle McKinney: 25:30.6