MINNEAPOLIS – South Dakota’s women’s cross country team made program history during Saturday’s Division I race at the 32nd annual Roy Griak Invitational at Les Bolstad Course.
The Coyotes finished in fifth-place for the best finish in school history in the Division I race while all four teams that finished ahead of them are nationally ranked by the U.S. Track and Field/Cross Country Coaches Association.
Megan Billington, a junior, paced South Dakota for the third straight meet with a 22nd place finish, clocking 22:17.0 over the 6,000-meter course.
The next four Coyotes all finished within 30 seconds of each other as junior Lindsay Joyce (Bishop Heelan) was 36th (22:45.4) followed by Madeline Huglen and Laura Nelson, who crossed the line in 54th and 55th place, respectively. Sophomore Kianna Stewart was next at 57th.
In the women’s Division II/NAIA race, Morningside (20th) and Northwestern (26th) were the top two NAIA teams in the team race.
Northwestern senior Katie Bosch ran a personal best time over 6,000-meters of 23:30 to place 14th in the individual race.
Morningside was led by junior Payton Boer’s 47th place finish in 23:48.4.
Augustana College captured the team title in the men’s Division II/NAIA race with 43 points thanks to four runners in the top 12 of the 8,000-meter race.
Northwestern men, led by senior Hans Epp 28th place, finished 18th in the team race as the second NAIA school just two points behind Oklahoma Baptist.
A trio of area high school runners competed as well in the Roy Griak Invitational as Vermillion senior Maddie Lavin (20:43.1) and Spirit Lake junior Kourtney Delperdang (21:21.3), finished 59th and 118th, respectively in the girls gold division 5,000-meter race.
George-Little Rock/Central Lyon junior Joe Anderson won the boys maroon division race, shortened to 3,000-meters due to weather concerns, by finishing in 10:16 and out running 498 other competitors in the race.