The University of Wisconsin-Platteville men's and women's cross country teams competed against many of the nation's top teams at the prestigious Roy Griak Invitational hosted by the University of Minnesota on Saturday.
The Pioneer men, who are currently ranked ninth in the region by the United States Track and Field Cross Country Coaches Association, brought home second-place honors in the 20-team field. WIAC rival UW-La Crosse edged out the Pioneers for the team title with five runners in the top 16. UW-Stout senior Tim Nelson won the individual race with an 8k time of 25:32.9.
UW-Platteville was led by senior Derek Fahrenkrug (pictured to the left; photo by Jessica Heitsman), who finished 10th in a time of 26:08.4 and just behind him was sophomore Joel Walden, who finished 11th in a time of 26:11. The Pioneers placed two more runners in the top 25 including freshman Ian LaMere in a time of 26:18.6 (14th) and sophomore Matt Kocak in a time of 26:32.8 (23rd). Senior Matt Borneman was the fifth Pioneer across the line in a time of 26:39 to finish 38th. Sophomores Chris Czech and Matt Smaga were 62nd (27:34.5) and 77th (27:48.8), respectively.
The Pioneer women were 18th out of 29 teams. The first Pioneer across the line was freshman Kiera Depies, who finished the 6k course on the Les Bolstad Golf Course in 24:34.90 to finish 65th overall. Linda Keller of Minnesota Morris won the race in a time of 21:48.85.
Next for the Pioneers was Teagan Seneczko, who placed 88th in a time of 25:02.85. The next two runners for UW-Platteville was separated by just under three seconds as Olivia Bukowski (113th) and Megan Knutson (115th), finished in 25:46.65 and 25:49.40, respectively. The fifth runner for the Pioneers was Connie Spyropoulos, who posted a time of 26:16.10 to finish 132nd.
Next, the Pioneers will host UW-Whitewater in a dual meet on Friday, October 5th at Cole Acres in nearby Cuba City on Friday, Oct. 5.