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McDougal Wins Roy Griak Individual Crown; Flames 14th, Lady Flames 18th in Team Standings

September 23, 2006  Falcon Heights, Minn.  RSS
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Photo by Eric Miller - Minnesota Athletic Photography

Photo by Eric Miller - Minnesota Athletic Photography

Liberty University junior Josh McDougal (Peru, N.Y.) remained unbeaten in his collegiate cross country career outside of the NCAA Division I national meet, holding off a talented field at Saturday's Roy Griak Invitational at the Les Bolstad Golf Course in Falcon Heights, Minn. McDougal's efforts helped the Flames finish 14th out of 34 teams.

On the women's side, junior Piper Newby (Hayden Lake, Idaho) was the Lady Flames' number one runner for the second-straight meet, taking 70th place. Liberty finished 18th out of 30 teams in the final standings.

Coach Brant Tolsma's men team totaled 338 points. Eighth-ranked Arizona, led by seniors Robert Cheseret and Obed Mutanya, who placed fourth and fifth overall, won the meet with 142 points. That put the Wildcats 11 points ahead of the host Minnesota Golden Gophers, who garnered the runner-up trophy. Liberty's regional rival Virginia took third with 173 points.

The Lady Flames accumulated 519 points. UC Santa Barbara was a surprise winner of the women's team title, finishing with 87 points. UCSB had three of the top six finishers, including the champion (Stephanie Rothstein) and the runner-up (Lauren Christman). Defending champion Arizona State took second with 108 points, while Baylor was third with 120.

McDougal's 8K time of 24:14 left him four seconds ahead of the runner-up, Northern Arizona sophomore Lopez Lomong. McDougal was challenged throughout, as Lomong, Arizona State's Aaron Aguayo and Cheseret all finished less than eight seconds behind him.

Jarvis Jelen (Jr., Sioux Falls, S.D.) crossed the line in 25:25, taking 28th place out of 301 finishers. Jordan McDougal (R-So., Peru, N.Y.) was next to finish for Liberty, taking 78th in a time of 26:05.

Junior Drew Ponder (Colonial Heights, Va.) was 126th (26:26.35) and freshman Josh Edmonds (Cooperstown, N.Y.) finished right behind him in 129th (26:26.70) to round out Liberty's top five.

Junior Nate Edwards (Warren, Mich.) (247th, 27:53) and sophomore James Doak (Kintnersville, Pa.) (288th, 28:51) also competed for the Flames.

On a day when most times were slow, Newby recorded a PR for the second-straight race. Her time of 22:49 was 24 seconds under her previous best at the 6K distance. Junior Carol Jefferson (Schwenksville, Pa.) was the Lady Flames' number two runner, recording a 23:25 that was good for 107th in the 288-runner field.

Sarah Roberts (Jr., Zeiglerville, Pa.), Jefferson's high school teammate as well, finished close behind her in the 111th position, crossing the line in 23:28. Rebekah Ricksecker (So., Laurel, Del.) was 137th in a time of 23:47 and Jo Welch (Jr., Castro Valley, Calif.) placed 153rd in 23:56 to round out Liberty's scorers.

Sophomore Ashley Osborne (Bristol, Va.) (181st, 24:21) and redshirt junior Reyna Quiroz (Canyonville, Ore.) (206th, 24:44) were the Lady Flames' sixth and seventh runners.

The Liberty men's and women's cross country teams will be back in action next Saturday at the Greater Louisville Classic. That course at E.P. Tom Sawyer State Park will be the site of the NCAA Division I Southeast Regional Championships in November.

Men's 8K Race

Individual Finishers:
1) Josh McDougal, 24:14
2) Lopez Lomong, Northern Arizona, 24:18
3) Aaron Aguayo, Arizona State, 24:18
4) Robert Cheseret, Arizona, 24:21
5) Obed Mutanya, Arizona, 24:26
28) Jarvis Jelen, 25:25
78) Jordan McDougal, 26:05
126) Drew Ponder, 26:26
129) Josh Edmonds, 26:26
247) Nate Edwards, 27:53
288) James Doak, 28:51

Team Standings:
1) Arizona, 142
2) Minnesota, 153
3) Virginia, 173
4) Arizona State, 182
5) Iowa State, 207
14) Liberty, 338

Women's 6K Race

Individual Finishers:
1) Stephanie Rothstein, UC Santa Barbara, 21:12
2) Lauren Christman, UC Santa Barbara, 21:12
3) Emily Brown, Minnesota, 21:16
4) Alissa McKaig, Michigan State, 21:18
5) Emily Harrison, Virginia, 21:21
70) Piper Newby, 22:49
107) Carol Jefferson, 23:25
111) Sarah Roberts, 23:28
137) Rebekah Ricksecker, 23:47
153) Jo Welch, 23:56
181) Ashley Osborne, 24:21
206) Reyna Quiroz, 24:44

Team Standings:
1) UC Santa Barbara, 87
2) Arizona State, 108
3) Baylor, 120
4) Minnesota, 137
5) Michigan State, 143
18) Liberty, 519