HOUGHTON, Mich. – Nearly two full years have passed since their last counting competition, but the Michigan Tech men’s and women’s cross country teams are set to appear in the Wayne State Warrior Challenge Friday, September 10 at 6:15 p.m. EST. The races commence at Willow Metropark with the women completing 6,000 meters and the men 8,000 meters.
Head coach Kristina Owen and assistant coach Robert Young begin their first full season at the helm. In 2019, the Huskies posted a strong showing at the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference meet with the men finishing second and women third.
This fall, both squads feature multiple returning top finishers. On the men’s side, Braden Reichl (Green River, Wyoming) is a senior and an NCAA All-American. He placed fourth at the GLIAC Championships in 2019 and sixth at the NCAA Midwest Regionals. Reichl also crossed the line with the 23rd best time in NCAA Division II at the NCAA National Championships.
The Huskies also feature Houghton High School graduate, junior Clayton Sayen (Houghton, Michigan), and senior Robbie Watling (New London, Wisconsin). Both placed at the NCAA Championships in 2019. Freshman Nick Niemi (Ironwood, Michigan) will be another player to watch after redshirting in 2019. One position Tech will have to replace is that of Matthew Pahl, who had the 21st best time in the nation at the NCAA Championships in Sacramento in 2019.
Michigan Tech was ranked as high as No. 9 in the country two years ago but will look to improve on a 24th place team finish in Sacramento.
Senior Gabrielle Feber (Huntington Woods, Michigan) is back for the MTU women’s cross country team. Feber took 18th place in the conference in 2019 and was named All-GLIAC Second Team. Feber also finished 145th at the NCAA National Championships and 30th in the region meet.
The women’s roster features a mostly young lineup but also includes upperclassmen Michelle Bollini (Charlevoix, Michigan), Sam Kurkowski (Roseville, Minnesota), Theresa Passe (Eagan, Minnesota), and Chloe Strach (North Muskegon, Michigan). This year’s group will have big shoes to fill with the graduation of All-American Emily Byrd.
Michigan Tech did appear in one unofficial race already this fall, when they hosted the MTU Scrimmage on a challenging course on August 27. After they make the trip to Wayne State Friday, the Huskies head to Minneapolis for the Roy Griak Invitational on September 24, where they placed second in 2019. Saginaw Valley State hosts the GLIAC Championships on Saturday, October 23.
Fans can stay up to date on all Michigan Tech cross country and track and field news by visiting michigantechhuskies.com and following on Twitter @MTUCCNSTF and Facebook: Michigan Tech Cross Country – Track & Field.
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