The Redbirds got their first taste of major Cross-Country on the season, as the women competed with 28 teams and the men competed with 24 teams at the Roy Griak Invitational at the University of Minnesota.
The women proved to be one of the better teams at the race. They finished tied for 12th in the race as a team.
Senior Rachael Brewer was the first Redbird woman to finish with a time of 21:33 in her 6K race, coming in 25th place. She was the only Redbird woman to place in the top 50.
Finishing next for the Redbirds were sophomores Kelly McShea and Haley Goers with times of 22:16 and 22:24, who ended up coming in 62nd and 73rd, respectively.
Following them were junior Kimberly Christensen (23:08, 130th), sophomore Ellen Devereux (23:17, 139th) and sophomore Kaley Ummel (23:24, 145th).
The top five teams in the women’s race were Arizona, Michigan State, Butler, home team Minnesota and Iowa State.
The Redbird men’s team placed 18th, but the talk of the day was junior Ryan Rutherford, who held his own, and finished 16th with a time of 24:46 in the 8K race. He finished first for the Redbirds. Rutherford was also the only Redbird man in the top 100.
After Rutherford, freshman Jeff Bajema finished with a time of 25:54 and placed 104th. Shortly after Bajema were sophomores Dave Eckhart and Tyler Morse, who ended up with times of 26:02 and 26:09, and came in 118th and 124th, respectively.
Rounding out the Redbird men were junior Sean Senf (26:15, 131st), freshman Paul Steeno (27:10, 150th) and freshman Jesse Hahne (27:11, 152nd).
The top-five teams in the men’s race were Brigham Young University, Colorado State, Arizona State, Adams State and Oklahoma.
Both teams will compete at Illinois Wesleyan University, in the Titan Invite, next week.