Cross country finishes first at Griak

Michael Johrendt

The UW-Oshkosh men’s cross country team ran another first-place finish at the Roy Griak Men’s Invitational in St. Paul, Minnesota on Saturday. Senior Jordan Carpenter led all of the Titans with a time of 26:48, which earned second place overall, 18 seconds away from the first-place pace. Carpenter won the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Men’s Cross Country Athlete of the Week award for races ran between Sept. 7 and 13. Head coach Eamon McKenna said Carpenter is always eager to make his teammates better. “Jordan Carpenter has been a wonderful asset to our team,” McKenna said. “He is competitive as a runner, as a student and as a person. On top of his leadership as a runner and athlete, he carries a 4.0 GPA, which helps push our group to be competitive academically, too.” Junior Charlend Howard (26:53) and freshman Wal Khat (27:16) scored with third and fifth place finishes, respectively. Junior Joe Zack (27:38) and senior Roberto Lara (27:40) rounded out the top 10, with Zack finishing eighth and Lara finishing 10th. Lara said having a well- rounded team leads to better workouts because there is always someone to compete with in practice. “Everyone benefits from having a good squad because you get to compete with great runners in practice, not just meets,” Lara said. “Then if you have a bad race, chances are someone else on the team will step up and run well.” Zack said the team has a nice pack that runs well together in races. “At the end of the day, our individual spot on the team doesn’t matter, as long as we’re competing to the best of our abilities,” Zack said. Coming into this matchup, UWO was ranked 13th in Division III. They scored 28 points, and brought home its first win at this invitational since 2011. In the past two seasons, the Titans took home second place finishes. “It was not a crucial meet for us on Saturday, but it was one that we look forward to doing well at,” McKenna said. “The race on Saturday showed us that we need to continue to work hard in order to reach our ultimate team goals, but it also gave us confidence that we can run up front as a pack for much of the race.” The next race for UWO is the Notre Dame Invitational in Indiana on Oct. 2.