FALCON HEIGHTS, Minn. Senior Jonathan Anderson placed 22nd in a field of 229 to lead Army to a 14th place finish at the Roy Griak Invitational on Saturday at the University of Minnesota Les Bolstad Golf Course. The Black Knights finished one spot ahead of arch-rival Navy and fared well against many nationally and regionally ranked teams.
Anderson completed the eight kilometer course in 24:57.0 and passed 21 opponents over the last three kilometers.
“Jonathan Anderson ran the best race I have ever seen him run,” said head coach Laura Kirchgraber.
Anderson is off to a great start this year. He led the way for Army against Cornell at the West Point Golf Course on Sept. 12 and appears to be capitalizing on his successful spring, where he won the Patriot League championships in the 5,000-meter and 10,000-meter runs.
Juniors Greg Griffith (25:47.5) and Kirk Chitwood (25:48.1) finished less than a second apart in 84th and 86th place, respectively and seniors Andrew Catalano (109th, 26:02.6) and Justin Messenger (116th, 26:12.1) rounded out the top-five scorers for Army.
“The guys ran a very smart race,” said Kirchgraber. “It was an extremely stacked field with many nationally and regionally ranked opponents. The pace was a little fast over the first mile but they stayed in position to be competitive.”
Junior Zac Reiter (151st, 26:45.0) and sophomore Alexis Torre (164th, 27:03.8) were the sixth and seventh Army finishers. All of the Army runners improved their positions over the last three kilometers.
The men’s team entered the Griak Invitational ranked 11th in the northeast region in the preseason edition of the NCAA Division I Regional Rankings. They finished right behind Ohio State, ranked eighth in the Great Lakes region, and beat five other regionally ranked teams. Among those teams was Navy, ranked fifth in the mid-atlantic region. Six of the teams finishing ahead of Army were ranked or received votes in the top-30 national poll.
Adams State won the event and Elkaneh Kibet of Auburn finished first in 23:55.3.
The Black Knights will travel next to Bethlahem, Pa. for the Paul Short Invitational at Lehigh University on Friday, Oct. 3.