Sept. 28, 2013
Roy Griak Invitational Results
Vanderbilt's No. 20 women's cross country team finished sixth in the team competition in a loaded field at the Roy Griak Invitational in Minneapolis, Minn.
Senior Liz Anderson paced the Commodores in the team's first 6K race of the season with a time of 21:19 to take 14th overall. Rebecca Chandler (21:47) and Lily Williams (21:55) were next across the line for Vandy with Claire Benjamin (22:10) and Carmen Carlos (22:12) rounding out the Dores' scoring five.
"Looks like we had some very good individual races but not quite enough of a grouping to crack the top five teams," head coach Steve Keith said. "Sixth place in a field of national class teams is a solid result and a great experience for our younger runners. We'll build off of quite a few positives from this effort as we set our sights on Wisconsin in three weeks and ultimately the SEC Championships at the beginning of November.
"This was a 'buzz saw' of a meet in terms of depth and quality, and you really needed to be on your game - mental and physical - to run in the front. Liz ran very well for her first meet of the year and Becca Chandler had a fantastic run coming in 33rd overall as our number two scorer."
The Commodores scored 194 points for sixth place, capturing head-to-head wins over nationally ranked teams NC State and San Francisco.
"This was a very competitive field of runners and the ladies ran a strong race today," assistant coach Rhonda Riley said. "When you look at our scorers today, other than Liz we were very young in this type of big national level meet experience with Becca, Lily, Claire, Carmen and Vanessa and we thought they responded very well. Liz showed her experience by placing 14th overall and Becca Chandler had a great performance as well. We will work hard the next three weeks and look forward to Wisconsin where we hope to have another top 10 finish."
Vanessa Valentine clocked a time of 22:24 and Grace Orders finished in 22:28. Hannah Jumper (22:44) and Sara Barron (22:54) wrapped up Vanderbilt's 10-woman squad.
Shelby Houlihan of Arizona State took the individual title with a time of 20:35, 13 seconds ahead of second place. Arizona (48 points) took the team title in front of Michigan State and Butler.
Vanderbilt returns to competition next week at the Greater Louisville Classic in Louisville, Ky.