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Drake Men's Cross Country to Compete at Grand View Invitational

Courtesy: Drake Athletics
         
Release: September 18, 2012
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What's Ahead: After a week off from competition the Drake men's cross country team is set to compete in the Grand View Invitational on Friday (Sept. 21). The 8,000-meter race will begin at 5:45.

The race will mark the second time the Bulldogs have competed at Ewing Park this season. Drake opened the season at Ewing with the Bulldog Classic, where senior Charlie Lapham (Golden Valley, Minn.) was the top finisher for the Bulldogs, finishing third in 12:51.

Last Time Out: A pair of Drake runners finished in the top 10 at the Oz Memorial, leading the team to a third-place finish at the 6,000-meter race hosted by the University of Minnesota.

Junior Brogan Austin (Boone, Iowa) had an impressive race, finishing second in 18:55.68, just two seconds shy of the winner. Sophomore Conor Wells (Des Moines, Iowa) finished seventh in 19:25.33.

A Year Ago: Junior Doug Brady (Englewood, Colo.) won the individual title spurring a short-sided Bulldogs men's cross country team to victory at the Grand View Invitational. Brady finished the 8,000-meter course at Ewing Park in 25:47.

Drake gathered a team score of 24 points for a third straight victory in the event. Also finishing in the top 10 for Drake were sophomore Ryan Flynn (Bettendorf, Iowa), fourth in 26:22, junior Mike Rodriguez (Chanhassen, Minn.) placing fifth in 26:31, sophomore Guy Eckman (Iowa City, Iowa) was eighth (26:45) and senior Matt Jurysta (Oshawa, Ontario), was 10th (26:59).

Drake Ranked 14th in USTFCCCA Midwest Regional Poll: After a week off from competition to train, Drake fell two spots in this week's United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Midwest Regional Poll with a 14th-place ranking.

The Bulldogs began the year ranked 12th. The next USTFCCCA rankings will come out next Monday (Sept. 24).

Better Know a Bulldog: Junior Brogan Austin and sophomore Conor Wells participated in the first installment of "Better Know A Bulldog" during their off week from competition.

Austin, who won the 2011 MVC Cross Country Championship, is a junior from Boone, Iowa. He has had a successful 2012 campaign finishing in the top 10 at both Bulldogs' competitions so far.

Wells, a Des Moines native who attended Roosevelt High School, has had a break-out 2012 campaign after finishing sixth in the Bulldog Classic and seventh at the Oz Memorial.

The athletes discussed everything from their best Drake experience, their favorite 90's singers, and even former President Jimmy Carter, who visited Drake last week.

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