What's Ahead: The Drake women's cross country team is ready and rested after a week off from competition to compete at Ewing Park in Des Moines during the Grand View Invitational on Friday (Sept. 21). The 8,000-meter race will start at 5 p.m. for the women.
Last Time Out: The Bulldog women had their strongest showing in three years at the Oz Memorial on Sept. 7 putting together a team score of 76 to finish second. Host Minnesota claimed the lowest score possible of 15.
Drake fifth-year senior Kirsten Lake (Parker, Colo.) was the first Bulldog to finish the race. She ran the 6-kilometer course in a time of 22:45.84 followed by sophomore Mariel Fulton (Louisville, Colo.) who was 25th at 23:36.58.
A couple of young Bulldogs rounded out the pack as freshman Taylor Scholl (Prior Lake, Minn.) finished 27th (23:41.49), freshman Emma Huston (Des Moines, Iowa) was 33rd (24:04.45) and junior Amanda Marwitz (Crystal Lake, Ill.) rounded out the scoring in 43rd (24:33.00).
A Year Ago: A limited squad of Bulldog runners earned a second-place showing at the Grand View Invitational. Freshman Melissa Parks (Norfolk, Neb.) led the way, earning an eighth-place finish in 19:39. Sophomores Erin Poss (Antioch, Ill.) and Celia Venezia (Labadie, Mo.) were ninth and 10th with times of 19:53 and 19:54, respectively.
Grand View's Obsie Birru, who won the 10,000-meters at the Drake Relays in 2011 and 2012, won the 5,000-meter race at Ewing Park in 17:51.
Johnson, a freshman from Mora, Minn., who was class valedictorian at Mora High School, placed in the team top seven at the Oz Memorial and 15th at the Bulldog Classic.
Scholl, a freshman from Prior Lake, Minn., who was a six-time letterwinner in cross country at Prior Lake High School, placed 12th at the Bulldog Classic and 27th, as the third runner for the Bulldogs, at the Oz Memorial.
The athletes discuss their first few weeks at Drake, returning to their home state of Minnesota for the Oz Memorial, and even show off their team handshake.