Meyer runs her way to Griak glory, 1st place win

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Kimber Meyer ’17 won the Griak meet on Saturday, Sept. 26. Her victory is the first ever individual Griak title for a Macalester runner. Meyer won the race by approximately 30 seconds, finishing the six kilometer course in 22:57. Photo by Anders Voss ’16.

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At the thousand meter mark she was squarely in the lead pack. At the mile she was ahead by four steps. By the halfway mark, she had broken it wide open. The last thing Kimber Meyer ’17 had left to do was race the clock on her way to winning the Suzy Wilson Division III Race at the 39th annual Roy Griak Invitational.

It was the first ever individual Griak title for a Macalester runner, and Meyer did it in impressive fashion, winning by nearly 30 seconds. It was her fourth year racing on the Les Bolstad Golf Course as the junior from Naperville, Illinois also competed at the Griak in high school. Her 22:57 performance over the six kilometer course on Saturday beat her previous personal course record by 19 seconds.

“It was great to see her convincingly win that race, but I wasn’t surprised,” said Women’s Cross Country Head Coach Betsy Emerson. “I had a pretty good hunch going into the competition just knowing the field, and throughout you could see her looking relaxed and in control of her race.”

In their third cross country season together, Emerson has enjoyed watching Meyer blossom and grow physically stronger. “It’s really fun to watch people mature over the course of their career,” she said. “You can see Kimber is in this special place of really wanting to race and loving to run.”

The Roy Griak Invitational, hosted by the University of Minnesota, is one of the biggest meets, both in size and spectacle, on the Scot’s schedule each season.

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“Griak is one of those signature meets, not just for us, but in the nation in terms of the carnival atmosphere with so many spectators and teams involved,” Emerson said. “No matter the division, I think it’s so impressive any time an individual wins that race because it is one of the biggest races of the season on a very challenging course.”

Meyer’s individual success has brought good fortune to the team standings; the Scots’ fourth place team finish on Saturday was the best under Emerson’s tenure. “When you have a great front-runner leader that has that focus, it brings everybody along,” she said.

On Tuesday, calling her performance “one of her biggest wins to date” the Sports Information Directors of the MIAC named Meyer MIAC Runner of the Week for a second consecutive week. A strong performance on this stage may note more impressive races to come.

“I’m really excited about the rest of the season especially for the possibility of Nationals with our team,” Meyer said. “I’m excited for our whole team because I feel like we’re all dedicated and motivated and pushing each other to do really well.”

Meyer is looking for her third consecutive All-American honor in cross country to go with the pair she picked up in indoor and outdoor track during her first year as a Scot. A year ago she placed second at the MIAC Conference Meet, third at the Central Region Championships and seventh at Division III Nationals.

For now though, Meyer is enjoying her post-Griak glow: “The best part about Saturday was how supportive all my teammates were,” she said. “After the race and when I was up on the podium, everybody was cheering and singing and smiling which made it so special and so fun.”