Oakdale, Minn. / North St. Paul
Bethel junior Matt Berens (Oakdale, Minn./North St. Paul) continued his impressive start to the 2013 season with a tremendous - and record-setting - performance at Saturday's Les Duke Invitational in Grinnell, Iowa. Berens not only won the individual title at the 52nd edition of the race, but he also shattered the meet record, which had stood for nearly 20 years. For his record-breaking performance, Berens was named the MIAC Men's Cross Country Athlete-of-the-Week for the second time in three weeks.
The Royals' junior was outstanding in the men's race at Oakland Acres Golf Course, finishing with a time of 24:32 to win the individual title and lead Bethel to a fourth-place finish. Berens crossed the finished line as the winner 19 seconds faster than any other runner in the field, and his time bested the previous record by 16 seconds. The old Les Duke Invite record was 24:48, set back in 1996. Berens now has two first-place finishes in his first two races in 2013 to start the season in grand fashion.
Bethel and its star runner hope the run of success can continue at one of the biggest regular-season meets of the season. The Royals will take this weekend off to gear up for the University of Minnesota's Roy Griak Invitational, which is one of the Midwest's top races each season. The Griak begins at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 28, and it will be held at Les Bolstad Golf Course in St. Paul, Minn.