Oakdale, Minn. / North St. Paul
The Bethel men's cross country team traveled across the metro to St. Paul Saturday for the competitive Roy Griak Invitational hosted by the University of Minnesota. Despite the stiff competition, Royals' star Matt Berens (Oakdale, Minn./North St. Paul) continued his incredible junior season, finishing first in the 296-runner field for his third consecutive victory. For his performance, Berens received his third MIAC Men's Cross Country Athlete-of-the-Week award this fall.
Berens finished the course in 25:45.4 and, despite a comfortable pace at the end, finished 10 seconds faster than any other runner in the field. Berens has now finished first in each of his three races this fall, and he became the first Bethel runner since 2009 and the second Royal overall to finish first at the prestigious Griak meet. In the process, Berens led Bethel to a 17th-place finish out of 26 teams.
This weekend, Bethel and its star will take a hiatus before returning to action on Saturday, Oct. 12, with a trip to Iowa. The Royals will compete in the Dan Huston Invitational, hosted by Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa that day at 10:45 a.m. Bethel and Berens have just two regular-season races left to tune up for the MIAC Championships on Nov. 2.