St. Louis Park cross-country coach Chris Nordstrom found it fitting that his team would enjoy a memorable day at the Roy Griak Invitational last week.
Griak, the meet's namesake and the University of Minnesota’s long-time cross-country and track and field coach, spent a decade at St. Louis Park. And it seemed every race official Nordstrom met was a former Oriole.
The current St. Louis Park distance crew added to the program’s legacy. Ninth-grader Josie Mosby took medalist honors in the Maroon race in a time of 19 minutes, 9.2 seconds to pace the Orioles’ team victory.
“It was fun to see the progress and how they are taking the next steps,” said Nordstrom, in his second year at the helm. “They saw that putting in the miles during the summer paid off.”
Mosby and led the Orioles' top-five scores of Jersey Miller (14th), Kaia Myers (22nd), Ruby Massie (45th) and Olivia Mosby (62nd).
Miller, typically St. Louis Park’s sixth or seventh runner, enjoyed a strong meet. And Olivia Mosby, the team’s only senior, is a full-time varsity soccer player who moonlights as a cross-country runner for select meets. Her first practice of the season came Friday in a course preview.
Josie Mosby qualified for the Class 2A state meet last fall, emerging from the loaded Section 6.
“That is one of the toughest sections in the nation,” Nordstrom said.
The competition bred confidence.
“I’ve been telling her, ‘You can run with these top girls,’” Nordstrom said. “It’s new territory but she’s definitely starting to believe.”
That goes for the team, too.
“I knew on paper we had a shot to win the Maroon race,” Nordstrom said. “So to actually win it was enjoyable. We’re excited but not satisfied. We want to keep pushing.”