Alexis Zeis made history on Saturday in Minneapolis.
Of course, that’s not terribly rare for the University of Mary cross country standout.
In dominant fashion, Zeis became just the third three-time winner in the 32-year history of the prestigious Roy Griak Invitational. The senior from Bismarck High ran away from the field with a winning time of 21 minutes, 41.3 seconds. She finished 61.1 seconds ahead of the second-place finisher in the Maroon II division. The race featured over 400 runners.
“It’s one thing to win it, but to win it by 61 seconds is something completely different,” U-Mary cross country coach Dennis Newell said. “She was ready to go. She was determined to be a three-time champion.
“She already had a 10- or 12-second lead at the mile mark. She was looking really light on her feet.”
Zeis, the 2015 NCAA Division II national champion, joins Morgan Place of Minnesota Duluth (2008-10) as the only three-time Griak champion.
“When you do something that only one other person has ever done before at a meet like that, against that type of competition, it speaks for itself,” Newell said.
Team-wise, the Marauders took third out of 41 teams.
“We went there to win it, so third was OK based on how we ran,” Newell said of his team, which is ranked No. 4 in the latest NCAA Division II top 25 poll.
Newell said Bismarck Century’s Jaiden Schuette turned in her collegiate performance, crossing seventh in a time of 22:54.8.
“That’s the best I’ve ever seen her run,” Newell said.
Sophomores Kate Fox (23:53.3) and Bree Erickson (23:28.6) were 24th and 29th, respectively.
Derek Myers (27:30.8) came in 74th out of 441 runners to lead the U-Mary men. Tyler Erickson (27:46.6) cracked the top 100 at 95th as the Marauders ended 23rd out of 41 teams.