The University of Minnesota and Gopher Athletics are proud to announce the 2018 Roy Griak Invitational Hall of Fame class, highlighting four individuals who have made immeasurable contributions to one of the nation’s top cross country meets.
Courtesy Golden Gophers Athletics 2018, click here! Feature photo: Gary Wilson-Minnesota ©Golden Gophers Athletics 2018
This year’s inductees are Hassan Mead, Rasa (Michniovaite) Troup, Dave Percival, and Griak Invitational co-founder Gary Wilson.
The 2018 Roy Griak Invitational Hall of Fame class will be honored during the 33rd annual Roy Griak Invitational, set for Saturday, Sept. 29 at Les Bolstad Golf Course in Falcon Heights, Minn.
Gary Wilson served as Minnesota’s women’s cross country head coach for 28 years from 1985 to 2012. During that time, he not only helped establish the annual Roy Griak Invitational but he coached the Gophers to Griak team titles in 1988, 2000, 2007, and 2008. In 1988, all teams ran one race and Wilson’s Gophers scored just 39 points to take home the title. Wilson’s 2000 Gophers scored 98 points for the team title in the Women’s Gold Division I Race, topping runner-up Yale (127 points) and third-place Arizona State (140), as Corinne Nimtz placed fifth and Darja Vasiljeva took eighth to the Maroon & Gold. In 2007, the Gophers again brought home top team honors under Wilson’s direction; Minnesota packed its five scoring runners into the top 30 to score 97 points led by Jamie Cheever in eighth place and Gabriele Anderson in 10th. The Gophers repeated as Griak team champions in 2008 behind top-five individual showings from runner-up Megan Duwell, Anderson (fourth), and Cheever (fifth). Wilson’s athletes’ top performances at the Roy Griak Invitational include individual titles won by Rasa Michiniovaite (1998) and Duwell (2009) as well.
Wilson’s coaching success reaches far beyond the Griak Invitational as he guided the Gophers to 15 consecutive NCAA Championship appearances and coached six different Gophers to nine All-America certificates. The 2007 and 2008 Midwest Region and Big Ten Coach of the Year, Wilson led Minnesota cross country to its first two conference titles (2007 and 2008) and three consecutive Midwest Region crowns (2007, 2008, and 2009). He also served as Gopher women’s track & field head coach for 21 seasons before taking on an assistant role starting in 2007. Wilson was part of four Big Ten titles on the track. He was named Coach of the Year for the Big Ten, Midwest Region, and Midwest District in 2006 when Minnesota won the outdoor conference title and Heather Dorniden became the Gophers’ first-ever national champion. Along with his Griak Hall of Fame induction, Wilson is an inductee of the USTFCCCA, University of Minnesota “M” Club, Drake Relays, and UW-La Crosse Halls of Fame, as well as a recipient of the U of M President’s Award for Service.