Roy Griak

The annual Roy Griak Invitational at the University of Minnesota will not be run this fall due the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Two of the bigger cross country meets this fall will not be run.

The Milaca Mega Meet at Stones Throw Golf Course Sept 19 and the Roy Griak Invitational at the University Sept. 28 have both canceled their events.

The cross country race in Milaca, which hosts on average 150 high schools and 5,900 runners, announced July 27 it will not go forward with its 49th annual competition due to ongoing COVID-19 guidelines.

The statement on the Milaca Mega Meet's Facebook page read: "A gathering of that size with numerous schools from around the midwest makes this event not feasible at this time. At this point, we do not want to try and do a watered down version of an event like this. We are making this decision now because we have to meet timelines and honor commitments of staff, vendors, participants and schools."

The Minnesota State High School League will announce the fate of fall sports at its Aug. 4 virtual meeting. Cross Country running is considered a medium risk sports by the Minnesota Department of Health.

The Prior Lake girls cross country team has been an annual participant in the Milaca Mega Meet, and the Lakers were scheduled to race in it again this fall.

The 2021 Milaca Mega Meet is set for Sept. 25, which will be the 50th anniversary of the event.

Meanwhile, the Big Ten Conference's announced in the second week of July a move to conference-only regular-season scheduling for fall sports. That meant the Roy Griak could not be run due the ongoing pandemic.

The Roy Griak is one of the nation's largest cross country events, which includes six collegiate races from Division I, II and III and four high school competitions. Up to 4,000 runners compete on the one-day event.

Tom Schardin covers sports for Savage and Prior Lake. He is dependable, sarcastic and always joking around. Tom enjoys running and swimming and is often busy coaching his two kids' sports teams.

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