Gophers Among the Nation's Best at Adidas Invite

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The No. 16 Minnesota men's cross country team will be among some of the nation's top programs this Friday at the adidas Invitational - the team's final competition before the Big Ten Championships later this month. 

Top-ranked Wisconsin hosts the fourth-annual event while 46 men's programs will be competing in the 8-kilometer course. Nineteen of the top 30 ranked teams in the country will be in action at Thomas Zimmer Championship Cross Country Course including six of the country's top 10 programs. 

With many of the nation's top cross country programs at this weekend's event, the Gophers have a golden opportunity to add to their credentials for the NCAA championships in November. 

Minnesota is coming off its first-ever team title at the Roy Griak Invitational two weeks ago. The Gophers posted 67 team points at the Griak while senior John Simons paced the team with an eighth-place finish. 

Gophers Head to Autumn Classic

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Race Info
What: Autumn Classic
When: Friday, Sept. 14 at 6:00 p.m.
Where:  Cascade Golf Course (Orem, Utah)
Distance: 4 Miles
Link: Autumn Classic

The No. 17 Minnesota men's cross country team competes in its first road event of the year this Friday at the Autumn Classic in Orem, Utah. The two-day competition features 10 races spread between college and high school programs with the Gophers running in the four mile collegiate event at 6:00 p.m. CT on Friday at Cascade Golf Course. 

No. 3 BYU hosts the event while San Bernadino Valley College, Idaho State and Utah Valley University are also scheduled to compete in the men's collegiate race. 

The Gophers will send a full travel roster to Friday's competition after the team placed fourth last Friday at the Oz Memorial in Falcon Heights, Minn. Redshirt freshman Alex Brend paced the Gophers with a 6th-place finish and a time of 19:23.40. Sophomore Blayne Dulian (12th, 19:40.61) and redshirt freshman Christian Skaret (14th, 19:47.25) also posted top-15 finishes for Minnesota.

Results for the Autumn Classic can be found here or by checking Gophersports.com following the race. 

Cross Country Kicks Off 2012 with Oz Memorial Run

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The Minnesota men's cross country team opens the 2012 campaign on Friday afternoon with the Oz Memorial Run at the Les Bolstad Golf Course in Falcon Heights, Minn. The Gopher men kick off the event with a 6K race at 4:30 p.m. before a 6K follow-up by the Minnesota women's team at 5 p.m. 

Six collegiate programs will compete in the men's race on Friday as Drake, Minnesota State, Mankato, Minnesota Duluth, Northern Iowa and South Dakota State will join the Gophers. Approximately 80 runners including six Gophers are expected to compete in Minnesota's first competition of the season. 

The preliminary line-up for Minnesota will be redshirt freshman Alex Brend, sophomore Jeffrey Cottrell, sophomore Blayne Dulian, senior Nick Hutton, redshirt freshman Christian Skaret and junior Erik Truedson. 

The Oz Memorial Run is named after Gary Osborn, the longtime Drake women's track and field and cross country coach who died in 2000. Osborn was a longtime friend of Minnesota women's head coach Gary Wilson.

Hassan Mead's Wild Ride

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Today, RunningTimes.com published a wonderful story about senior All-American Hassan Mead and his road back to running for the Minnesota Golden Gopher Cross Country team. 

Over these last few months, I have had the privilege of working with Hassan doing different interviews and segments for gophersports.com . From what I have seen, he is very mature and respectful student-athlete. I have really enjoyed watching him compete this season and I am excited to see what he can do on Sunday at the Big Ten Championships. 

Below is the first couple paragraphs from the article. After that, there is a link of the entire story.


It was deja vu all over again at last month's Roy Griak Invitational in Minneapolis. Ditto at the Wisconsin adidas Invitational on Oct. 14. Prominent in the lead pack of both races, heading numerous All-Americans and a few recent high school standouts, strode a tall, lanky University of Minnesota athlete. While some up front looked uneasy and just might have been pushing the pace a bit too hard, this guy was obviously running well within himself. He was the real deal. And he was finally back after a prolonged absence.  

The sight was certainly familiar to many, because Hassan Mead is himself a three-time NCAA Division I cross country All-American. But no one had seen Mead racing cross-country for some 22 months, not since his 16th-place finish at the 2009 national meet. Those who had written him off have been sorely mistaken.

Please click the link below to read the full story about Hassan and his journey back to the top.

20 Questions with Blayne Dulian

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Gophersports: Why did you first decide to become a runner? 

Blayne Dulian: In the 8th grade my dad encouraged me to run track and field and after that I was a runner

GS: What was the biggest adjustment you had to make when moving from high school cross country to running in college?
 

BD: Mileage and the length of the races.

GS: What is the most difficult course you've ever run? 

BD: Our home course for the Roy Griak

GS: What is the most unusual or creative workout you've ever run at practice?
 

BD: I would say the some of the circuit training workouts we do are a little out of the ordinary

GS: What team or individual performance are you most proud of? 

BD: Winning a state championship in High School

GS: Where is your favorite place to run? 

BD: River Road

GS: What is your favorite Minnesota tradition?

BD: The freshman singing the rouser

GS: What is the coolest part of being a member of the Minnesota cross country team? 

BD: The guys I get to train with

GS: What is the hardest part of being on the Minnesota cross country team? 

BD: The running

GS: What advice would you give a new runner? 

BD: Stay consistent and have fun

GS: What have you learned from cross country that has helped you in other aspects of your life? 

BD: If you don't put in the hard work, you aren't going to see any results. Remains true for everything.

GS: Do you have a favorite sports movie? 

BD: RUDY!!

GS: Where is your favorite place to eat on campus?
 

BD: Schang Chengs

GS: What are you listening to on your iPod right now?.

BD: Yelawolf

GS: Do you have any race-day superstitions? 

BD: Not a very superstitious kind of guy

GS:
  What are your goals for this season? 

BD: Improve upon last year's times and help the team as much as I can.

 GS: What is your favorite sport outside of cross-country or track and field? 

BD: Basketball

 GS: What motivates you to run and compete? 

BD: Competing against others makes it a blast

GS: What is one talent or skill you have outside of running? 

BD: I am an exceptional dancer

GS: If you had the choice to travel either forward or backward in time, which would you choose? Why?

BD: I would go back in time to re-live the awesome childhood memories

 

2011 Wisconsin adidas Invitational

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This afternoon at 1:40 p.m. CT, the No. 17 University of Minnesota men's cross country team will be in action in Madison, Wis., for the Wisconsin adidas Invitational. At 1:40 will be the championship race and at 3 p.m. the "B" race will take place. 


Yesterday afternoon Flo Track interviewed Minnesota's own Hassan Mead. They also put together a preview of the 8k course. Check out the videos below! 

Watch more video of Wisconsin adidas XC Invitational 2011 on flotrack.org

Watch more video of Wisconsin adidas XC Invitational 2011 on flotrack.org

Q/A With Drew Paradis

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GS:  Use five words to describe yourself.
DP: Responsible, Caring, Diligent, Self-Disciplined, Honest

GS: Describe your perfect day - who would you spend it with, what would you do, where would you be?
DP: I would spend it with either my family or my close friends and we would enjoy a day on the lake skiing, tubing, and just hanging out on the water. Or we would be camping on the North Shore up by Grand Marais, MN. Either way it's a great day!

GS: What is your pre-race routine?
DP: I wake up and go for a shakeout run, I eat a light breakfast...or lunch 3.5-4 hours before race time. Then I get cleaned up and everything packed and ready and then double check to make sure I have my spikes and jersey. Many times I then wait and relax, and read a book or my Bible.

GS: Other than the Gophers, what is your favorite sports team? (College or Pro)
DP: Though they have both broken my heart in the past couple of seasons, I love the Twins and the Vikings. Good times are coming for them.

GS: What do you miss the most about being at home?
DP: Hands down...My Mom's cooking is the best! In the summer I miss the lakes as well.

GS: Who was the most famous person you have ever met?
DP: Hassan Mead! Look at him...he's a stud.

GS: If your life was to be turned into a movie, what genre would it be; what would the title be; what actor would you have star in it?
DP: It would be an action movie...some crazy adventure. Title is still up in the air, but Matt Damon has signed on for the part.

GS: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
DP: If I could go anywhere, I would travel to Europe to see all of the incredible history and architecture over there. Oh and I bet the food would be pretty good.

GS: What is the best advice you have received? Who was it from?
DP: The best advice I have ever received has always come from my Dad. Some of the advice that he has given me is to be a man of integrity and to put forth my best effort no matter what is necessary.

GS: What are you listening to on your iPod right now?

DP: Phil Wickham

 

GS: If you had the choice to travel either forward or backward in time, which would you choose? Why?
DP: I would have to agree with Sean Olson's Response to move forward in time, because I know there are many Superbowl's in the future for the Minnesota Vikings.

GS: Where is your favorite place at the University of Minnesota?
DP: My favorite place to run is probably River Road. It's so nice to run there during the fall and spring.

GS: What is your major? Why did you choose this major?
DP: I am a Kinesiology major. I chose this because I am really interested in learning about the movement of the human body. And it will prepare me for Physical Therapy grad school.

GS: What is the first thing you think about when you wake up?
DP: Should I hit snooze?

GS: Do you have any siblings? How many?
DP: I have an awesome older sister, Megan who works for NDSU and I don't see nearly enough, because of our busy schedules.

GS: What is your favorite class or professor so far at Minnesota, and why?
DP: Anatomy lab and lecture were both great classes. I loved learning about the human body and seeing how it all works together. It's amazing! Plus who wouldn't like studying with Mike Torchia and Mike Shelendich?

GS: If you could eat only one thing for the rest of your life, what would you eat?
DP: If I had to eat only one thing, I would choose to eat Spaghetti, because it is always delicious meal.

GS: Who was your role-model as a child? Why? Has your role model changed now that you are older?
DP: Though I have had certain people during different times in life that I have looked up to, my parents have always been my role-models in life. I respect them so much for whom they are and their unconditional love and kindness for everyone around them.

GS: How has being a student and athlete at Minnesota influenced your life?
DP: Being a student at Minnesota has obviously influenced my life in many ways, because I am getting my education here and I usually learn something new every day from class and everyday experiences. As an athlete competing as a Gopher, it has been an amazing journey thus far where I have been surrounded by some great brothers (my teammates), and I have learned that in life you get knocked down and back...a lot. But your true character is seen with the response of getting up, learning, and pushing forward towards your goals.

Go Gophers!

20 Questions with Andrew Larsen

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Gophersports.com: Use five words to describe yourself.
Andrew Larsen:  Weird, quirky, sleepy, dopey, and funky


GS: Describe your perfect day - who would you spend it with, what would you do, where would you be?
AL:  I don't know about my perfect day but one of my favorite days this year has been going for a run, grabbing some Chipotle, and sitting on the couch with the apartment 5 guys watching Heroes

 

GS:  What is your pre-race routine?
AL:  I usually have a bowl of oatmeal and just try and relax.  I don't have many superstitions.


GS: Other than the Gophers, what is your favorite sports team? (College or Pro)
AL:  The Minnesota Vikings


GS: What do you miss the most about being at home?
AL:  Definitely the thing I miss most is my mom's cooking, particularly pepperoni bread


GS:  Who was the most famous person you have ever met?
AL:  Candice Parker, she ref'd one of my grade school basketball games


GS:  If your life was to be turned into a movie, what genre would it be; what would the title be; what actor would you have star in it?
AL:  I don't know about a movie but Steve Sulkin and I plan on making a TV show called "Sittin' Supes Close With Steve and Lars."  It's a TV show about quoting other shows.


GS:  If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
AL:  Probably Japan, I've always wanted to go there


GS:  What was the most embarrassing thing that has happened to you?
AL:  I have a few from the past couple years of College but I doubt they would be appropriate. 


GS:  What is the best advice you have received? Who was it from?
AL:  One of the best pieces of advice I've been given was from a high school training partner of mine, Charlie Kern.  When I was a sophomore in High School he asked me a simple question "How good do you want to be?" It wasn't really advice, but I think about that almost every day before I go for a run.


GS:  What are you listening to on your iPod right now?
AL:  Gordon Lightfoot, The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald


GS:  If you had the choice to travel either forward or backward in time, which would you choose? Why?
AL:  Forwards, because than I wouldn't need roads.


GS:  Where is your favorite place at the University of Minnesota?
AL:  The walking bridge overlooking downtown and the 35W bridge at night, when it's lit up.


GS:  What is your major? Why did you choose this major?
AL:  Computer Science, I enjoy working with computers.

 

GS:  What is the first thing you think about when you wake up?
AL:  If I'm late for class or not


GS:  Do you have any siblings? How many?
AL:  Yes, I have a younger brother Alec.  He's 16.

 

GS:  What is your favorite class or professor so far at Minnesota, and why?
AL:  My favorite class has been Sports in a Diverse Society


GS:  If you could eat only one thing for the rest of your life, what would you eat?
AL:  Pizza definitely


GS:  Who was your role-model as a child? Why? Has your role model changed now that you are older?
AL:  My role model growing up was Chris Carter but my role model now is my Dad.  The older I get the more I can appreciate how hard he works everyday to support our family.

GS:  How has being a student and athlete at Minnesota influenced your life?

AL:
 Having the opportunity to not only attend Minnesota as a student, but also to represent the Gophers on the cross country course has been a great blessing.  I am extremely thankful for the opportunity that Coach Plaz has given me.  This has led to my desire to get everything I can out of myself, both in running and in school, so that I do not waste what I have been given.

20 Questions with Steve Sulkin

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Gophersports.com: Why did you first decide to become a runner? 
Steve Sulkin: My older brother was on the high school team and he said he loved it so I tried it.

GS: What was the biggest adjustment you had to make when moving from high school cross country to running in college? 

SS: The biggest adjustment for me was realizing that it is a long process and you're not always going to get what you want right away.

GS: What is the most difficult course you've ever run? 
SS: Our home course is probably the most difficult. Where I'm from, there aren't any hills so our course seems hard. But that's a good thing because we get to train on it all year.

GS: What is the most unusual or creative workout you've ever run at practice? 

SS: Our circuit workouts are pretty unusual. We will do a two mile loop and stop at different stations to do exercises like jump roping or med ball drills. It seems kind of goofy but its hard work.

 GS: What team or individual performance are you most proud of? 
SS: I'm most proud of the track team winning five straight Big Ten Track titles.


GS: Where is your favorite place to run? 

SS: I like running over the hills on the Griak course.

GS: What is your favorite Minnesota tradition? 

SS: Camp up in Nevis MN. All we do is run and relax. It's great. 


GS: What is the coolest part of being a member of the Minnesota cross country team? 

SS: Knowing that you're representing one the largest educational institutions in the country


GS: What is the hardest part of being on the Minnesota cross country team? 

SS: We have so many talented runners that it gets difficult to make the team. I guess that's a good problem to have.


GS: What advice would you give a new runner?  

SS: Go out and run every single day.

GS: What have you learned from cross country that has helped you in other aspects of your life? 

SS:I learned to be persistent. If something doesn't come easy right away, just keep trying and it'll get easier

GS: Do you have a favorite sports movie?  

SS: Breaking away.

GS: Where is your favorite place to eat on campus? 

SS: It's a tie between Qdoba and Chipotle


GS: What are you listening to on your iPod right now?.

SS: REO Speedwagon. Take it on the Run

 

 

 

GS: Do you have any race-day superstitions? 

SS: I like to eat oatmeal but I do that every day so I guess not.

GS: What are your goals for this season? 

SS: I want to be on the team that gets top ten at nationals

GS: What is your favorite sport outside of cross-country or track and field? 

SS: I love baseball. I'm a big White Sox fan.

GS: What motivates you to run and compete? 

SS: I just love to beat people in races.

GS: What is one talent or skill you have outside of running? 

SS: I am very good at spoons.

GS: If you had the choice to travel either forward or backward in time, which would you choose? Why?
SS: I would go forward because I would not want to risk changing the present for the worse.

niti�"���  are your goals for this season? 

SS: I want to be on the team that gets top ten at nationals

GS: What is your favorite sport outside of cross-country or track and field? 

SS: I love baseball. I'm a big White Sox fan.

GS: What motivates you to run and compete? 

SS: I just love to beat people in races.

GS: What is one talent or skill you have outside of running? 

SS: I am very good at spoons.

GS: If you had the choice to travel either forward or backward in time, which would you choose? Why?

SS: I would go forward because I would not want to risk changing the present for the worse.

20 Questions with Derek Storkel

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Derek Storkel: Why did you first decide to become a runner? 

Gophersports: Well, it all began in soccer. Basically my coach made me join track because he thought I was fast.

GS: What was the biggest adjustment you had to make when moving from high school cross country to running in college? 

DS: Not running like an idiot. In high school, the distances were only 5k so I could get away with sprinting the first mile. In college however, if I tried doing that in an 8k and god-forbid a 10k, I would probably die.

GS: What is the most difficult course you've ever run? 

DS: In high school cross county, we went to this tiny high school call Brookwood. The high school and course are on a hill that is a steady third of a mile up. It's pretty much hell.

GS: What is the most unusual or creative workout you've ever run at practice? 

DS: My first year at camp Plaz made us swim across Lake Belle Taine. That was interesting. It ended up not going well that year so we don't do that anymore.

DS: What team or individual performance are you most proud of? 

 

GS: I am most proud of our team getting 3rd at Big Ten's last year. They overcame a relatively tough season and did really well.

DS: Where is your favorite place to run? 

GS: I like Danger Ranger. The whereabouts of this run are closely guarded team secret.

GS: What is your favorite Minnesota tradition?

DS: Definitely the Perham rouser.

GS: What is the coolest part of being a member of the Minnesota cross country team? 

DS: Just knowing that I am here to wear the Maroon and Gold and knowing the truth about them rotten Badgers.

GS: What is the hardest part of being on the Minnesota cross country team? 

DS: It definitely would have to be wearing 10 pounds of clothing in the winter just to stay warm.

GS: What advice would you give a new runner? 

GS: Listen to your body and believe in the program. The first year here is slow. But after that you will become a totally new runner.

GS: What have you learned from cross country that has helped you in other aspects of your life?
 

DS: If you don't put in the hard work, you aren't going to see any results. Remains true for everything.

GS: Do you have a favorite sports movie? 

DS: Happy Gilmore. Nothing better.

GS: Where is your favorite place to eat on campus?
 

DS: Annie's for sure. As long as we are eating indoors.

GS: What are you listening to on your iPod right now?.

DS: Katy Perry! I am a big Katy Perry guy.

GS: Do you have any race-day superstitions? 

DS: Nope, I just do what I think I need to do.

GS:  What are your goals for this season?
 

DS: I would like to help make sure that our team sticks together through thick and thin. Without great chemistry, it can be hard to support your teammates when they need it most.

 GS: What is your favorite sport outside of cross-country or track and field?
 

DS: Tetherball, especially at Lake Belle Taine. Otherwise turtle-hunting (turtles remain unharmed).

 GS: What motivates you to run and compete?
 

DS: To see my body progress to higher levels than I ever thought it could.

GS: What is one talent or skill you have outside of running? 

DS: I can be a pretty artist person when I feel like it, otherwise I am an avid angler.

GS: If you had the choice to travel either forward or backward in time, which would you choose? Why?

DS: I would travel back in time to meet Abraham Lincoln. I think he would have a been a cool guy to hang out with.