Nov. 15, 2013
AMES, Iowa – The University of Minnesota men’s cross country team tied for fifth at the 2013 NCAA Midwest Regional on Friday afternoon in Ames, Iowa. The Gophers totaled 157 team points to tie Kansas while Oklahoma State (45), Tulsa (57), Iowa State (113) and Oklahoma (156) finished first through fourth, respectively.
“Overall, I was very pleased with our performance today. Our team was competitive, and I was happy to see the guys fight to the finish,” Minnesota men’s director of track & field and cross country Steve Plasencia said. “I thought our seniors put us in a good position, and I was very proud of the way they competed today.”
In his fourth-career performance at the NCAA Midwest Regional, Larsen set personal bests for the 10-kilometer event with an 18th-place finish and a time of 30:51.6.
Likewise for Storkel and Simons, who both set new 10-kilometer personal bests in time and finish on Friday. Storkel placed 23rd at the ISU Cross Country Course, crossing the finish line at 31:02.7 while Simons finished 31st with a time of 31:10.2
Making his second-straight NCAA Midwest Regional appearance, sophomore Adam Zutz improved his both his time and finish from a year ago. The sophomore came across the finish line at 31:19.2 to finish 42nd at this year’s meet, up four places from his 2012 performance and just a shade under 10 seconds faster (31:28.76 in 2012).
Junior Marcus Paulson rounded out the Gophers’ scoring contingency on Friday afternoon, finishing one spot behind Zutz in 43rd with a time of 31:19.6.
Sophomores Christian Skaret and Alex Brend also ran for the Gophers but did not factor into the team’s scoring in their NCAA regional debuts. Skaret came across the finish line at 32:16.9 to finish 87th while Brend finished 89th with a time of 32:19.6.
The Gophers must now wait to learn if the program will earn an at-large bid to the NCAA Championships. Oklahoma State and Tulsa earned the NCAA Midwest Regional’s two automatic bids – two of 18 programs in the nation to automatically qualify. Another 13 teams will be selected for at-large bids on Saturday by the NCAA selection committee.
Plasencia Named U.S. Junior Cross Country Coach
True freshmen Hamza Ali and Nick Rink will also represent the U.S. in international competition next month.
Gophers Named USTFCCCA All-Academic Team
Led by eight Academic All-Big Ten honorees, the Gophers recorded a cumulative team grade point average of 3.43 – the program’s highest team GPA on record dating back to 1999.
Ali Qualifies for World Championships
A native of Minneapolis, Minn., Ali entered the meet having set a Gophers record to win the Twin Cities 5K earlier this year (14:47) and also picked up an individual title at the Fall...