Feb. 11, 2012
The pair, who both redshirted the 2011 campaign, showed they will be a force to be reckoned with in the near future after placing second and third, respectively in the Junior Men Division at the 2012 USA Cross Country Championships in St. Louis, Mo., Saturday.
On the basis of their finish, the Gopher duo have qualified to represent the TEAM USA Junior Men's squad at the 2012 North America, Central American, & Caribbean (NACAC) Cross Country Championships, in Port of Spain, Trinidad.
Zutz, who hails from St. Francis, covered the 8k course in 24:57.2, to finish three seconds behind overall winner Jace Lowry of Syracuse. Bartnick, a product of Eden Prairie, finished just .70 behind Zutz to claim third with a time of 24:57.9.
Fellow Minnesota freshman Matt Jergensonof Caledonia also turned in a solid performance, placing eighth in the 43-athlete field with a time of 25:16.8.
Current Gopher volunteer assistant coach Chris Romboughhad a big day Open Men's Division, finishing fourth to earn a spot on the TEAM USA Senior Men's squad. Rombough, a three-time NCAA cross country All-American while competing for the Gophers, completed the 12k course in a time of 36:08.1.
The 2012 NACAC Cross Country Championships will take place on March 17, 2012.
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Ali finished the 10-kilometer race at the ISU Cross Country Course in 29:23.06, besting Plasencia's 29:26.0 from the 1976 NCAA Championships.