Golden Gopher Cross Country This Week:
UW-Eau Claire Blugold Open
Friday, Sept. 29 — 4 p.m.
Colfax, Wis. — Whitetail Gold Course
South Dakota State Classic
Saturday, Sept. 30 — 9:45 a.m.
Brookings, S.D. — Edgebrook Golf Course
Idle This Week
Golden Gopher Watch List — Sept. 27, 2006
• Minnesota Women Split Squad - The Minnesota women’s cross country team will split into two squads to compete in the Blugold Open on Friday and the South Dakota State Classic on Saturday.
• Gophers, Albertson-Junkans Look for Repeat - The Golden Gophers won the 2005 South Dakota State Classic with 25 points, led by individual medalist Ladia Albertson-Junkans.
• Gopher Men Leap 11 Spots in National Poll - Perform well at the prestigious Griak Invitational and coaches around the nation will take notice. The Golden Gopher men jumped up 11 spots to No. 12 in this week’s USTFCCCA Men’s Cross Country Coaches Poll.
• Men Second, Women Fourth at Griak - The Minnesota men captured their highest Griak finish ever, with a runner-up showing behind Griak champion Arizona. The Gopher women placed fourth but scored a lower point total than their second-place tally a year ago.
• Brown, Albertson-Junkans Tally Top 10 Griak Finishes - Emily Brown and Ladia Albertson-Junkans ran to top-10 individual finishes at the Griak, placing third and eighth, respectively.
Golden Gopher Women
Minnesota Splits Squad for Two Meets
The Minnesota women’s cross country team will split its squad and compete in two meets this week. The Blugold Open, hosted by Wisconsin-Eau Claire, is Friday, Sept. 29 (4 p.m.) at the Whitetail Golf Course in Colfax, Wis. The South Dakota State Classic will be run on Saturday, Sept. 30 (9:45 a.m.) at the Edgebrook Golf Course in Brookings, S.D. The Blugold Open is a 6-kilometer race, while the South Dakota State Classic is only 5 kilometers in length.
A Bit Less Stressful This Week
The Gophers will travel their top runners to the SDSU Classic, running a much more relaxed 5-kilometer event than the high-powered Griak last week. The Gophers won the Classic last year with 25 points. Ladia Albertson-Junkans is the defending meet champion, winning the 2005 crown in a time of 17:15, one second ahead of runner-up Emily Brown. Minnesota, led by a third-place showing by Ariella DePrenger-Gottfried, finished fourth at the 2005 Blugold Open.
Gophers Fourth at the Griak
Minnesota placed fourth at the Roy Griak Invitational on Sept. 23, despite scoring a lower team total (137) than last year’s runner-up finish (156). UC Santa Barbara captured the team crown with 87 points, followed by Arizona State with 108 and Baylor with 120.
In the individual standings, Emily Brown placed third in 21:17 over the soggy, rain-soaked 6-kilometer course. Brown improved on her ninth-place showing at the Griak a year ago. Ladia Albertson-Junkans added an eighth-place finish for the Gophers, clocking a time of 21:41.Jamie Cheever also contributed a top-10 finish, placing 18th in 21:51.
Gophers No. 19 in This Week’s National Poll
Minnesota slipped three places to No. 19 in this week’s Finish/Lynx Women’s Cross Country Coaches poll. Stanford remained at the No. 1 spot.
Golden Gopher Men
Gophers Idle This Week
The Minnesota men’s cross country team is idle this week with their next competition scheduled for Oct. 14 when the Gophers will compete in either the Pre-NCAA Meet or the Jim Drews Invitational.
Minnesota Leaps to No. 12 in National Poll
Thanks to a second-place showing in the prestigious and talent-laden Roy Griak Invitational last Saturday, the Minnesota men’s cross country team jumped 11 spots up to No. 12 in this week’s USTFCCCA Men’s Cross Country Coaches Poll.
Minnesota is the second of four Big Ten schools ranked with Wisconsin at No. 1, Michigan at No. 15 and Ohio State at No. 18. Michigan State, Iowa and Illinois received votes.
Gophers Impress With Runner-Up Griak Finish
Minnesota landed Antonio Vega and Chris Rombough in the top 20 individuals pacing the Golden Gophers to a second-place finish at the prestigious Roy Griak Invitational last Saturday.
Vega covered the soggy, rain-soaked 8-kilometer course in a time of 24 minutes, 56 seconds to finish 13th overall, edging teammate Rombough (24:58) by two seconds. Vega is one of just two seniors on the Gopher roster. Rombough, a sophomore, led a string of underclassmen completing the scoring for the Gophers.
Redshirt freshman Matt Barrett was the third Gopher to finish, placing 25th overall in a time of 25:23, while true freshman Mike Torchia finished 53rd in a clocking of 25:51. Sophomore Ben Puhl capped the Gophers’ scoring five with a 60th-place finish in 25:54.
Arizona captured its first Griak Invitational Men’s Gold Race title with 142 team points, while Minnesota finished with 153. The Gophers’ finish is their best iGriak finish, bettering a third-place showing in 1997.
Liberty senior Josh McDougal captured medalist honors in a talented field loaded with All-Americans. McDougal ran a time of 24:15. McDougal finished fourth at last year’s NCAA Championships.