Golden Gopher All-American Hassan Mead placed fifth in the White Race at the Pre-NCAA Meet in Terre Haute, Ind., on Saturday. Minnesota placed 11th as a team.
The meet is held at the LaVern Gibson Championship Course, the same facility that plays host to the NCAA Championships in November. An 8-kilometer course was traversed in the Pre-NCAA Meet. The race distance will jump to 10 kilometers for the national meet.
Mead clocked a time of 23 minutes, 49.2 seconds over a soft, somewhat muddy course. A year ago, Mead set the Minnesota 8-kilometer record at the Gibson Course with a time of 23:33.1.
Ben Blankenship tallied a 24th-place showing as the Gophers’ number-two runner. Blankenship crossed the finish line in 24:11.2. Matt Barrett was 60th in a time of 24:39.1, while Pieter Gagnon placed 90th in 25:00.8. Paul Hilsen was the final Gopher scorer, placing 162nd in 25:51.3.
“We had a good, not great outing, today,” said Golden Gopher head coach Steve Plasencia. “Our top four ran solid but we just need to move our fifth guy up. That gap between 90 and 162 is too big. It’s the different. We have another runner up there in the mix and we would have a much better finish as a team.”
Other Gophers competing were Sean Olson, who placed 173rd in 25:59.6, and Travis Burkstrand, who finished 200th in 26:24.7.
The Gophers compiled 341 points in the team standings. Stanford captured the team win in the White Race with 47 behind individual titlist Chris Derrick (23:27.1). Oregon won the Blue Race team title with 79 points.