Golden Gopher Cross Country This Week:
Big Ten Conference Cross Country Championships
Sunday, Oct. 28
Women 9:45 a.m. (CT)
Men 10:30 a.m. (CT)
The Ohio State University Golf Course
Golden Gopher Watch List Oct. 28, 2007
Minnesota Heads to Big Ten Cross Country Championships - The Minnesota men’s and women’s cross country teams will travel to Ohio State on Sunday, Oct. 28, to compete in the 2007 Big Ten Conference Cross Country Championships. The women’s 6-kilometer race begins at 9:45 a.m. (CT), followed by the men’s 8-kilometer race at 10:30 a.m. (CT).
Rombough Looks to Defend Title - Junior Chris Rombough looks to defend his Big Ten individual cross country title. A year ago, Rombough was the first Gopher to win the crown in 25 years.
Albertson-Junkans Leads Young Gopher Women’s Squad - Senior Ladia Albertson-Junkans, a two-time All-Big Ten First Team runner, leads the Gopher women as they strive to win their first Big Ten title. The Gophers, one of four teams ranked in the top 10 nationally, have entered a lineup with a senior, a junior, a true freshman and six sophomores.
Big Ten Championships
The No. 22 Minnesota men’s cross country team kicks off the championship portion of its schedule traveling to the 2007 Big Ten Cross Country Championships, hosted by Ohio State on Sunday, Oct. 28. The 93rd running of the Big Ten men’s race begins at 10:30 a.m. (CT, following the completion of the women’s race. The race is the final 8-kilometer event of the season, as the distance lengthens to 10-kilometers for NCAA competition.
Big Ten Honors
The top seven finishers will be awarded All-Big Ten First-Team honors. Runners placing eighth through 14th will receive second-team All-Big Ten accord.
Minnesota at the Big Ten Meet
Minnesota has won four Big Ten men’s cross country titles: 1909, 1914, 1964 and 1969. During head coach Steve Plasencia’s tenure, the Golden Gophers’ top finishes were third-place showings in 1999, 2005 and 2006.
The Gophers have had four runners win Big Ten individual crowns a total of eight times. Fred Watson (1913-15) and Gary Bjorklund (1969-71) each captured three titles. Leonard Edeleen won the 1957 title, while Chris Rombough captured the title a year ago.
Rombough Looks For a Repeat
Minnesota junior Chris Rombough pulled what was considered a big upset when he captured the 2006 Big Ten individual title, covering the Indiana University course in a time of 24:05. Rombough went on to earn All-America honors with a 14th-place finish in the NCAA Championships.
Defending Big Ten Champions
Wisconsin is the eight-time defending champion. In fact, only Michigan’s titles in 1993, 1997 and 1998 interrupted the Badgers’ title dominance since 1985.
Big Ten Championships History
Nine of the 10 schools, excluding only Penn State, that currently sponsor a men’s cross country program have won at least one Big Ten team title. Wisconsin owns the most with 40, followed by Michigan State with 14 and Indiana with 13. Following is a listing of team champions:
Wisconsin: 1910, 12, 13, 15, 24, 25, 26, 27, 39, 44, 45, 46c, 48, 49,
50, 77, 78, 79, 81, 82, 83, 85, 86, 87, 88, 89, 90, 91, 92,
94, 95, 96, 99, 00, 01, 02, 03, 04, 05, 06
Michigan State: 1951, 52, 53, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 62, 63, 68, 70, 71
Indiana: 1928, 29, 30, 31, 32, 39, 40, 42, 46x, 67, 72, 73, 80c
Michigan: 1922, 54, 74, 75, 76, 80c, 93, 97, 98
Minnesota: 1909, 14, 64, 69
Illinois: 1921, 47, 84
Purdue: 1916, 41, 43
Iowa: 1961, 66
Ohio State: 1923
The Golden Gopher Lineup
Nine Golden Gophers will compete at the Big Ten Championships. Following their name is a listing of any previous experience at the Big Ten Championships. One runner will be selected as an alternate for the meet.
Matt Barrett (So., Monroe, Wis./Monroe)
Rick Furseth (Sr., Stillwater, Minn./Stillwater/South Dakota State)
2006 - 27th, 25:20
Justin Grunewald (Sr., Merrifield,Minn./Brainerd)
2004 - 51st, 25:36
2005 - 44th, 25:45.23
2006 - 38th, 25:40
Ben Kampf (So., Farmington, Minn./Farmington)
2006 - 43rd, 25:41
Mike McFarland (R-Fr., Hartland, Wis./Arrowhead)
Hassan Mead (Fr., Minneapolis, Minn./Minneapolis South)
Ben Puhl (Jr., Rochester, Minn./Century)
2005 - 53rd, 26:02.58
2006 - 26, 25:18
Chris Rombough (Jr., Fremont, Wis./New London)
2005 - 18th, 25:01.58
2006 - 1st, 24:05
Forrest Tahdooahnippah (Gr., St. Paul, Minn./Minneapolis Southwest/Stanford)
Seijen Takamura (Jr., North Mankato, Minn./Mankato West)
Golden Gophers Ranked No. 22
The Gopher men are ranked No. 22 in this week’s USTFCCCA National Poll. Minnesota is one of three Big Ten Conference teams listed in the rankings with Wisconsin at No. 6 and Michigan at No. 10.
Rombough Breaks 23-Year Old School Record
Golden Gopher junior All-American Chris Rombough smashed the longstanding school record for the fastest time on an 8-kilometer course placing 15th with a time of 23 minutes, 39.7 seconds at the Pre-NCAA Meet in Terre Haute, Ind. on Oct. 13. Minnesota defeated three teams ranked higher in the national polls in finishing seventh in the Pre-NCAA Meet White Race.
The previous Minnesota record on an 8K course was held by former Gopher great Dave Morrison for 23 years. Morrison’s record was 23:50.4 clocked at the Wisconsin Duals on Sept. 29, 1984.
Mead posted a 20th-place finish crossing the finish line in a time of 23:45.0. Completing the scoring for the Gophers were Forrest Tahdooahnippah in 44th place in 24:01.3, Ben Puhl in 94th in 24:25.8 and Mike McFarland in 116th in 24:38.7.
Minnesota Coaching Staff
Golden Gopher head coach Steve Plasencia is in his 12th season leading the Minnesota program. Plasencia as guided the Gophers to NCAA Championships berths in nine of his 11 years with his alma mater. Volunteer assistant coach Brad Wick is in his third year with the Gophers.