Minnesota Heads to NCAA Midwest Regional
Nov. 9, 2016

2016 NCAA Midwest Regional
Date Friday, Nov. 11, 2016
Location Ashton Cross Country Course | Iowa City, Iowa
Meet Links Meet Home | Results 
Coverage @GopherMCCTF | Notes | Performance List

MINNEAPOLIS (GopherSports.com) -- The University of Minnesota men's cross country program returns to action this Friday, Nov. 11, at the 2016 NCAA Midwest Regional in Iowa City, Iowa. 

The women's six-kilometer race is slated for 11 a.m. CT with the men's 10-kilometer competition following at noon. 

About the 2016 Midwest Regional
The University of Iowa is set to hose the 2016 NCAA Midwest Regional at Ashton Cross Country Course in Iowa City, Iowa on Friday, Nov. 11. Admission to the event is free, and fan parking will be available free of charge in the Hawkeye Commuter Lot (Lot 85).

The top two teams from each of nine regional meets automatically advance to the 2016 NCAA Championships in Terre Haute, Ind., on Saturday, Nov. 19. Teams receiving at-large bids will fill the remaining 13 spots at the national meet, and the at-large teams will be revealed Saturday, Nov. 12 following the conclusion of the nine regional meets. After teams have been determined, 38 additional individuals per gender are selected to compete at the NCAA Championships.

Gophers Earn Three All-B1G Honors
Three Gophers earned Second Team All-Big Ten honors at the 2016 Big Ten Cross Country Championships on Sunday at Les Bolstad Golf Course in Falcon Heights, Minn. Charlie Lawrence (ninth), Matt Welch (13th) and Connor Olson (14th) led the Gophers to a fourth-place finish at the meet.

2015 NCAA Midwest Regional Rewind
Behind four All-Region honorees,  Minnesota men’s cross country team finished second at the 2015 NCAA Midwest Regional to advance to the NCAA championships for the first time as a team since 2011. Charlie Lawrence and Obsa Ali return to the 2016 meet as NCAA All-Region honorees while the Gophers look to replace graduated NCAA All-Region honorees Aaron Bartnik and Adam Zutz.

Hamza Ali Wins Fall Finale
True freshman Hamza Ali gave Minnesota its 10th-straight individual title at the Fall Finale last Friday, covering the eight-kilometer course in 25:31. Minnesota had eight of the top nine finishers in the race. Ali, who also won the Twin Cities 5K last month with a Gophers record (14:47), continues a dominant history at the meet by the Maroon & Gold that dates back to David Van Orsdel’s win in 2006. Ali is redshirting the 2016 season and will not compete at the 2016 NCAA Midwest Regional. 

Lawrence to Lead Gophers
Redshirt junior Charlie Lawrence has been named team captain for the Maroon & Gold this season after a standout season in 2015. A native of Foley, Minn., Lawrence was an NCAA All-Region honoree last year and factored into the team's scoring in all six races that he competed in. He also set a new personal six-kilometer record (19:06.2) and matched his best finish as a Gopher (fifth) and personal eight-kilometer record (24:15.5).

New Look to Gophers Roster
The University of Minnesota men's cross country roster will boast seven newcomers in 2016 with Hamza Ali, Alec Basten, Owen Hoeft, Jack Manderscheid, Alex Plasencia, Nick Rink and Hunter Staack joining the Maroon & Gold. Eleven of Minnesota's 19 runners this year are either true freshmen or redshirt freshmen as the team looks to replace a talented senior class from one year ago that included All-Big Ten and NCAA All-Region selections Adam Zutz and Aaron Bartnik.

Blankenship, Mead Shine at Olympics
Gopher alums Ben Blankenship and Hassan Mead didn't disappoint in their Olympic debuts earlier this year in Rio de Janeiro. Blankenship finished eighth in the 1,500 meters (3:51.09) while Mead placed 11th in the 5,000 meters (13:09.81). Both competitors were All-Americans and Big Ten champions for the Gophers and Minnesota Director of Men's Track & Field and Cross Country Steve Plasencia.

Success Under Plasencia
Now in his 21st season at the helm of the Minnesota men's cross country program, Director of Men's Track & Field and Cross Country Steve Plasencia has continued to guide the Gophers program to successful season after successful season. During his 20-year tenure, the Gophers have earned 15 NCAA Championship bids as well as three NCAA regional titles. Plasencia has also coached the Gophers to a total of 12 All-America honors and 36 All-Big Ten honors. A two-time All-American for the Gophers, Plasencia still holds the school record for a 10-kilometer race. Plasencia was named the 2015 USTFCCCA Midwest Coach of the Year.


 

 

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