Minnesota Set for NCAA Championships
Nov. 18, 2011
This Week in Golden Gopher Cross Country
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The NCAA Field
Thirty-one (31) teams will compete in the NCAA Championships, 18 of them having earned automatic berths in the NCAA field by placing in the top two of last weekend's region championships. The NCAA field is completed by 13 at-large teams, including Minnesota, and 38 individual student-athletes who advanced with top regional finishes.
Four Big Ten Teams Advance to NCAA Field
The Big Ten Conference will be represented by five teams at the NCAA Championships: Minnesota, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio State and Wisconsin. Indiana and Wisconsin received automatic bids, while Michigan and Ohio State joined Minnesota in earning the at-large bid
Staying at 10k
For NCAA competition, both at the regional and national championships, the race distance is lengthened from 8 kilometers to 10 kilometers. That extra two kilometers makes the races 20 percent longer than the ones run during the regular season.
Last Time at the NCAA Championships
Minnesota finished 23rd overall in the 2010 NCAA Championships. Ben Blankenship was the highest Gopher finisher after covering the course in 30:29.3.
Golden Gophers Ranked No. 19
The Golden Gopher Lineup
Seven Golden Gophers will compete at the NCAA Championships, but a total of nine make up the Championship roster. A team's final lineup does not have to be declared until the day of the competition. Below is a list of the Gophers' lineup and a listing of any previous experience at the NCAA Championships.
Mead Back at the NCAA Championships
Minnesota senior All-American Hassan Mead is heading back to the NCAA Championships after a year absences. He missed the entire 2010 cross country season after suffering a collapsed lung during an easy training run in early September. Mead is a three-time NCAA cross country All-American. a two-time Big Ten (2008 and 2009) and now a three-time NCAA Midwest Region champion (2008 ,2009 and 2011) after he was crowed the champion last weekend's Midwest Regional. Mead covered the 10k course in 31:16.87 to finish first overall for the Gophers. He finished 16th at the 2009 NCAA Championships.