Nov. 18, 2011
This Week in Golden Gopher Cross Country
2011 NCAA Division I Cross Country Championships
Monday, Nov. 21
11:08 a.m. (CT)
LaVern Gibson Championship Course
Terre Haute, Ind.
Indiana State University - Host
TV - None
Video Webcast - NCAA.com
The No. 19 Minnesota men's cross country team earned a berth into the field of the NCAA Division I Men's Cross Country Championships. Indiana State University will once again be hosting the Championships at the LaVern Gibson Championship Course in Terre Haute, Ind. The 10k race is set to being at 11:08 CST. Minnesota has now made NCAA appearances in 14 of the last 16 years.
How Can You Watch It?
The NCAA Cross Country Championships will be streamed online via NCAA.com. Check out Flotrack.org for additional coverage and interviews from the national meet.
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 Gopher men enter the national meet ranked No. 19 in the USTFCCCA National Poll. Minnesota is one of four Big Ten Conference teams listed in the rankings with Wisconsin at No. 4, Indiana at No. 13 and Penn State at No. 26.
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.
Pieter Gagnon - 2010: 31:46.1; 2009: 31:15.1
Andrew Larson - 2010: 31:55.2
Hassan Mead - 2009: 29:50.1; 2008: 30:06.2; 2007: 30:37.6
Sean Olson - 2010: 32:58.1; 2009: 32:59.7
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.
Ali, Plasencia Rep `U' At World XC
Ali finished 52nd overall in the men's U20 race, clocking a time of 26:14 for the eight-kilometer race at the Kololo Independence Grounds.
Plasencia, Ali Set for World XC Championships
Plasencia and Ali are the latest runners with ties to the University of Minnesota to represent the United States in the last year.
Catching Up with Coach
GopherSports.com caught up with Minnesota Director of Men’s Track & Field and Cross Country Steve Plasencia to talk about all things Maroon & Gold.