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NCAA Cross Country Championships
The Minnesota men's cross country team will make its eighth consecutive trip to the NCAA Men's Cross Country Championships on Monday, Nov. 22. Indiana State plays host to the Championships at the LaVern Gibson Cross Country Course in Terre Haute, Ind. The women's race begins at 10 a.m. (CST), followed by the men's race at 11:15 a.m. (CST).
Among an Elite Group
Minnesota is among an elite group of schools who will make at least their eighth consecutive trip to the NCAA Men's Cross Country Championships. The Golden Gophers are making their eighth straight appearance. Schools and consecutive appearance streaks are: Arkansas (31), Colorado (13), Minnesota (8), North Carolina State (10), Providence (10), Stanford (11), William & Mary (8) and Wisconsin (33).
The Defending Champion
Stanford won the title in 2003 with only 24 team points and will chase its third consecutive team crown. Wisconsin was the runner-up in both 2002 and 2003. Colorado junior Dathan Ritzenhein is the defending individual NCAA champion.
The Championships Field
Thirty-one (31) teams and 38 individuals make up the field for the NCAA Championships. Minnesota and Wisconsin earned automatic berths into the Championships field and will be joined by five other Big Ten schools (Indiana, Iowa, Ohio State, Michigan and Michigan State) that were awarded at-large berths.
Minnesota's Path to the NCAAs
Minnesota captured the NCAA Midwest Region Championships team title and with it the automatic qualifying berth to the NCAA Championships.
Minnesota at the NCAAs
Minnesota will make its 16th appearance in the NCAA Championships. The Golden Gophers' first trip to the NCAAs was in 1964 and their highest finish was fourth in 1968. In the current streak of eight straight NCAA berths under head coach Steve Plasencia, Minnesota's best finish was 15th in 1999. Last year the Gophers placed 26th.