The Minnesota men’s cross country team placed 27th in the NCAA Cross Country Championships in Terre Haute, Ind., on Monday, with Ben Blankenship’s All-America performance leading the way.
Blankenship, a senior from Stillwater, Minn., captured his first career All-America honor with a 39th-place finish, covering the 10-kilometer LaVern Gibson Championships Course in a time of 30 minutes, 29.3 seconds.
The teams battled a strong wind during the race and temperatures unusually warm for this time of the year in the upper 60s. Like in the women’s race (Villanova), the team title was defended successfully. Oklahoma State landed three runners in the top 10 to cruise to the team title with 193 points. Florida State was second with 193 points, followed by Wisconsin in third (223) and Stanford (237).
Senior Mike Torchia was the Golden Gophers’ second finisher, placing 157th in a time of 31:40.4. Completing the scoring for the Gophers were Pieter Gagnon in 168th in 31:46.1, Andrew Larsen in 175th in 31:55.2 and Kevin Lachowitzer in 198th in 32:07.5.
Also competing for the Gophers was Mike McFarland, who was 223rd in 32:51.3 and Sean Olson, who finished 230th in 32:58.1.
Liberty senior Samuel Chelanga defended his individual title clocking a time of 29:22.2. Griak champion, Arizona junior Stephen Sambu was second in 29:26.5.