Golden Gopher Men’s CC Season in Review
Minnesota Men’s Cross Country Season in Review - The Minnesota men’s cross country team finished third at the Big Ten Championships as a team, but celebrated the first Golden Gopher conference medalist in 21 years. The Gophers finished sixth at the NCAA Midwest Region Championships to end the season. Chris Rombough represented Minnesota on an individual basis at the NCAA Championships.
Rombough Runs to All-America Honors - Chris Rombough covered the 10-kilometer LaVern Gibson Championship Course in a time of 31 minutes, 16,9 seconds. His 14th-place showing was the eighth best in school history and the highest since Dave Morrison finished 13th overall in 1984.
Rombough is the Big Ten Champ - Chris Rombough captured Big Ten medalist honors by covering the 8-kilometer course at Indiana in a time of 24:05. The victory marked the first Gopher to win the Big Ten crown since 1971.
Vega Earns Fourth Career All-Region Honor - Senior Antonio Vega finished 11th in the NCAA Midwest Region Championships to collect the fourth All-Midwest Region accolade of his career.
2006 Season Honors
Big Ten Champion / Big Ten Athlete of the Year
All-Big Ten First Team
All-Big Ten Second Team
Big Ten Runner of the Week
Chris Rombough (Oct. 17)
Academic All-Big Ten
Justin Grunewald, Todd Johnson
Ben Kampf, Ben Puhl, Seijen Takamura
Fred O. Watson Award Winner / Team MVP
The 2006 Season in Review
The Golden Gophers experienced great success as well as some misfortune during the 2006 season. The highlight of the season came at the Big Ten Championships where Chris Rombough captured the first individual title for the Gophers since 1971. Rombough went on to earn All-America honors. Unfortunately in 2006, the Gophers failed to advance to the NCAA Championships as a team, breaking a nine-year streak.
Rombough Earns All-America Acclaim
Sophomore Chris Rombough finished 14th at the NCAA Cross Country Championships in Terre Haute, Ind., earning the first All-America citation of his collegiate career. Rombough covered the 10-kilometer LaVern Gibson Championship Course in a time of 31 minutes, 16,9 seconds. His 14th-place showing is the eighth best in school history and the highest since Dave Morrison finished 13th overall in 1984.
“It was an excellent performance,” said Golden Gopher head coach Steve Plasencia. “Chris went to work passing guys midway through the race and then used that momentum from about the 8 kilometer mark on to hold his position.”
Colorado scored 94 points to score an easy upset of favored Wisconsin, who finished as the runner-up with 142 points. Other Big Ten team finishes were Michigan State in 17th and Iowa in 28th.
Brigham Young senior Josh Rohatinsky captured the individual title in a time of 30:44.9, over seven seconds faster than Stanford senior Neftalem Araia’s runner-up time of 30:52.6.
Minnesota Team Streak Broken at Nine
Minnesota failed to advance to the NCAA Championships for the first time in 10 years, breaking what had been the fifth-longest active streak in the nation with nine straight national meet appearances.
Minnesota Receive Votes in Final National Poll
The Gophers received votes in the final USTFCCCA Men’s Cross Country Coaches Poll. Minnesota was ranked No. 12 for three weeks during the season, with the. No. 12 ranking marking the highest of Steve Plasencia’s 11-year Minnesota coaching tenure.
Vega Concludes Successful Gopher Career
Antonio Vega made his final season at Minnesota another successful one, even though it didn’t end with a trip to the NCAA Championships. Vega, a 2005 All-American, finished his career by capturing his fourth All-Midwest Region accolade by placing 11th. He was also an All-Big Ten Second Team honoree his last two season.
The Gopher Coaching Staff
Golden Gopher head men’s cross country coach Steve Plasencia completed his 11th season directing the program at his alma mater. The Gophers have advanced to the NCAA Championships nine times in Plasencia’s tenure, finishing with eight top-25 finishes. Brad Wick finished his second season as the Gophers’ volunteer assistant coach.