|1949||Dick Kilty||11th||20:53 (4 miles)|
|1956||Leonard Edelen||9th||20:33 (4 miles)|
|1957||Leonard Edelen||4th||19:44 (4 miles)|
|1969||Garry Bjorklund||6th||29:35 (6 miles)|
|1971||Garry Bjorklund||2nd||29:20.8 (6 miles)|
|1976||Steve Plasencia||38th*||29:26.6 (10K)|
|1978||Steve Plasencia||25th||30:12.8 (10K)|
|1981||Lloyd Ness||36th*||30:09.8 (10K)|
|1982||Dave Morrison||13th||30:34.6 (10K)|
|1984||Dave Morrison||13th||30:06.4 (10K)|
|2002||Andrew Carlson||32nd*||30:29.2 (10K)|
|2004||Ryan Malmin||28th*||21:39.2 (10K)|
|Andrew Carlson||37th*||31:48.7 (10K)|
|2005||Antonio Vega||44th*||30:24.1 (10K)|
|2006||Chris Rombough||14th||31:16.9 (10K)|
|2007||Chris Rombough||29th||30.24.8 (10K)|
|Hassan Mead||43rd||30.37.6 (10K)|
|2008||Chris Rombough||17th||29:54.4 (10K)|
|Hassan Mead||31st||30:06.2 (10K)|
|2009||Hassan Mead||16th||29:50.7 (10K)|
|2010||Ben Blankenship||39th*||30:29.3 (10K)|
|2011||Hassan Mead||34th*||30:02.8 (10K)|
* Among the top 25 American finishers
Garry Bjorklund holds the distinction of being the highest placing Golden Gopher at an NCAA Cross Country Championships, placing second to Oregon’s Steve Prefontaine in 1971. Bjorklund was clocked in a time of 29:20.8. A two-time cross country All-American, Bjorklund also earned honors in 1969 with a sixth-place finish (29:35). He is the last Golden Gopher to win medalist honors at the Big Ten Championships, doing so in three consecutive seasons (1969, ‘70, ‘71). Bjorklund also experienced plenty of success on the track. He earned three All-America track honors and was the 6-mile run national champion in 1971. In Big Ten competition, Bjorklund collected six individual titles during his Gopher career. After closing his Gopher career, Bjorklund earned aspot on the 1976 U.S. Olympic Team and placed 13th in the 10,000-meter run.
Ben Blankenship placed 39th NCAA Championships in 2010 to earn his first All-America honor. Blankenship's career at Minnesota began in 2008, after he transferred from Mississippi State. He earned All-Midwest Region honors in 2008 and 2010. As a senior in 2010, Blankenship also made the All-Big Ten First Team with a third-place finish and received the Fred O. Watson Award.
Andrew Carlson was a two-time coaches’ All-American in 2002 and 2004, winning NCAA Midwest Region titles, the NCAA Midwest Runner of the Year Award and the Fred O. Watson Award honors in those same two seasons. Carlson, who owns the third-fastest 10K time in school history, also placed fourth in the Big Ten in 2004.
Leonard Edelden was a two-time cross country All-American for the Golden Gophers in 1956 and 1957. Edelen ran to his first honor by placing ninth in the 1956 NCAA meet, covering the 4-mile course in 20:33. The following season, he moved up to fourth-place finishing in a time of 19:44 at the national meet held in East Lansing, Mich. Edelen was also the Big Ten champion in 1957, runnning a time of 21.09.4 over four miles. Following his Minnesota career, Edelen continued to compete. He made the 1964 U.S. Olympic Team and placed sixth in the marathon.
Dick Kilty was the first Golden Gopher to earn All-America honors in cross country in 1949. He received the honor by placing 11th in the 4-mile run at the NCAA Championships with a time of 20:53. Kilty placed fifth, sixth and third at the Big Ten Championships from 1947-1949. He was also the Big Ten indoor track two-mile run (9:35.1) champion in 1948.
Ryan Malmin earned national acclaim by running to a 28th-place finish to collect All-America honors in 2004 as awarded by the Cross Country Coaches Association. Malmin was also a three-time all-region performer and a second-team All-Big Ten honoree in 2004 and 2005.
Hassan Mead set Minnesota history in 2007 becoming the first true freshman to capture All-America honors. Mead finished 43rd at the NCAA Cross Country Championships after capturing Big Ten Freshman of the Year honors with a Conference runner-up showing. Four years later he made history again as he became the school's first four-time All-American.. Mead followed his rookie campaign with a second All-America award in 2008 with a 31rd-place finish after winning the Big Ten and Midwest Region titles. As a junior, Mead finished 16th at the NCAA meet and defended his Midwest Region and Big Ten individual titles. After overcoming injury, Mead completed his record-breaking career with his fourth All-American award with a 36th place finish at the 2011 NCAA Championships.
Gerald Metzler earned All-America honors in 1978 but in an interesting twist of fate, and an NCAA oversight, he did not receive the honor until 1979. Metzler notched a 36th-place finish in 1978 and was thought to be 26th U.S.-born runner (the top 25 are honored as All-Americans). Coach Roy Griak discovered the error in the fall of 1979 when he had contacted the NCAA regarding an award to teammate Steve Plasencia that had not been received.
Dave Morrison placed 13th at the NCAA Championshps in 1982 and 1984 to earn his pair of All-America citations. A three-time Fred O. Watson Award winner, Morrison still owns the school records over an 8,000-meter course. Morrison also earned NCAA All-America acclaim on the track, placing sixth in 1985.
Lloyd Ness was named a coaches’ All-American in 1981 after placing 36th individually and leading the team to a 12th-place showing at the NCAA Chamapionships. Ness was the Fred O. Watson Award winner that season. He holds the school record over the 8,000-meter course at Les Bolstad. On the track, Ness captured NCAA All-America honors in the 10,000 meters with an eighth-place finish in 1982.
Steve Plasencia was a two-time All-American in cross country and holds the distinction of being the only harrier in Minnesota history to earn the team’s MVP award, the Fred O. Watson Award, four times. Plasencia first earned All-America honors with a 38th-place finish in 1976, then followed with another America performance with a 25th-ploace showing in 1978. He holds the school cross country records on 5-mile, 6-mile and 10,000-meters courses. On the track, Plasencia added a pair of NCAA All-America honors in the 5,000 meters. Plasencia continued his running career after graduation. He is a two-time Olympian, competing in the 10,000 meters in both teh 1988 and 1992 Olympic Games. In 1996, Plasencia took accepted the head coaching position at his alma mater. He has guided the Golden Gpohers to NCAA Championships appearnance in the last seven seasons.
Chris Rombough is the first three-time All-American for the Gophers. He earned his first All-America citation by placing 14th at the 2006 NCAA Championships. Rombough joined an elite group of Golden Gophers (Leonard Edelen, Garry Bjorklund and later Hassan Mead) to capture All-America honors after winning a Big Ten title. Rombough, honored as the Big Ten’s Runner of the Year, was also the 2007 NCAA Midwest Region runner-up. Rombough added his second All-America citation in 2007 with a 29th-place finish at the NCAA meet and his final honor in 2008 with a 17th-place showing.
Forrest Tahdooahnippah captured All-America honors in 2007, his first and only season at Minnesota. Tahdooahnippah placed 58th at the NCAA Championships. He competed for Minnesota for one season as a graduate student attending law school Tahdooahnippah received his undergraduate degree at Stanford.
Antonio Vega became the ninth Golden Gopher All-American. Vega placed 44th in the 2005 NCAA meet to earn All-America acclaim as awarded by the Cross Country Coaches Association. Vega was the 2005 Midwest Region medalist and Midwest Region Runner of the Year. Finished his Gopher career as a four-time all-region honoree.
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.