The 2007 season’s first release of the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association NCAA Division I Women’s Cross Country National Poll proved a point everyone around the Big Ten Conference already knew the Big Ten is loaded with talent. Minnesota was tabbed No. 8 in the poll, amazingly one of five Conference school in the top 10 nationally to start the season.
Defending national champion Stanford earned the No. 1 spot in the poll and is followed by Michigan, Colorado and Arkansas. Illinois at No. 5 starts a run of Big Ten schools with Wisconsin next at No. 6, Minnesota at No. 8 and Michigan State at No. 10. Iowa is a sixth Big Ten school ranked as well, tabbed No. 14.
The very quotable head coach of the Golden Gophers, Gary Wilson, put it this way: “the Big Ten this season is stupid tough this season.” Regarding his team’s early national ranking, Wilson added, “Needless to say we are thrilled with the ranking, but what really counts is how we run at the end of the season.”
Minnesota will split its charges to compete in two events on Saturday. The Gophers’ top 12 runners will run in the South Dakota State Jackrabbit Invitational, while another group will compete in the All-American Invite at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa.