InvitationalNo. 8 Golden Gophers at Pre-Regional Meet on Friday
Minnesota will be on the road for the first time in 2000 as they travel to Waterloo, Iowa, to compete in the Northern Iowa Invitational, a meet that will serve as precursor to the NCAA Midwest Regional in November. Friday's meet, which will be run on the same 6,000-meter course as the Midwest Regional, Nov. 11, is set to get underway at 4 p.m.
For the first time since the meet has been run in its current format, with separate races for NCAA Division I and non-Division I schools, Minnesota won the Roy Griak Invitational, scoring 98 points to win the 29- team meet.
The Gophers ran strong throughout the meet, with seniors Corinne Nimtz (Eden Prairie, Minn./Eden Prairie) and Elaine Eggleston (Roseville, Minn./Roseville Area), along with frosh Darja Vasiljeva (Jelgava, Latvia/ Jelgava Secondary No. 5), running among the top 20. The trio finished fifth (21 minutes, 20 seconds), 13th (21:34) and eighth (21:28), respectively, to score 26 points, a 13-point lead over runnerup Yale after each teams' top three runners. Sophomore Chrissy Eid (Richfield, Minn./Richfield) placed 29th (21:54), three places ahead of Yale's fourth runner.
The winning margin came from junior Victoria Moses (New Brighton, Minn./Irondale). Running near 70th position at the race's midpoint, she ran a strong second half to place 43rd (22:05), giving Minnesota 98 points and a 29-point victory over the Bulldogs.
Arizona junior Tara Chaplin won the individual title in 21:00. She was eight seconds faster than seventh-ranked Arizona State's junior Lisa Aguilera, the runnerup for the second consecutive year. Aguilera led her Sun Devil team to a third-place team finish while the Wildcats, behind Chaplin, were fourth.
Cracking the Top 10
For the first time in school history, Minnesota has broken into the top 10 in the national rankings, coming in at number eight in this week's FinishLynx NCAA Division I Women's Poll.
The Gophers' have never been ranked higher than 12th previously. They were 12th after finishing third at last year's Roy Griak Invitational and also were ranked 12th once during the 1988 season. Their highest team finish at the NCAA Championships was 10th in 1983.
Moses - ing Along
Over the final 3,000 meters Saturday, Victoria Moses wasn't exactly moseying along. After a slow start, which saw her around the 70th position midway through the race, Moses began picking her way through the field. She had gained up nearly 20 spots over the next mile and, with about 1,200 meters left, moved up nine more spots to finish 43rd. Her time of 22:05 was nearly 80 seconds faster than the 23:23.9 clocking she turned in two weeks earlier at the Memorial "Oz" Run on the same course.
In just her second cross country race, Darja Vasiljeva ran 70 seconds better than her time at the "Oz" Run. She ran in a pack of four runners early in the race, behind leader and eventual winner Tara Chaplin. Vasiljeva combined with Corinne Nimtz to give the Gophers a pair of top-10 finishers.
Minnesota heads south again next week, this time to the state of Arkansas, for the University of Arkansas- Little Rock Shootout, Oct. 7. The women's meet is slated for a 10 a.m. start.