Golden Gopher Cross Country This Week: Tori Neubauer Invitational
Saturday, Oct. 17 — Terre Haute, Ind.
Saturday, Oct. 17 — West Salem, Wis.
Gopher Women Run Against Nation’s Best
The Minnesota women’s cross country team, currently ranked No. 8 in the nation,faces their biggest test of the season so far competing the Pre-NCAA Meet, on Saturday, Oct. 17, in Terre Haute, Ind. The women’s race schedule is split into three events all 6-kilometers in distance, the Blue Race, the White Race and the Open Race. Minnesota will compete in the White Race at 11:55 a.m. (CT), then have a number of individuals run in the Open Race at 1:10 p.m. (CT).
Minnesota Also to Compete at Neubauer Invite
The Gophers will send a second squad of competitors to West Salem, Wis., to compete in the Tori Neubauer Invitational on Saturday. Minnesota placed second in the event a year ago.
Minnesota Paired With Top-Ranked Washington
The No. 8 Golden Gophers will face No. 1 Washington in the White Race, which also includes No. 5 Princeton in the 37-team field. Overall the White Race field includes 11 nationally ranked teams. The Blue Race features eight ranked teams led by No. 4 Oregon, No. 6 Stanford and No. 7 Iowa State.
Five Big Ten Teams to Run at Pre-NCAA Meet
The Gophers will be joined by four other Big Ten Conference teams at the Pre-NCAA Meet. Joining Minnesota in the White Race is Illinois and Ohio State Iowa and Michigan State are entered in the Blue Race.
Big Ten Loaded With Ranked Teams
The Big Ten Conference has seven teams ranked among the top 30 in the USTFCCCA Poll. Minnesota leads the way ranked No. 8, followed by No. 16 Penn State, No. 18 Illinois, No. 23 Michigan, No. 24 Michigan State, No. 28 Wisconsin and No. 29 Iowa.
The Golden Gopher Lineup
A dozen (12) Golden Gophers will compete on race day at the Pre-NCAA Meet. Seven will compete as a team in the White Race, while five will run in the Open Race.
White Race Lineup
Heather Dorniden (Sr., Inver Grove Heights, Minn./Rosemount)
2006 - 131st, 21:55.8 - White
2007 - 94th, 21:39.0 - Blue
2008 - 81st, 21:36.9 - Blue
Megan Duwell (Sr., West Bend, Wis./West Bend West)
2006 - 54th, 22:27.4 - Open
2007 - 92nd, 21:38.0 - Blue
2008 - 18th, 20:45.2 - Blue
Amy Laskowske (Sr., Palatine, Ill./Palatine)
2006 - 91st, 21:37.2 - White
2007 - 26th, 22:10.9 - Open
2008 - 52nd, 21:18.4 - Blue
Nikki Swenson (Jr., Dawson, Minn./Dawson-Boyd)
2007 - 4th, 21:29.9 - Open
2008 - 7th, 21:42.6 - Open
Mallory Van Ness (Sr., Shoreview, Minn./Mounds View/Missouri)
2007 - 14th, 21:54.7 - Open
2008 - 46th, 21:16.5 - Blue
Elizabeth Yetzer (Sr., Lakeville, Minn./Lakeville North)
2006 - 39th, 20:58.8 - White
2007 - 24th, 20:52.1 - Blue
2008 - 9th, 21:43.9 - Open
Kayla Wagner (Fr., Baldwin, Wis./Baldwin-Woodville)
Duwell Wins Griak Title, Honored by Big Ten
Minnesota senior Megan Duwell captured her second Big Ten Runner of the Week accolade of the season as the Conference office recognized her accomplishment of winning the individual title at the Roy Griak Invitational on Sept. 26. A West Bend, Wis., native, Duwell is the first Golden Gopher to capture two Big Ten Runner of the Week awards in the same season. Duwell was also honored by the Big Ten after winning the Oz Memorial Run title earlier this month.
Duwell WIns Griak Title, Gophers Second as a Team
Golden Gopher senior All-American Megan Duwell wrote her name in the Griak Invitational record books, winning the Jack Johnson Women’s Gold Race title in a time of 21 minutes, 0.37 seconds. Duwell is the second Minnesota women’s runner to take Griak gold, joining Rasa (nee Michnoivaite) Troup who won the title in 1998.
Duwell broke free from the pack before the race’s 2-kilometer mark and went on to win by over 12 seconds over runner-up Lisa Koll (Iowa State). Duwell’s time is the fourth-best time in Minnesota history by a Gopher on their home 6-kilometer course at the Les Bolstad Golf Course in Falcon Heights.
Minnesota’s streak of Griak titles was ended at two by Iowa State, who landed five runners in the top 10 to tally 31 points and take home their first Griak crown. The Gophers finished second with 48 points, followed by Michigan State in third with 75 points.
The Gophers scored all five runners in the top 20. Nikki Swenson was the Gophers’ number-two runner finishing in eighth place in a time of 21:56.87. Elizabeth Yetzer finished 11th in 22:01.57 and started a string of five consecutive Minnesota finishes. Amy Laskowske was 12th in 22:03.27, followed by Kayla Wagner (13th, 22:07.32), Heather Dorniden (14th, 22:16.82) and Mallory Van Ness (15th, 22:20.42).
Golden Gopher Coaching Staff
Gary Wilson, the dean of the Big Ten women’s cross country coaches, is in his 25th season heading the Minnesota program. He is assisted by volunteer assistant head coach, Sarah Hesser, who is in her fifth season on the coaching staff after competing for the Golden Gophers.