Golden Gopher Cross Country This Week:
Big Ten Conference Cross Country Championships
Sunday, Oct. 28
Women 9:45 a.m. (CT)
Men 10:30 a.m. (CT)
The Ohio State University Golf Course
Golden Gopher Watch List Oct. 28, 2007
Minnesota Heads to Big Ten Cross Country Championships - The Minnesota men’s and women’s cross country teams will travel to Ohio State on Sunday, Oct. 28, to compete in the 2007 Big Ten Conference Cross Country Championships. The women’s 6-kilometer race begins at 9:45 a.m. (CT), followed by the men’s 8-kilometer race at 10:30 a.m. (CT).
Rombough Looks to Defend Title - Junior Chris Rombough looks to defend his Big Ten individual cross country title. A year ago, Rombough was the first Gopher to win the crown in 25 years.
Albertson-Junkans Leads Young Gopher Women’s Squad - Senior Ladia Albertson-Junkans, a two-time All-Big Ten First Team runner, leads the Gopher women as they strive to win their first Big Ten title. The Gophers, one of four teams ranked in the top 10 nationally, have entered a lineup with a senior, a junior, a true freshman and six sophomores.
Big Ten Championships
The No. 8 Minnesota women’s cross country team travels to Columbus, Ohio, on Sunday, Oct. 28, to compete in the 2007 Big Ten Conference Cross Country Championships. Ohio State will play host to the event, the 27th Big Ten women’s meet, at The Ohio State University Golf Course. The women’s race, 6 kilometers in length, begins at 9:45 a.m. CT).
Big Ten Honors
The top seven finishers will be awarded All-Big Ten First-Team honors. Runners placing eighth through 14th will receive second-team All-Big Ten accord.
Chase For the Title is Wide Open
For the second consecutive season, the Big Ten Championships features four teams ranked among the top 10 in the nation, vying for conference supremacy. Michigan tops the list at No. 6, followed by No. 7 Michigan State, No. 8 Minnesota and No. 10 Illinois.
The Golden Gophers have faced Michigan State in head-to-head competition twice this season, defeating the Spartans as Minnesota won the team title at the Roy Griak Invitational and finishing just behind MSU at the Pre-NCAA Meet. The Gophers have not faced Michigan or Illinois this season.
Not to be overlooked are three additional nationally ranked teams in the field: No. 18 Iowa, No. 21 Wisconsin and No. 26 Penn State.
Defending Big Ten Champions
Michigan is the five-time defending Big Ten Conference champion and a favorite to contend for the title again in 2007. Michigan senior Erin Webster is the defending individual medalist.
Minnesota at the Big Ten Meet
Though Minnesota has not won a Big Ten team title, the Golden Gophers have been one of the most consistent upper-echelon team finishers in the 26-year history of the event. Overall, the Golden Gophers have placed in the top five, or the upper echelon, in the Big Ten in 19 of 26 championships.The Gophers’ highest Big Ten finish is third, several times, including in 2005 and 2006.
The Gophers have had one runner win the Big Ten individual title: Eileen Donaghy in 1987.
Big Ten Championships History
Wisconsin has won 13 of 25 team titles in the history of Big Ten Women’s Cross Country. Six teams, including Minnesota, have yet to win a cross country team championship. Following is a listing of team champions:
Wisconsin: 1983, 84, 85, 86, 87, 88, 91, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99, 00
Michigan: 1992, 93, 94, 02, 03, 04, 05, 06
Indiana: 1989, 90
Michigan State: 1981, 01
The Golden Gophers’ Sophomore Class Needs to Come Up Big
Senior Ladia Albertson-Junkans, a two-time All-Big Ten first teamer, has the most experience on a Gopher lineup that will consist of a senior, a junior, a true freshman and six sophomores. One of those sophomores, Jamie Cheever, has been Minnesota’s number-one runner in every meet this season.
The Golden Gopher Lineup
Nine Golden Gophers will compete at the Big Ten Championships. Following their name is a listing of any previous experience at the Big Ten Championships.
Gabriele Anderson (Jr., Perham, Minn./Perham)
2006 - 27th, 21:55
Ladia Albertson-Junkans (Sr., Stillwater, Minn./Stillwater)
2006 - 7th, 20:53
2005 - 6th, 21:13.19
2004 - 15th, 21:46
Jamie Cheever (So., Minneapolis, Minn./Southwest)
2006 - 24th, 21:41
Heather Dorniden (So., Inver Grove Heights, Minn./Rosemount)
2006 - 34th, 22:08
Megan Duwell (So., West Bend, Wis./West Bend West)
Amy Laskowske (So., Palatine, Ill./Palatine) alternate
2006 - 33rd, 22:04
Sally Paulson (So., Inver Grove Heights, Minn./Simley)
Nikki Swenson (Fr., Dawson, Minn./Dawson-Boyd)
Mallory Van Ness (So., Shoreview, Minn./Mounds View/Missouri)
Elizabeth Yetzer (So., Lakeville, Minn./Lakeville North)
2006 - 28th, 21:56
Golden Gophers Ranked No. 8
Minnesota remained ranked No. 8 in this week’s the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association NCAA Division I poll. The Gophers spent two weeks earlier this season ranked No. 4, the highest in school history.
Minnesota Place Fourth in Pre-NCAA Blue Race, Cheever Runs Personal Best
The Golden Gophers placed fourth in the Pre-NCAA Meet, in Terre Haute, Ind., on Oct 13. The meet was contested on the LaVern Gibson Cross Country Course, the site of the NCAA Championships in November.
Jamie Cheever covered a fast 6-kilometer course in a personal-best time of 20:44.5 to pace the Gophers with a 15th-place finish. Cheever’s time moves her to fourth on the all-time list with her time marking the eighth-fastest time in Gopher history.
Gophers, Cheever Kick Off 2007 With a Pair of Firsts
Not only did Minnesota kick off is 2007 campaign by winning its first two meets, but the Golden Gophers set school history by tallying perfect team scores of 15 points in back-to-back meets for the first time in school history. Individually, sophomore Jamie Cheever grabbed a piece of history herself by capturing medalist honors in back-to-back meets for the first time in Gopher history.
Golden Gopher Coaching Staff
Gary Wilson, the dean of the Big Ten women’s cross country coaches, is in his 23rd season heading the Minnesota program. He is assisted by volunteer assistant, Sarah Hesser, who is in her third season on the coaching staff after competing for the Golden Gophers.