anTHIS WEEK-The 17th-ranked University of Minnesota cross country team will be on a one-week hiatus before returning to action at the NCAA Midwest Regional.
LAST WEEK-The Gophers scored 98 points and, for the third consecutive year, placed third as a team at the Big Ten Championships, hosted by Penn State, Saturday.
Wisconsin dominated the meet to claim its fifth consecutive team title, scoring 25 points. Michigan scored 95 points to edge Minnesota for second place.
A trio of sophomores led the Badgers, with Erica Palmer winning the individual title by 20 seconds, finishing in a time of 16 minutes, 46.93 seconds. Teammates Erin Aufderheide and Bethany Brewster were second and third respectively.
The Gophers' top runner was senior Rasa Michniovaite (Pabrade, Lithuania/Pabrade Rytas), who earned first-team All-Big Ten honors for the second consecutive year, finishing fourth in 17:17.68, nearly 38 seconds better than her previous best this season.
Junior Elaine Eggleston (Roseville, Minn./Roseville Area) was a second-team all-conference honoree for the second year in a row, clocking a time of 17:44.23 while finishing 13th. The time was her first this season under 18 minutes.
RASA RUNNING WELL AGAIN-After struggling early in the season due to an iron deficiency, Rasa Michniovaite is near peak form again.
Her time of 17:17.68 at the Big Ten championships was 38 seconds faster than her previous best of the season and 1:27 better than her finishing time at the Roy Griak Invitational, Sept. 25.
Michniovaite has that time of 17:17.68 just twice in her career, at the 1998 Roy Griak (17:08.0) and the 1998 Midwest Regional (17:07.4). The time was nearly nine seconds faster than she ran at last year's Big Ten Championships, where she finished third.
TOP TIMES-Besides the season-best times clocked by Rasa Michniovaite and Elaine Eggleston, six of the other eight Minnesota runners ran season-best times Saturday.
Sophomore Victoria Moses (New Brighton, Minn./ Irondale) was 27th in 18:08.60, followed by frosh Anita Menden (Eden Prairie, Minn./Eden Prairie), 31st overall in 18:15.20. Other Minnesota runners to post season-best times were junior Deborah Hudleston (Minneapolis, Minn./ De La Salle), 40th in 18:25.89, senior Minna Haronoja (Illo, Finland/Vammala), 41st in 18:26.40, and frosh Chrissy Eid (Richfield, Minn./Richfield), 44th in 18:28.35.
UP NEXT-The Gophers will be out of action this weekend as they prepare for the NCAA Midwest Region Championships, Nov. 13. The women's race gets underway at 11 a.m. and will be hosted by the University of Illinois.