No. 13 Gophers Ready for Midwest Regional
NCAA Midwest Regional
Date Friday, Nov. 10, 2017
Location ISU Cross Country Course | Ames, Iowa
Meet Info Meet Info | Course Map
Time 10:45 a.m. Women's 6K | 11:45 a.m. Men's 10K
Coverage Live Results | @GopherWCCTF | #Gophers

Nov. 7, 2017

MINNEAPOLIS -- The No. 13 University of Minnesota women's cross country team enters the 2017 Midwest Regional looking to punch its ticket back to the NCAA Championship this Friday. The Gophers race on Friday morning in Ames, Iowa.

About the NCAA Midwest Regional

Iowa State will host the 2017 NCAA Cross Country Midwest Regional this Friday at the ISU Cross Country Course. The women's 6K will begin at 10:45 a.m. CT, with the men's 10K to follow at 11:45 a.m. All fan parking will be in Lots 61A and 61B.

Minnesota's postseason roster includes Courtney Alama, Emily Betz, Bethany Hasz; Megan Hasz, Abby Kohut-Jackson, Zetta Mason, Bailey Ness, Patty O'Brien, Elyse Prescott, and Madeline Strandemo. Strandemo, M. Hasz, B. Hasz, Ness, Betz, and O'Brien return to the Gophers' line-up after racing last season while Alama is back after serving as an alternate in 2016.

2016 NCAA Midwest Regional Rewind

The Gophers placed fourth in the team standings at the 2016 NCAA Midwest Regional behind top-12 finishes from Madeline Strandemo, Megan Hasz, and Bethany Hasz. All five of Minnesota's scoring runners ran then-career best 6K times led by Strandemo, clocking nearly a 20-second PR of 20:23.7 for seventh place. M. Hasz ran 20:27.7 for ninth with twin sister B. Hasz close behind in 20:32.6 for 12th. The trio earned All-Midwest Region honors for their top-25 finishes. Bailey Ness (21:20.6) and Emily Betz (21:20.9) finished 52nd and 53rd overall as Minnesota's fourth and fifth runners. Patty O'Brien and Abby Kargol also made their NCAA debuts for the Gophers with O'Brien running a season-best 21:53.5 in 97th place overall and Kargol coming in 107th (21:57.8). The Gophers scored 131 points to come in fourth in the team race. Missouri scored 83 points to take the team title.

Gophers' History at the NCAA Midwest Regional

Minnesota has won three Midwest Regional titles, winning consecutive crowns in 2007, 2008, and 2009. The Gophers have also produced two Midwest Regional individual champions in Rasa Michniovaite (1998) and Stephanie Price (2010). Minnesota has finished third or higher in 17 NCAA regional meets since 1982. 

Gophers Finish as B1G Runners-Up

Minnesota placed second in the team standings behind Madeline Strandemo's individual runner-up finish at the 2017 Big Ten Cross Country Championship. Strandemo led the Gophers with a career-best 6K time of 20:13.5 while Megan Hasz (fifth) and Bethany Hasz (10th) also earned top-10 finishes to lead Minnesota. Bailey Ness and Abby Kohut-Jackson completed Minnesota's scoring finishes in 30th and 39th, respectively. Minnesota scored 86 points to edge third-place Wisconsin with 100 points. Michigan placed all five of its scoring runners among the top 17 individuals to score 55 points for the team title. Penn State (107 points) and Michigan State (119 points) rounded out the top five teams.

Gophers Move Up All-Time List

With her career-best 6K performance of 20:14.5 at the Nuttycombe Wisconsin Invitational, Madeline Strandemo moved into third on the Gophers' all-time list behind Stephanie Price (19:55.50) and Megan Duwell (20:06.90); Strandemo improved her PR by one second at the B1G Championship. Megan Hasz (20:16.0) and Bethany Hasz (20:16.9) also posted PRs at the meet in Wisconsin to move into fourth and sixth, respectively, in Gopher history.

Bailey Ness also improved her time on Minnesota's all-time list at 21:20.2, good for 36th in program history, and climbed one more spot into a tie for 35th all-time with a time of 21:15.1 at Big Tens. Abby Kohut-Jackson moved into 40th in program history with a PR of 21:26.2 at the B1G Championship.

Gophers Jump to No. 13 in USTFCCCA Week Six Poll

Following the team's runner-up showing at the Big Ten Championship, the Gophers climbed six places to No. 13 in the nation according to the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) NCAA Division I Women's Cross Country Week Six National Coaches' Poll. Minnesota also maintained the top spot in the USTFCCCA Midwest Regional Rankings. The week seven poll will be released next Tuesday, Nov. 13.

Minnesota's No. 13 ranking is the program's highest ranking since also ranking 13th in the week seven poll in 2009; that season, the Gophers went on to finish 10th at the NCAA Championship.

Historic NCAA Streak Ends

Minnesota is looking to return to the NCAA Championship in 2017 after seeing a historic streak of consecutive NCAA Championship bids come to an end last year. The Gophers made 11-straight NCAA appearances from 2005 to 2015. Last year, Madeline Strandemo represented Minnesota as an at-large individual qualifier at the NCAA meet after the Gophers placed fourth at the NCAA Midwest Regional and did not advance as a team.

Who's Back?

Minnesota's 2017 roster includes all top nine runners from last year's postseason roster led by individual NCAA qualifier Madeline Strandemo. Bethany Hasz and Megan Hasz join Strandemo as returning NCAA all-region performers.

Quintet Serving as Captains

Five captains are leading this year's team: first-year captains Amelia Barczi, Bailey Ness, Patty O'Brien, and Paige Peschel and returning captain Madeline Strandemo.

Up Next: NCAA Championship

The NCAA Cross Country Championship is set for Saturday, Nov. 18 in Louisville, Ky. The women's 6K race is set for 9:45 a.m. CT with the men's 10K race to follow at 10:45 a.m. CT at E.P. 'Tom' Sawyer State Park.

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