Gophers Poised for NCAA Midwest Regional
Nov. 13, 2013
MINNEAPOLIS – The No. 16 Minnesota women’s cross country team begins its NCAA postseason at the 2013 NCAA Midwest Regional hosted by Iowa State this Friday. The men’s 10K race begins at noon CT, followed by the women’s 6K at 1:15 p.m.
2012 Midwest Regional Rewind
Minnesota finished third at last year’s Midwest Regional in Springfield, Mo. Favored Iowa State won with 63 points, and Oklahoma State (95) edged out the Golden Gophers (96) for second place by one point. Minnesota then received one of 13 at-large bids to advance to the national meet.
A trio of Gophers earned All-Region honors, led by Molly Kayfes in eighth place individually (20:47.87). Laura Docherty (16th in 21:11.10) and Ashlie Decker (20th in 21:23.12) also made the All-Region roster.
Maggie Bollig (27th in 21:33.99) and Katie Moraczewski (30th in 21:37.25) finished close together to round out the Gophers’ scoring. Liz Berkholtz (50th in 21:59.26) and Rachel Drake (57th in 22:01.47) also competed for Minnesota.
About the Midwest Regional
Iowa State University is hosting the 2013 NCAA Midwest Regional for the first time since 1997. Teams from 13 conferences, including the Atlantic 10, Big 12, Big East, Big Sky, Big Ten, Conference USA, Horizon League, Mid-American, Missouri Valley, Ohio Valley, Summit League, SEC and WAC, spanning across nine different states (Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma and South Dakota), will be racing in Ames, Iowa, this Friday.
The teams racing at the NCAA Midwest Regional are: Bradley, Chicago State, Creighton, DePaul, Drake, Eastern Illinois, Illinois, Illinois Chicago, Illinois State, Iowa, Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State, Loyola-Chicago, Minnesota, Missouri, Missouri State, Nebraska, North Dakota, North Dakota State, Northern Illinois, Northern Iowa, Northwestern, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Omaha, Oral Roberts, Saint Louis, SIUE, South Dakota, South Dakota State, Southeast Missouri, Southern Illinois, Tulsa, UMKC, Western Illinois and Wichita State.
The top two teams and top four individuals not on an advancing team move on to the 2013 NCAA Championships, held in Terra Haute, Ind., on Saturday, Nov. 23.
NCAA Roster Full of Familiar Faces
Minnesota’s travel roster for the NCAA postseason includes an experienced group in Liz Berkholtz (2012), Maggie Bollig (2012, 2011), Kelli Budd (2012-Alt), Laura Docherty (2012, 2011, 2010-Alt), Rachel Drake (2012, 2011, 2010-Alt), Becca Dyson (2012-Alt), Molly Kayfes (2012, 2011), Kaitlin Mincke, Katie Moraczewski (2012, 2011, 2010) and Kaila Urick. Mincke and Urick are the only Gophers competing in the NCAA postseason for the first time in their careers.
Last Time Out: Gophers Cap Home Season with Rocky’s Run
Minnesota hosted Rocky's Run, its final home meet of the season, at Les Bolstad Course last weekend. Redshirt freshman Haley Johnson was the Gophers' top runner in fifth overall in 22:48. Seniors Cassy Opitz (23:29), Katie Hill (23:35), Jamie Vandenberg (23:40), Stephanie Solfelt (24:26) and Te'Shon Adderley (25:53) competed in their final cross country meet for the Golden Gophers.
Minnesota in the NCAA Postseason
The Gophers look to make their ninth-straight appearance at the NCAA championships this year. Minnesota has finished third at the last three NCAA Midwest Regionals (2010, 2011, 2012). Prior to the current streak, the Gophers won three-straight regional titles (2007, 2008, 2009). Minnesota has finished third or higher in 14 NCAA regional meets since 1982, including each of the last eight years.
The Golden Gophers’ highest team finish at the NCAA championships came in 2005 when they finished ninth. All-Americans Ladia Albertson-Junkans and Emily Brown led Minnesota’s efforts. The ninth-place showing was the first of five straight top-12 finishes. Minnesota’s most recent All-American is Stephanie Price, who finished 31st in 2010. The Gophers’ all-time highest individual finisher at the NCAA championships is Megan Duwell, who took eighth in 2009.
Gophers Slip to No. 16
Minnesota slipped one place to No. 16 in the most recent USTFCCCA NCAA Division I National Coaches' Poll (Nov. 5). Following conference championship action, Pac-12 champion Arizona maintained the No. 1 ranking, followed by No. 2 Providence (Big East champion), No. 3 Arkansas (SEC champion), No. 4 Georgetown (Big East runner-up), and No. 5 Florida State (ACC champion).
Big Ten champion Michigan State (No. 6) and Big Ten runner up Michigan (No. 14) kept their rankings, while fellow conference foe Penn State slipped one spot to No. 30. Previous No. 21 Indiana and No. 28 Wisconsin dropped out of the poll. NCAA Midwest Regional opponent Iowa State moved up one place to No. 7, while Oklahoma State received 11 votes.
The Gophers maintained their second-place ranking in the USTFCCCA Regional Cross Country Rankings, behind top-ranked regional host Iowa State. The host Cyclones are the three-time defending regional champions.
Up Next: 2013 NCAA Championships
The top two teams and top four individuals not on an advancing team at the regional meet move on to the 2013 NCAA Championships, held in Terra Haute, Ind. Additional teams and individuals are chosen through an at-large selection process following the regional competition.
The 2013 NCAA Championships are Saturday, Nov. 23, in Terre Haute, Ind., hosted by Indiana State. This year marks the tenth time the nation’s top 31 teams will compete for a national title in Cross Country Town, USA. The men’s 10K race is set to begin at noon with the women’s 6K race to follow.