BloomingtoTHIS WEEK-No. 22 Minnesota, making its third consecutive appearance, will be one of 31 teams competing at the NCAA Championships Monday, Nov. 22, at the University of Indiana Golf Course in Bloomington, Ind. The race gets underway at 11 a.m.
A LOOK BACK-The Gophers scored 109 points and placed fourth at the NCAA Midwest Regional in Savoy, Ill., Saturday. Ninth-ranked Kansas State claimed four of the top five spots, scoring 40 points, to win the meet. No. 17 Missouri was second with 66, points while No. 19 Nebraska had 98 points for third place.
Kansas State's Amy Mortimer and Korene Hinds finished 1-2, both finishing in 16 minutes, 59 seconds, with Mortimer edging Hinds for the individual title.
Senior Rasa Michniovaite (Pabrade, Lithuania/ Pabrade Rytas), the 1998 regional champion, earned all- region honors by finishing eighth overall in 17:25. Junior Elaine Eggleston (Roseville, Minn./Roseville Area) was 16th overall in 17:43.
The remainder of the Gopher scoring came from sophomore Victoria Moses (New Brighton, Minn./Irdonale), 26th in 18:01; junior Corinne Nimtz (Eden Prairie, Minn./Eden Prairie), 27th in 18:04, and frosh Anita Menden (Eden Prairie, Minn./Eden Prairie), 37th in 18:15.
GET BACK-Minnesota returns to the NCAA Championships for the third consecutive year and fourth time this decade. This is the Gophers' ninth championship appearance in 26 seasons.
Top-ranked Stanford, which received all 12 first- place votes in this week's rankings, leads the 31-team field that will gather in Bloomington, Ind. The Cardinal was third last year in the closest team finish in history, with just five points separating the top three teams. They placed behind 12th-ranked Villanova and second-ranked Brigham Young, which won the title in 1997.
Six of the top 10 individual runners from last year's meet return. Arkansas has a pair in seniors Amy Yoder, third last year, and Jessica Koch, 10th. Top- ranked Stanford returns with senior Sally Glynn and junior Julia Stamps, fifth and sixth respectively.
Three other Big Ten teams also earned trips to this year's championships. Five-time defending conference champion Wisconsin is ranked fourth after winning its regional title Saturday. Michigan State, ranked 14th, and Michigan, ranked 17th, will also be in the field.
ARE YOU EXPERIENCED-Five of the seven runners, including 1998 All-American Rasa Michniovaite, who will compete for the Gophers at the NCAA Championships competed at last year's meet.
A trio of Gopher runners have competed at the NCAA Championships the last two seasons. Elaine Eggleston and Corinne Nimtz lead the group, having scored for Minnesota in both meets. Senior Minna Haronoja (Illo, Finland/Vammala Secondary) has competed in all four regional competitions during her career and Victoria Moses was the team's number three runner at last year's competition.
Minnesota's two newcomers to the regional meet are frosh Chrissy Eid and Anita Menden. Eid, a red-shirt last year, was the team's number five runner at the Pre- NCAA meet, Oct. 16, while Menden scored in the Pre-NCAA meet, the Big Ten Championships and the Midwest Regional.
THE TIMES THEY ARE A CHANGING-The Gopher runners recorded season-best times Saturday, all bettering the times they posted two weeks ago at the Big Ten Championships in University Park, Pa.
Elaine Eggleston cut two seconds off of her time with her finish in 17:43. Victoria Moses was five seconds faster than her Big Ten clock, finishing in 18:01. Anita Menden, who ran 18:15.20 two weeks ago, bested that with an 18:15 clocking Saturday.
THE COURSE-Eileen Donaghy holds the Minnesota record on the Indiana Course. She captured the 1987 Big Ten title there in 16:58.0, the ninth-fastest time in school histroy.
Three of the school's other top 50 times have been run at the course. Donaghy ran 17:14.0, 16th, at the 1987 Indiana Invitational, Chris Rowe ran 17:25, tied for 29th, at the 1991 NCAA Regional, and Cherste Johnson ran 17:32, tied for 40th, at the 1987 Indiana Invitational.