2005 NCAA Cross Country Championships
Monday, Nov. 21
LaVern Gibson Championship Course
Indiana State U. Terre Haute, Ind.
11:00 a.m. Men’s 10K Race
12:15 p.m. Women’s 6K Race
Golden Gopher Watch List Nov. 21, 2005
Minnesota Travels to NCAA Cross Country Championships - The Minnesota men’s and women’s cross country teams will conclude their seasons at the NCAA Cross Country Championships on Monday, Nov. 21.
Gopher Men Make Ninth Straight Trip to NCAAs - The Minnesota men will make their ninth consecutive trip to the NCAA Championships, the longest streak in school history and the fifth longest active streak in the nation.
Gopher Women to Run at National Meet for First Time Since 2001 - The No. 12 Minnesota women earned an automatic berth to the NCAA Championships and will compete at the national meet for the first time since 2001.
Malmin Looks to Collect Second All-America Honor - The top 25 individual finishers in both the men’s and women’s race will be awarded NCAA All-America honors. The Cross Country Coaches Association also recognizes the top 25 American-born student-athletes as All-Americans. Gopher senior Ryan Malmin earned Coaches’ All-America honors last season and hopes to earn his second All-America citation.
Vega Wins Midwest Region Title- Gopher junior Antonio Vega heads into the NCAA Championships after winning the Midwest Region individual title.
Gopher Trio Head Into NCAA Together - The Gopher women have been led by the trio of senior Lauren Williams, junior Emily Brown and sophomore Ladia Albertson-Junkans all season. The trio placed third, fifth and sixth in the Big Ten Championships, then second, third and fourth at the NCAA Midwest Region Championships. Can the trio run together to All-America honors?
Big Ten Represented by Five Men’s and Five Women’s in NCAA Field - The Gophers will be joined by four other Big Ten teams in both the men’s and women’s races.
NCAA Cross Country Championships
The Minnesota women’s cross country team will travel to Terre Haute, Ind., to compete in the NCAA Cross Country Championships on Monday, Nov. 21. The women’s 6-kilometer begins at 12:15 p.m. (CT).
Minnesota Makes First Trip Since 2001
The Golden Gophers will be competing in the NCAA Championships for the first time since 2001. The senior class of Lauren Williams, Harper McConnell and Jen Hess will be competing in their first national meet. The last senior class that did not compete in an NCAA Championships was 1995. Overall this is Minnesota’s ninth trip to the NCAA Championships.
The NCAA Field
Thirty-one (31) teams will compete in the NCAA Championships, 18 of them, including Minnesota, having earned automatic berths in the NCAA field by placing in the top two of last weekend’s Region Championships. The NCAA field is completed by 13 at-large teams and 38 individual student-athletes who advanced with top regional finishes.
NCAA Championships Women’s Preview
No. 12 Minnesota and four other Big Ten Conference schools will compete in the NCAA Championships. The Gophers are joined by Illinois, Michigan, Michigan State and Wisconsin in the NCAA field.
Colorado is the defending champion in both the men’s and women’s events. The Buffalo women enter the NCAA ranked No. 6. Duke and Stanford are the favorites to contend for the team crown this season.
Minnesota at the NCAA Championships
Minnesota will make its ninth appearance in the NCAA Cross Country Championships, but first since 2001. The Golden Gophers highest finish was 10th in 1983. Under the direction of head coach Gary Wilson, the Gophers’ best showing was 17th in both 1991 and 1999.
The Golden Gophers
Minnesota will field a team without any NCAA Championship experience but the Golden Gophers have all run on the Championship course several times in Pre-NCAA Meets. The Gophers’ top three runners - Emily Brown, Lauren Williams and Ladia Albertson-Junkans - are virtually interchangeable at the number-one runner position in the lineup. Albertson-Junkans topped the trio with a runner-up finish at the NCAA Midwest Region Championships, followed by Brown and Williams in third and fourth, respectively. Brown was the leader with a third-place finish at the Big Ten Championships on Oct. 30 and smashed the school record over a 6-kilometer course by over 11 seconds at the Pre-NCAA Meet on Oct. 15. Albertson-Junkans also finished well below the former record at the same meet and placed sixth at the Big Ten meet. Williams, a 2004 and 2005 all-region honoree, was fifth at the Conference meet. Harper McConnell has proven a reliable number-four runner in the lineup, though she was fifth at the region meet. Senior Jen Hess stepped up to overtake McConnell as the Gophers’ number-four runner at the NCAA Midwest Region meet. Completing the Gophers’ NCAA roster are sophomores Katie Howery and Julie Schwengler. Freshman Kristin Johansen will travel as a team alternate.
The Golden Gopher Lineup
Seven Golden Gophers will compete at the NCAA Championships. One runner will travel as a team alternate.
Ladia Albertson-Junkans (So., Stillwater, Minn./Stillwater)
Emily Brown (Jr., West Allis, Wis./Nathan Hale)
Jen Hess (Sr., Paynesville, Minn./Paynesville)
Katie Howery (So., DeForest, Wis./DeForest)
Kristin Johansen - Alternate (Fr., Greenwood Village, Colo./Cherry Creek)
Harper McConnell (Sr., Manhattan, Kan./Manhattan)
Julie Schwengler (So., Rapid City, S.D./Stevens/Montana)
Lauren Williams (Sr., Edina, Minn./Edina)
Head Coach Gary Wilson
Golden Gopher head women’s cross country coach Gary Wilson is in his 21st season at Minnesota. Wilson has guided the Gophers to eight NCAA Championships appearances including a streak of five straight from 1997 to 2001. Sarah Hess is in her first season as the Gophers’ volunteer assistant coach.