Nov. 18, 2011
This Week in Golden Gopher Cross Country
2011 NCAA Division I Cross Country Championships
Monday, Nov. 21
11:58 a.m. (CT)
LaVern Gibson Championship Course
Terre Haute, Ind.
Indiana State University. - Host
TV - None
Video Webcast - NCAA.com
The No. 28 Minnesota women’s cross country team earned an at-large berth into the field of the NCAA Division I Women’s Cross Country Championships. Indiana State University will once again be hosting the Championships at the LaVern Gibson Championship Course in Terre Haute, Ind. The 6k race is set to being at 11:58 CST. Minnesota has now made NCAA Championship appearances the last seven consecutive years.
A Model of Consistency
Minnesota joins an exclusive list of only five women’s programs to have sent a team to the last seven consecutive NCAA Championships. Joining Minnesota on that list are Stanford, Georgetown, Michigan and Michigan State.
At the Midwest Regional
The Gophers placed third at the Midwest Regional Championships behind Iowa State and Oklahoma State. Minnesota had two All-Region performers in Stephanie Price (sixth) and Ashlie Decker (12th). It was Price’s third All-Region Award and the first for Decker. The Gophers had a last minute sub as Rachel Drake raced in place of Maggie Bollig who was sick with the stomach flu.
How Can You Watch It?
The NCAA Cross Country Championships will be streamed online via NCAA.com. Check out Flotrack.org for additional coverage and interviews from the national meet.
The NCAA Field
Thirty-one (31) teams will compete in the NCAA Championships, 18 of them 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, including Minnesota, and 38 individual student-athletes who advanced with top regional finishes.
Five Big Ten Teams Advance to NCAA Field
The Big Ten Conference will be represented by five teams at the NCAA Championships: Minnesota, Michigan, Michigan State, Penn State and Wisconsin. Michigan and Michigan State received automatic bids, while Penn State and Wisconsin joined Minnesota in earning an at-large bid.
Last Time at the NCAA Championships
Minnesota finished 27th overall at the 2010 NCAA Championships. Stephanie Price was the highest Gopher finisher after covering the course in 20:46.2
Golden Gophers Ranked No. 28
The Gopher women enter this year’s national meet ranked No. 28 in the USTFCCCA National Poll. Minnesota is one of five Big Ten Conference teams listed in the rankings with No. 10 Michigan, No. 15 Michigan State, No. 21 Penn State and No. 25 Wisconsin.
The Golden Gopher Lineup
Ten Golden Gophers will travel to the NCAA Championships, but only seven compete in the Championship race. A team’s final lineup does not have to be declared until the day of the competition. Below is a list of the Gophers’ lineup and a listing of any previous experience at the NCAA Championships.
Ashlie Decker – 2010: 124th 21:31.9
Laura Docherty—210: Alternate
Rachel Drake – 2010: Alternate
Katie Moraczewski – 2010: 208th 22:21.1
Stephanie Price – 2010: 31st 20:46.2; 2009: 112th 21:23.
Missa Varpness -2010: DNF
Gophers Earn Top-20 NCAA Finish
Minnesota finished 18th in the team race for its highest NCAA finish since 2009.
Berkholtz Honored By USATF Minnesota
Senior Liz Berkholtz was named the USATF Minnesota Female Athlete of the Month for October.
No. 23 Gophers Head to NCAA Championship
Fifth-year seniors Liz Berkholtz and Kaila Urick lead Minnesota into its 11th-straight NCAA Championship this weekend.