The Minnesota women’s cross country team had hopes of a higher finish, but came away with a 12th-place showing at the NCAA Cross Country Championships, held at the LaVern Gibson Cross Country Course in Terre Haute, Ind., on Monday. The Golden Gophers, the 2007 Big Ten and NCAA Midwest Region champion, scored 393 team points, six points from a top-10 finish.
“We ran okay, but we didn’t run great,” said Golden Gopher head coach Gary Wilson. “You could line up these teams and run this race over and over and there would be a different result every time. We fought hard, but we were a touch off and that is magnified in a race with as much talent as this one had. We are a bit disappointed because we really thought we had a chance to be a trophy team (top four) and we had set our goals pretty high. Still, it was a great season.”
Sophomore Jamie Cheever earned her first All-America honor in cross country finishing in 33rd place overall covering the 6-kilometer course in a time of 20 minutes, 58.3 seconds. Cheever previously earned All-America honors as a member of the distance medley relay during the track season.
Elizabeth Yetzer was the Gophers’ second finisher, placing 105th overall in a clocking of 21:34.5. Senior Ladia Albertson-Junkans ran in the final cross country race of her Golden Gopher career placing 109th in a time of 21:35.9. Albertson-Junkans ran to All-America honors in both 2005 and 2006.
Gabriele Anderson and Sally Paulson completed the Gophers’ scoring five. Anderson finished 139th in a time of 21:49.2, while Paulson was 141st in 21:50.5. Megan Duwell was the Gophers’ No. 6 runner finishing in 147th in a time of 21:52.5. Heather Dorniden placed 186th in a time of 22:15.2.
Paulson and Duwell competed in their first NCAA Championships.
Stanford ran away with its third consecutive team title scoring 145 points to runner-up Oregon’s 177. Texas Tech junior Sally Kipyego defended her national individual crown posting a time of 19:30.9. Colorado’s Jenny Barringer was second in 19:47.8.