Gophers Head to Ninth-Straight NCAA Meet
Nov. 20, 2013
MINNEAPOLIS - The No. 16 Minnesota women's cross country team is set to make its ninth-straight NCAA championship appearance at the 2013 NCAA Championships hosted by Indiana State this Saturday. The men's 10K race begins at 11 a.m. CT with the women's 6K to follow at approximately 12:15 p.m. CT.
2012 NCAA Championships Rewind
Minnesota finished 22nd at the 2012 NCAA Championships in Louisville, Ky. The Gophers entered the national meet ranked 25th in the country. At the three-kilometer mark of today's race, they were unofficially announced to be in about 27th place but ran a solid second half to take 22nd.
Molly Kayfes finished 78th with a time of 20:37.6, followed by Laura Docherty in 107th place with a time of 20:51.1. Maggie Bollig (128th, 20:59.4), Katie Moraczewski (163rd, 21:13.2), and Ashlie Decker (178th, 21:21.3) completed the scoring for Minnesota. Rachel Drake (196th, 21:30.0) and Liz Berkholtz (214th, 21:37.0) also competed.
Oregon took home the 2012 team title, while Iowa State's Betsy Saina won the individual crown.
About the 2013 NCAA Championships
This year marks the 10th time the nation's top 31 teams will compete for a national title in Terre Haute, Ind. Indiana State will host the championships on Nov. 23, on the LaVern Gibson National Championship Cross Country Course at the Wabash Valley Family Sports Center. The men's 10K race will begin at 11 a.m. CT, followed by the women's 6K race at approximately 12:15 p.m. CT.
Thirty-one teams were selected to participate in the men's and women's championships. The top two, seven-person teams automatically qualified from each of the nine regions, for a total of 18 teams. Thirteen additional teams were selected at-large. Thirty-eight individuals were selected to participate in each championship through an automatic qualifier and at-large selection process. All individual qualifiers finished in the top 25 in their region.
There will be live video of the 2013 NCAA Championship meet starting at 11 a.m. CT. The race will be streamed live through NCAA.com.
On the women's side, the automatic-qualifying teams include Arkansas, Arizona, Butler, Colorado, Dartmouth, Florida State, Georgetown, Iowa State, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, Providence, SMU, Stanford, Virginia, Vanderbilt, Villanova and William & Mary. At-large selections BYU, Cornell, Indiana, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Oregon, Penn State, Princeton, San Francisco, Syracuse, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin complete the 31-team field.
NCAA Roster Full of Familiar Faces
Minnesota's 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: Kayfes, Gophers Earn Runner-Up Finish
Molly Kayfes ran a career-best 20:20.9 as the individual runner-up to lead No. 16 Minnesota to a second-place team finish at the 2013 NCAA Midwest Regional at the Iowa State Cross Country Course. Kayfes, Maggie Bollig and Laura Docherty led Minnesota with top 10 finishes, and the Golden Gophers earned one of the region's two automatic qualifications to the 2013 NCAA Championship. Five Gophers earned all-region honors by placing in the top 25: Kayfes, Bollig, Docherty, Becca Dyson and Katie Moraczewski.
Minnesota in the NCAA Postseason
The Gophers are making their ninth-straight appearance at the NCAA championships. Minnesota's highest team finish at the NCAA championships came in 2005 when the Gophers 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 overall in 2009.
Gophers Maintain No. 16 Ranking
Minnesota kept the No. 16 ranking in this week's USTFCCCA NCAA Division I National Coaches' Poll (Nov. 18). Following regional championship action, No. 1 Providence, No. 2 Arizona, No. 3 Arkansas, No. 4 Florida State and No. 5 Colorado make up the top five.
Midwest Regional champion Iowa State is No. 7 nationally, followed by Big Ten runner-up Michigan at No. 8. Big Ten champion Michigan State is No. 14 with the Gophers close behind at No. 16. No. 22 Penn State and No. 28 Wisconsin round out the conference's five teams ranked in the top 30 heading into this weekend's national championship.