Gopher Women Set for Today's NCAA Championships Gopher Women Set for NCAA Championships
Golden Gopher Cross Country
2010 NCAA Division I Cross Country Championships
Monday, Nov. 22 Women — 11:08 a.m. (CT) Men — 11:48 a.m. (CT) LaVern Gibson Championship Course Terre Haute, Ind. Indiana State U. - Host
TV - None Webcast - NCAA.com
Golden Gopher Watch List — Nov. 22, 2010 • Golden Gopher Travel to NCAA Cross Country Championships - The Minnesota men’s and women’s cross country teams both earned berths into the fields of the NCAA Division I Men’s and Women’s Cross Country Championships. Indiana State U. plays host to the Championships at the LaVern Gibson Championship Course in Terre Haute, Ind. The women’s 6-kilometer race begins at 11:08 a.m. (CT), followed by the men’s 10-kilometer race at 11:48 a.m. (CT). • Golden Gopher Consistent at National Level - The Minnesota women’s cross country team is one of only two teams to place in the top 12 in the NCAAs in each of the last five seasons. The Gopher men have made NCAA appearances in 13 of the last 14 years. • Gophers to Watch - Junior Stephanie Price, redshirt freshman Missa Varpness and senior Nikki Swenson have been the Gophers’ top runners all season on the women’s side. Price was NCAA Midwest Region champion, while Varpness and Swenson earned all-region honors. The men are led by a trio of all-region runners in seniors Ben Blankenship and Mike Torchia and sophomore Pieter Gagnon. Blankenship finished third in the Big Ten Championships.
• NCAA Meet Webcast – A live webcast of the NCAA Cross Country Championships can be found at NCAA.com.
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. 22. The Golden Gophers are making their sixth consecutive trip to the national meet. The women’s 6-kilometer begins at 11:08 a.m. (CT). Indiana State plays host to the meet at the LaVern Gibson Championships Course. Watch It Live 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.
Consistency at the Highest Level Minnesota has finished in the top 12 in each of the last five NCAA Championships placing the Golden Gophers among an elite group of teams to consistently place that high during that span of time. Only one other team – Illinois – can match the feat of consecutive top-12 national finishes the past five years. Illinois, however, has not qualified for this year’s NCAA meet.
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.
Big Ten Teams to NCAAs The Big Ten Conference will be represented by four teams at the NCAA Championships: Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota and Penn State. The Big Ten had a record seven teams compete in the NCAAs a year ago.
New Face to the Gopher Squad
What a difference a year can make, but hopefully, the Gophers will manage the same outcome. The Gophers entered the 2009 NCAA Championships meet with a lineup that could draw on the experience of nine past national races. This year - the Gophers only have three as Nikki Swenson, Stephanie Price and Kayla Wagner have run in one national championships a piece. Wagner is a 2010 alternate, so the Gophers will have four runners compete in their first NCAA Cross Country Championships on Monday. Golden Gophers Ranked No. 22 Heading into the NCAAs Minnesota is ranked No. 22 in this week’s the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association NCAA Division I poll. The other Big Ten teams ranked are Michigan State (No. 16), Michigan (No. 17) and Penn State (No. 23). NCAA Championships Women’s Preview Defending champion Villanova is the favorite to repeat in the team competition. The Wildcats have held the No. 1 rank in the national poll all season. Other teams in the top five are Florida State, Georgetown, Washington and New Mexico. The 2009 NCAA individual champion, Illinois’ Angela Bizzarri has graduated.
Minnesota at the NCAA Championships Minnesota will make its 14th appearance in the NCAA Cross Country Championships and school-record sixth consecutively. The Golden Gophers posted their highest finish in school history in 2005, placing ninth, then 11th in 2006 and 12th in 2007, 11th in 2008 and 10th in 2009. In 2009, Megan Duwel set Gopher history with a seventh-place finish, the highest in school history.
Gophers at the 2009 NCAA Championships Minnesota finished 10th overall in the 2009 NCAA Championships.Megan Duwell finished seventh to earn her second career All-America honor notching a seventh-place showing, the highest ever by a Gopher. The Golden Gopher Lineup Seven Golden Gophers will compete at the NCAA Championships. A team’s final lineup does not have to be declared until the day of the competition. Following is a list of possible participants and a listing of any previous experience at the national meet. Ashlie Decker (Fr., Des Moines, Iowa/Dowling Catholic) Laura Docherty (RFr., St. Paul, Minn./Cretin-Durham Hall) - alternate Katie Moraczewski (RFr., White Bear Lake, Minn./White Bear Lake) Stephanie Price (Jr., Mankato, Minn./Loyola Catholic HS) 2009 - 112th, 21:23.8 Claire Rindo (So., Berlin, Wis./Berlin) Nikki Swenson (Sr., Dawson, Minn./Dawson-Boyd HS) 2009 - 216th, 22:18.3 Missa Varpness (RFr., Montevideo, Minn./Montevideo) Kayla Wagner (So., Baldwin, Wis./Baldwin-Woodville HS) - alternate 2009 - 91st, 21:15.2 Kelly Wilson (Sr., Ortonville, Mich./Brandon)
Stephanie Price Wins Midwest Region Crown, Gophers Third Minnesota junior Stephanie Price became the second Golden Gopher to win medalist honors at the NCAA Midwest Region Championships on Nov. 13, in Peoria, Ill. Minnesota placed third in the team standings. Price covered the 6-kilometer course at Bradley University’s Newman Golf Course in a time of 20 minutes,1 .48 seconds. Price joins Rasa Michniovaite Troup (1998) as Gophers to win individual Midwest Region titles. Price has part of a leading pack of six runners that broke from the field, yet stayed intact throughout the first four kilometers of the race. With 500 meters left in the race, Price made her move and hung on for the win with a slight margin of victory of only 6-hundredths of a second (0.14). Iowa State’s Betsy Saina charged late to finish second in 20:01.54. “This wasn’t our best team race but it was a solid race and it’s great that Steph won,” said Golden Gopher head coach Gary Wilson. We knew it was going to be a four-team race, but nobody was going to beat Iowa State today. They ran amazing today.” In addition to Price, two other Gophers earned all-region honors by placing in the top 25. Missa Varpness finished 19th in her first NCAA Midwest Region race, clocking a time of 20:40.70. Nikki Swenson collected her second all-region honor of her career, finishing 24th in a time of 20:50.50. Completing the Gophers’ scoring five were Ashlie Decker, who placed 29th in a time of 21:05.28; and Katie Moraczewski, who finished 45th in 21:17.80. Others competing for Minnesota was Kayla Wagner, who placed 79th in 21:48.04; and Kelly Wilson, who was 80th in 21:48.38.
2010 NCAA Midwest Region Cross Country Championships Saturday, Nov. 13, 2010 Newman Golf Course – 6K Hosted by Bradley U. – Peoria, Ill.
Team Results 1. Iowa State 2-4-5-10-14-(32)-(34) 35 2. Oklahoma State 8-13-16-21-47-(60)-(79) 105 3. Minnesota 1-19-24-29-45-(77)-(78) 118 4. Tulsa 3-12-31-39-48-(58)-(93) 133 5. Kansas State 11-15-37-42-49-(61)-(138) 154
Other Golden Gopher Finishes 19. Missa Varpness 20:40.70 24. Nikki Swenson 20:50.50 29. Ashlie Decker 21:05.28 45. Katie Moraczewski 21:17.80 79. Kayla Wagner 21:48.04 80. Kelly Wilson 21:48.38 Stephanie Price Second in the Big Ten, Gophers Finish Third Minnesota junior Stephanie Price ran to a runner-up finish and was joined by two teammates on the all-conference team as the Golden Gopher women’s cross country team placed third in the Big Ten Cross Country Championships on Oct. 31. The Gophers tallied 90 points, 16 off of Michigan State’s winning total of 74. Michigan edged Minnesota for second with 88 points. Wisconsin hosted the meet at its new Zimmer Championships Course in Verona, Wis. “I thought we ran a really nice team race,” said Golden Gopher head coach Gary Wilson. “When you finish in third by two points of course there are a million places you could look at for where you could have picked up those points. But, I couldn’t be prouder of this team. They are a great, hard-working, group of young women.” Price covered the 6-kilometer course in a time of 19 minutes, 55.5 seconds, the fastest time in Golden Gopher history over that distance and the first time a Gopher clocked a sub-20 minutes time. This is the first time Minnesota competed at the Zimmer Course. In the 30-year history of the Big Ten meet, Price’s second-place finish is only bettered by Gopher alum Eileen Donaghy who won the title in 1987. Price ran with the lead pack from the opening gun then broke away from the rest of the field with eventual Big Ten champion Emily McLeod. McLeod used a late surge to win by less than 2 seconds, running a time of 19:53.8. “The race is still kind of a blur,” said Price after the awards ceremony. “The race was fast from the start. It was fun. This course really moves.” Price earns All-Big Ten First Team accord with her finish. Teammates redshirt freshman Missa Varpness and senior Nikki Swenson earned All-Big Ten Second Team honors with their performances as well. Varpness placed 11th in her first Big Ten race, clocking a time of 20:38.4. Swenson, a multiple conference awardwinner in her Gopher track career, collected her first Big Ten cross country honor with a 13th-place showing in a time of 20:45.3. Ashlie Decker, a true freshman, was the fourth finisher for the Gophers, placing 19th in a time of 20:52.6. Minnesota scored three freshmen in its top five. Redshirt freshman Katie Moraczewski was the Gophers’ fifth runner, finishing 46th in a time of 21:28.8. Also competing for the Gophers were Kayla Wagner, who finished 49th in 21:31.9; Kelly Wilson, who was 60th in 21:45.5; Rachel Drake, who placed 68th in 21:57.0 and Laura Docherty, who finished 72nd in 22:05.8.
2010 Big Ten Conference Cross Country Championships Sunday, Oct. 31, 2010 Zimmer Championship Cross Country Course – 6K Verona, Wis.
Team Results 1. Michigan State 1-7-17-22-27-(30)-(42) 74 2. Michigan 4-12-18-26-28-(43)-(59) 88 3. Minnesota 2-11-13-19-45-(47)-(57) 90 4. Penn State 9-14-23-25-35-(46)-(50) 106 5. Indiana 5-15-29-32-36-(37)-(38) 117 6. Ohio State 10-16-39-41-56-(73)-(75) 162 7. Wisconsin 3-6-48-54-61-62)-(74) 172 8. Iowa 8-34-44-51-53-(64)-(70) 190 9. Illinois 24-31-33-55-60-(63)-(65) 203 10. Northwestern 20-40-58-66-67-(69)-(76) 251 11. Purdue 21-49-52-68-71-(72)-(77) 261
Other Golden Gopher Finishes 11. Missa Varpness 20:38.4 13. Nikki Swenson 20:45.3 19. Ashlie Decker 20:52.6 46. Katie Moraczewski 21:28.8 49. Kayla Wagner 21:31.9 60. Kelly Wilson 21:45.5 68. Rachel Drake 21:57.0 72. Laura Docherty 22:05.8 Stephanie Price a Two-Time Big Ten Runner of the Week Minnesota junior Stephanie Price has been recognized as the Big Ten Runner of the Week twice in 2010. Her first career honor came after she won medalist honors at the Oz Memorial. She added her second Conference weekly honor with a runner-up finish at the Griak Invitational. Price Second in Griak, Gophers Seventh as a Team Golden Gopher junior Stephanie Price finished second in the Griak Jack Johnson Women’s Gold Race, pacing Minnesota to a seventh-place finish in an extremely deep and talented Division I field. Price ran a career-best time of 20 minutes, 40.75 seconds, the 19th-best time in Gopher history, over the 6-kilometer Les Bolstad Course in Falcon Heights, Minn. Price was the only Gopher to finish in the top 25 as Minnesota scored 185 team points. Arizona won the race with 76 points, topping the 29-team field which included nine teams that competed in the 2009 NCAA Championships. Redshirt freshman Missa Varpness was the second finisher for the Gophers, finishing 28th overall in her first career Griak and clocking a time of 21:46.40, also a career best. True freshman Ashlie Decker, who ran to Griak runner-up honors twice in high school, was 39th in a time of 21:56.90. Golden Gopher Coaching Staff Gary Wilson, the dean of the Big Ten women’s cross country coaches, is in his 26th season heading the Minnesota program. He is assisted by volunteer assistant head coach, Sarah Hesser, who is in her sixth season on the coaching staff after competing for the Golden Gophers.