The Minnesota women’s cross country team concluded another successful season on Monday, placing 11th at the NCAA Cross Country Championships in Terre Haute, Ind. The Golden Gophers posted their fourth consecutive top-12 national finish, an active streak matched by only Stanford and Illinois.
“We ran a good team race today, though obviously we wanted to finish higher,” said Gary Wilson, who was honored at the national meet as the Midwest Region Women’s Coach of the Year. “Strategically I thought we ran one of our best races of the year but a few teams like Stanford, Georgetown and Texas Tech had really, really good days. I am excited about extending that top-12 streak. I don’t think anyone realizes how difficult that is and what a great accomplishment for our program it is.”
Junior Megan Duwell was once again the Gophers’ number-one runner, finishing 32nd overall to earn her first career All-America honor. Duwell covered the 6-kilometer course at the LaVern Gibson Championship Course in a time of 20 minutes, 36.5 seconds, the sixth-fastest 6K time in school history and the third-fastest time run by a Gopher at the NCAA Championships.
Gabriele Anderson was the Gophers’ second finisher, crossing the finish line in 49th-place with a time of 20:48.4. The senior missed out on All-America honors by just six seconds.
Amy Laskowske was the third finisher for the Gophers clocking a time of 21:10.2 to finish 94th overall. Mallory Van Ness was 116th in a time of 21:19.4, while Heather Dorniden completed the Gophers’ scorers in 135th with a time of 21:29.8.
Also competing for Minnesota was Jamie Cheever, who finished 164th in a time of 21:41.5 and Felicitas Mensing in 236th in 22:37.0.
Washington lived up to its top ranking by cruising to the team title with 79 points and four All-Americans. Oregon, also from the Pac-10, was second with 131 points. Illinois (318) was the top Big Ten finisher in 10th, with Michigan State (336) tying Minnesota (336) for 11th. Michigan (416) was 16th, Wisconsin (530) 21st and Iowa (538) 24th as the Big Ten matched its record with six teams in the 31-team NCAA field.
Texas Tech senior Sally Kipyego won her third consecutive NCAA individual crown in a time of 19:28.1. She is the first woman, and fourth runner overall, to win three NCAA cross country titles.