Golden Gopher Women’s CC Season in Review
Minnesota Places 11th at NCAA Cross Country Championships - The Minnesota women’s cross country team placed 11th at the 2006 NCAA Cross Country Championships. The Gophers were one of five Big Ten teams to finish in the top 12.
Albertson-Junkans and Brown Repeat as All-Americans - Ladia Albertson-Junkans and Emily Brown repeated as All-Americans, marking the first time that has occurred in Gopher history in over 20 years. Abertson-Junkans placed 19th, while Brown was 29th.
Six Gopher Women Earn All-Region Honors - Emily Brown, Ladia Albertson-Junkans, Jamie Cheever, Gabriele Anderson, Elizabeth Yetzer and Amy Laskowske earned all-region honors as Minnesota placed second. Previously, the most all-region honorees in a single season for the Gophers was four.
Gophers Third in Tough Big Ten - Minnesota placed third in the Big Ten Championships, a single point out of second place. Leading the way for the Gophers were All-Big Ten First Team honorees Emily Brown, who finished sixth, and Ladia Albertson-Junkans, who finished seventh.
Gophers Make History With High National Rank - Minnesota was ranked No. 6 on Oct. 16, the highest in school history bettering a No. 8 ranking the Gophers held for a week during the 2000 season.
2006 Season Honors
All-Big Ten First Team
Big Ten Runner of the Week
Academic All-Big Ten
Ladia Albertson-Junkans, Gabriele Anderson,
Danie Ashford, Emily Brown, Jamie Cheever,
Ariella DePrenger-Gottfried, Heather Dorniden,
Megan Duwell, Heather Horton, Katie Howery,
Stacia Kalinoski, Lisa Remark, Jena Trask
Ladia Albertson-Junkans, Emily Brown
Gophers Maintain Position of National Prominence
There is an old saying about clmbing a mountain. Something to the effect of; the climb to the top of the mountain is difficult enough but it’s even more difficult to remain there. The Minnesota women’s cross country team experienced such a challenge during the 2006 season finishing 11th in the NCAA Championships and keeping a firm grasp of their claim to national prominence.
The Golden Gophers were tested to the limit well before the NCAA meet, especially so in the talent-laden Big Ten Conference. Minnesota finished third, just one point out of second, at the 2006 Big Ten Championships.
WIth team success comes individual accolades. Ladia Albertson-Junkans and Emily Brown became the first repeat cross country All-Americans in over 20 years. Both were also All-Midwest Region and All-Big Ten First Team selections. For the second consecutive season, the duo shared team MVP honors as well.
Big Ten Sends a Record Six Teams to NCAAs
The Big Ten Conference was represented by six teams (Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota and Wisconsin) at the NCAA Championships with all of them finishing in the top 20.
Another Big Ten First - Five Teams in Top 10
Minnesota at No. 9 was one of five Big Ten teams ranked in the top 10 in the final Finish/Lynx Coaches National Poll of the season, released prior to the NCAA Championships.. Michigan State topped the list at No. 4. Illinois was ranked No. 5, while Wisconsin was ranked No. 8 and Michigan at No. 10. Iowa was the sixth Big Ten team ranked at No. 24.
Gophers Enjoy Highest Rank Ever at No. 6
Minnesota was ranked No. 6 in the Oct. 16 NCAA Division I Women’s Cross Country Poll. The No. 6 rank is the highest in school history bettering a No. 8 ranking the Gophers held for a week during the 2000 season.
The Gophers ran to an impressive second-place finish in the Pre-NCAA Meet Blue Race to propel the jump up the rankings.
Minnesota at the NCAA Championships
Minnesota made its 10th appearance in the NCAA Cross Country Championships and second consecutively. The Golden Gophers posted their highest finish in school history a year ago, placing ninth. Ladia Albertson-Junkans and Emily Brown also earned All-America honors in 2005, marking the first time in school history that the Gophers celebrated two All-Americans in the same season.
The Gopher Coaching Staff
Golden Gopher head women’s cross country coach Gary Wilson completed his 22nd season at Minnesota. Wilson has guided the Gophers to nine NCAA Championships appearances, including a streak of five straight from 1997 to 2001, and a school-best ninth-place finish in 2005. Sarah Hesser finished her second season as the Gophers’ volunteer assistant coach.
Ladia Albertson-Junkans and Emily Brown were named co-MVPs, topping the list of Golden Gopher team awards announced at the end-of-season banquet. The All-Americans shared the MVP honor for the second straight season.
In an interesting twist, awards were given to both a Rookie of the Year and a Freshman of the Year. Jamie Cheever was the recipient of the Rookie award, running in her first cross country season after competing on the soccer team duirng the first fall of her collegiate career. Elizabeth Yetzer, a true freshman, earned the Freshman honor. Both Cheever and Yetzer earned All-Midwest Region honors in 2006.
Two more all-region performers collected awards. Amy Laskowske earned the Blue Collar Award, while Gabriele Anderson was the recipient of the Comeback of the Year Award.
Senior Lisa Remark, a team captain, earned the Coaches’ Award, and Stacia Kalinoski collected the Tough as Nails Award. Claire Bootsma and Megan Duwell shared the Most Impvroved Runner Award.
Team captains for the 2006 season were Emily Brown, Ladia Albertson-Junkans, Lisa Remark and Jena Trask.