Women run for former equipment manager, Rombough named runner of the week

Zach Eisendrath

Runners competing for Minnesota’s women’s cross country team will have plenty of extra motivation on Saturday as they compete at Jack’s Run.

The five-kilometer race at Les Bolstad Golf Course in Falcon Heights, Minn., will be used to raise money for the Jack Johnson Endowed Scholarship. Proceeds will also be used to benefit cancer research in Minnesota.

The race is also important for the Gophers as they try to figure out which runners will be making the trip to the Big Ten Championships next Sunday.

The race begins at 11 a.m. and is open to the public. There is no fee to enter the event, but donations are welcome.

This will be the first meet named in honor of Jack Johnson, the long-time equipment manager for Minnesota who died last February after fighting a long battle with cancer. The Gophers plan on making it an annual event.

“Obviously he has been on my mind all season, and all the things he did for me over the years,” Wilson said. “This is just our way to say thanks to him and honor what he meant to this program.”

Minnesota is ranked sixth in the country – the best ranking in program history – after jumping 12 spots following its impressive showing at the Pre-NCAA Meet last weekend.

The Gophers will sit out their top seven runners which competed at last weekend’s meet. However, Jack’s Run still holds great significance to the runners participating in it.

Coach Gary Wilson said two spots are available on the squad that will travel to the Big Ten Championships.

“The biggest thing is to keep Jack in our minds and what he meant to this program,” Wilson said. “The honoring of him with this run is equally or more important than the fundraising aspect of it.”

Men’s runner honored

Minnesota men’s cross country runner Chris Rombough was named the Big Ten Men’s Runner of the Week on Wednesday.

The sophomore from Fremont, Wis., earned the award for the first time in his career after finishing second at the Jim Drews Invitational last Saturday.

Rombough recorded a career-best six-kilometer time of 24:10.12 and was the top Minnesota finisher.