Cross country runs final meets before championship season

The women’s team finished 16th, men’s team 12th over the weekend.

The Gophers men's cross country team merges with the field at the beginning of the 2019 Roy Griak Invitational at the Les Bolstad Golf Course on Saturday, Sept. 28, 2019. The men's team placed 7th in the Division 1 race.

Kamaan Richards

The Gophers men’s cross country team merges with the field at the beginning of the 2019 Roy Griak Invitational at the Les Bolstad Golf Course on Saturday, Sept. 28, 2019. The men’s team placed 7th in the Division 1 race.

Brendan O'Brien

Minnesota’s cross country program spent one last weekend competing on the road before the beginning of championship season.

The Gophers women’s team competed in the Nuttycombe Invitational on Friday afternoon in Madison, Wisconsin. Minnesota came into the meet ranked 18th in the country and finished 16th out of 36 teams with a total of 474 points.

Redshirt junior Abby Kohut-Jackson was the top runner for the Gophers, finishing 64th overall with a time of 20:57.7 in the six-kilometer race. Redshirt sophomores Jaycie Thomsen and Anastasia Korzenowski rounded out Minnesota’s top three, finishing with times of 21:06.8 and 21:09.8 respectively. Kohut-Jackson, Thomsen and Korzenowski all finished with career-best times in the six-kilometer race.

The field at the Nuttycombe Invitational was filled with competitive teams, as 20 of the top 30 teams in the country competed at the meet. No. 1 Arkansas won the meet with 62 points and four of their runners finishing in the top ten. Wisconsin’s Alicia Monson was the top finisher at the meet with a time of 19:39.3.

The Gophers had a better showing earlier this month, finishing ninth at the Joe Piane Notre Dame Invitational. Because of this, head coach Sarah Hopkins said she had higher expectations for her team heading into this meet.

“If you had asked me a couple months ago if I would have been happy with 16th in this field I would have said absolutely,” Hopkins said. “But I think we have raised the expectations for ourselves and so I think it was a little bit of an off day.”

On the men’s side, Minnesota finished 12th out of 38 competing teams with 435 points at the Pre-National Invitational. Redshirt junior Alec Basten finished 16th and was the lead runner for the Gophers with an eight-kilometer time of 23:49.5. Redshirt junior Jack Manderscheid finished 32nd overall with a time of 24.11.0.

No. 2 Brigham Young University (BYU) won the meet with 81 points. Conner Mantz of BYU was the top individual runner at the meet with a time of 23:20.8.

Both teams have a few more weeks to prepare for the upcoming championship meets. Minnesota’s cross country program will travel to Columbus, Ohio, for the Big Ten Championship meet on Nov. 3. The Gophers will then run in the NCAA Midwest Regional meet on Nov. 15 to attempt to extend their season and advance to the NCAA Championship meet.