The Gophers women’s cross country team raced to a 26th place finish in the 1998 NCAA championships in Lawrence, Kan., led again by junior Rasa Michniovaite.
Michniovaite finished 16th in 17:20.88 and earned All-American honors for finishing in the top 25. Her finish is the highest for a Gophers runner since 1984.
“Our goal was to finish in the top 20,” coach Gary Wilson said. “Rasa ran well, Minna (Haranoja) ran well, Corrine (Nimtz) ran well. We had a pretty good day.”
Sophomore Elaine Eggleston injured herself in the first 300 meters of the race, Wilson said. She was expected to finish in the mid-70s, which probably would have propelled Minnesota to a top-20 finish, but dropped into the low 100s.
“She’s a tough girl,” Wilson said. “She pulled a quad early in the race but kept going. It’s too bad, but that’s the way things happen.”
Michigan’s Katie McGregor won the individual championship with a time of 16:47.21, and No. 2 Villanova sneaked past No. 1 Brigham Young to take the team title.
Men’s cross country
Minnesota men’s cross country team finished 24th at the NCAA Championships held Monday in Lawrence, Kan. The Gophers were led by junior Eric Pierce, of Forest Lake, Minn., who finished 59th.
Arkansas captured the team title with 97 points, just ahead of Stanford, who claimed runner-up honores with 114 points. Michigan was the highest Big Ten team at fourth, followed by Wisconsin (sixth) and Michigan State (12th).
Pierce ran a 31:47 to finish 59th in point scoring and 73rd overall. Junior Jeremy Polson, from Duluth, Minn., was the second-highest runner for the Gophers, placing 95th in scoring and 121st overall.
Colorado’s Adam Goucher captured the individual title with a time of 29:26.90.