Women repeat as Big Ten champions

A late surge by senior Gabriele Anderson helped the Minnesota womenâÄôs cross country team hold off Wisconsin and repeat as Big Ten champions this Sunday in Ann Arbor, Mich. After a fourth-place finish from junior Megan Duwell set the tone for Minnesota, Anderson beat out a trio of Badgers late in the race en route to the Gophers four-point win over Wisconsin. âÄúI was running with WisconsinâÄôs 2-4 runners and I was only our number two runner. I knew we were going to have be in front of them in order to compete for that title,âÄù Anderson said. Anderson finished tenth overall and earned All-Big Ten second team along with junior Amy Laskowske , who finished 14th. Duwell earned All-Big Ten first team as the Gophers combined for 63 points in their second-ever conference championship. âÄúWe could have come out of there in second, third or fourth. I just think right now, weâÄôve got a great group of kids. TheyâÄôre fighters,âÄù Gophers coach Gary Wilson said of SundayâÄôs win. âÄúWe just take [every meet] that we can get. Junior Mallory Van Ness (17th) and junior Jamie Cheever (18th) rounded out the scoring for Minnesota. Meads places first An individual title for Minnesota sophomore Hassan Mead and a third-place finish from senior Chris Rombough wasnâÄôt enough to keep the Wisconsin menâÄôs cross country team from snagging its tenth-consecutive Big Ten championship. Mead paced all runners this Sunday in Ann Arbor, finishing the eight-kilometer course in 24:26.4. A tough course at the U-M Golf Course led to a conservative start by all teams before picking up the pace later in the race âÄî a practice Mead has used all season. âÄúThe first half of the race, you sit back and breathe and see how the race goes, and then from there you just have to plan it,âÄù Mead said. âÄúIt kind of worked out the way I planned it though. I made a move at the 5-KâĦat the end it worked out just the way I wanted.âÄù âÄúThatâÄôs his kind of race. He warms up to the task as he gets into it,âÄù Minnesota coach Steve Plasencia said. âÄúGiven the results, I really donâÄôt see a reason to change his style.âÄù The Gophers finished third with 60 points behind the Badgers with 40 and host Michigan with 57. âÄú[We were] 20 points out of the win,âÄù Plasencia said. âÄúThatâÄôs closer than last year when we took second.âÄù Senior Matt Barrett (15th), junior Mike Torchia (16th) and sophomore Ben Blankenship (25th) rounded out the scoring for the Gophers.