Rombough earns third All-American honors

Minnesota menâÄôs cross country coach Steve Placensia said he could tell when he looked in Chris RomboughâÄôs eyes that the senior was ready to go Monday at the NCAA championship in Terre Haute, Ind. âÄúIt was a special race [for Rombough], being his last one,âÄù Placensia said. âÄúHe got after it.âÄù The 6-foot, 150-pounder became the first athlete in school history to earn All-American honors three times with a 17th-place finish in his last national competition. The senior crossed the finish line of the 10-kilometer race in a time of 29:54.4 to pace the Gophers, but couldnâÄôt bring the team into the top 10. âÄúTo me it looked like we just didnâÄôt have a lot of snap,âÄù Placensia said. Instead the Gophers finished 15th in the 31-team field and combined for 385 points. Sophomore Hassan Mead , who could surpass RomboughâÄôs All-American mark one day, finished 31st and earned his second All-American honor in as many years. Sophomore Ben Blankenship finished the day in 100th, and juniors Matt Barrett and Mike McFarland rounded out the Gophers scoring with finishes of 160 and 171, respectively. According to Placensia, the Gophers burned themselves out nine days ago at the NCAA Midwest Region championships, where the Gophers locked in an automatic bid to yesterdayâÄôs race with a second-place finish. âÄúSome guys have the ability to take a chance and sit a few guys [at the Regions],âÄù Placensia said. âÄúWe donâÄôt have the depth to do that at this time.âÄù Galen Rupp, a senior from Oregon, took the individual honors in a time of 29:03.2. Rupp and the Ducks also claimed the team title with 93 points âÄî the only team to finish under 100. Women finish in 11th A 32nd-place, All-American performance by junior Megan Duwell highlighted MondayâÄôs NCAA championship for Minnesota womenâÄôs cross country team as the Gophers finished in 11th place and extended their streak of consecutive top-12 finishes to four years. âÄúI am excited about extending that top-12 streak,âÄù Gophers coach Gary Wilson said in a statement. âÄúI donâÄôt think anyone realizes how difficult that is and what a great accomplishment for our program it is.âÄù Duwell paced Minnesota by finishing the six-kilometer course in 20:36.5 âÄî the third fastest time a Minnesota runner has ever posted at the NCAA championship and the sixth-fastest time in school history. Senior Gabriele Anderson (49th) missed All-American honors by six seconds, while junior Amy Laskowske (94th), junior Mallory Van Ness (116th) and junior Heather Dorniden (135th) rounded out the Gophers scoring. Texas Tech senior Sally Kipyego became the first woman and just the third athlete to win three NCAA cross country titles with her time of 19:28.1. âÄúItâÄôs an amazing feeling. I am absolutely happy for just being able to come here and win three in a row. ItâÄôs a blessing to me. ItâÄôs one opportunity that you just donâÄôt get every day,âÄù Kipyego said in a team release. No. 1 Washington claimed the team title with 79 points.