Minnesota’s cross country program competed in the Big Ten Championships on Sunday in Columbus, Ohio as the women’s team finished seventh and the men’s team finished eighth.
The women’s team finished with 145 points in a packed field. While the Gophers finished seventh overall, they were one point away from tying Ohio State and Illinois for fifth and seven points behind Penn State at fourth.
Redshirt sophomore Anastasia Korzenowski finished seventh overall with a personal best six-kilometer time of 20:27.6. Abby Kohut-Jackson and Jaycie Thomsen finished 24th and 30th respectively, and Sarah Werking and Lindsey Greenlund also recorded personal best times to round out the top five runners for the Gophers.
Michigan State won the women’s team title with 56 points and all of their top five runners finished in the top 20. Wisconsin’s Alicia Monson won her second consecutive individual title at the meet with a time of 20:05.4.
Women’s head coach Sarah Hopkins said it was good to see her runners compete in a close fight between other cross country teams. However, Hopkins still wants more from the team moving forward.
“I think we’re leaving somewhat satisfied but obviously still really hungry knowing we’re getting closer and closer to Illinois and Ohio State and Penn State,” Hopkins said. “We know that those are good programs and we know that on any given day we can run with any of those guys and that’s definitely a silver lining on maybe a little bit of a frustrating end just because we were so close, but that’s definitely a positive way to look at it as we move forward from here.”
On the men’s side, redshirt junior Alec Basten led the way for the Gophers for the third time this season as the team finished with 193 points. Basten finished with an eight-kilometer time of 24:27.3 which was good for 18th overall at the meet. Basten finished eighth at the Big Ten Championships last season.
Jack Manderscheid finished 37th overall with a time of 24:51.0. Connor Olson, Khalid Hussein and Owen Hoeft rounded out the top five for the Gophers, placing 47th, 48th and 55th respectively.
Wisconsin won the men’s championship for the second consecutive season with a total of 56 points. Wisconsin’s Oliver Hoare won the individual championship with a time of 23:50.9. Hoare finished second at the Big Ten Championship last season and won the meet in 2017.
The next meet for Minnesota’s cross country program will be the NCAA Midwest Regional on Friday, Nov. 15. The Gophers will travel to Stillwater, Oklahoma with the hopes of extending the season and qualifying for the NCAA Championship meet.
“We have a really big fight ahead of us in two weeks and that’s the fight that if you have a great day there it ends really well,” Hopkins said. “If you don’t, you’re sitting at home in three weeks and that’s not where we want to be. We’re too good of a team to be sitting at home in three weeks.”