Women’s cross country team survives cold temps at nationals

Josh Linehan

Running in wind-chill temperatures nearing 20 degrees below zero, the Minnesota women’s cross country team finished 26th at the NCAA Championship in Ames, Iowa on Monday.
Colorado won its first team and individual titles as Kara Grgas-Wheeler of Duluth finished first with a time of 20:30.5.
The Gophers were hampered by an injury to one of their top runners. Senior tri-captain Corrine Nimtz battled various problems in her right leg to finish in 218th place with a time of 23:15.2.
“She hasn’t really run a race in three weeks,” coach Gary Wilson said. “She gave it everything she had, but she was limping from the start.”
The team finish was somewhat of a disappointment for the team after a second place finish at the Midwest Regional at Waterloo, Iowa last weekend.
“It was a little disappointing but they gave it all they had. We tried to pick up the slack, but we ran out of gas a little bit,” Wilson said.
The race was run over the 6,000 meter Iowa State cross country course in the coldest temperatures of the event’s 19-year history.
Minnesota was paced by freshman Darja Vasiljeva, who finished 49th overall. Another senior tri-captain, Elaine Eggleston, finished 109.
Sophomore Anita Menden finished 165th, Victoria Moses 184th, Krista Anderson 227th and Laine Misch 230th to round out the Gophers squad.
Montana junior Sabrina Munro finished seven seconds behind the winner while Wisconsin’s Erica Palmer, the defending champion, took third place.
Brigham Young took second place, with Stanford, Boston College, and Georgetown rounding out the top five. All told, 31 teams competed in the event.
The second-ranked Minnesota wrestling team clobbered North Dakota State 44-0 in the teams’ opening action last weekend.
Owen Elzen and Brett Lawrence pinned their Bison opponents while Luke Becker, Brad Pike, John Hardy, Damion Hahn, Mike Flanagan, and Leroy Vega all won decisions. Jared Lawrence picked up a technical fall and Chad Erikson won by forfeit.
The Gophers, who are ranked No. 2 in the country behind Iowa, are now 1-0 on the year and next see action when they host Northern Iowa on Sunday, Nov. 26 at the Sports Pavilion.

Josh Linehan is the sports editor and welcomes comments at [email protected]