Women’s cross country earns automatic berth into nationals; men left hoping for at-large bid

Max Sanders

At the NCAA Midwest Regionals the women’s cross country team earned their third-consecutive first-place finish, with a trip to the NCAA Championships as their reward.

Led by senior Megan Duwell’s second-place finish, the Gophers had seven runners finish in the top-24, earning all-regional honors.

Minnesota finished with 60 points, 26 better than second-place finisher Illinois.

Both the Gophers and Illini have sealed their tickets to Indiana with their one-two regional finish.

As for the men, today’s fourth-place finish leaves the team on the bubble, hoping to gain one of the final at-large spots.

Hassan Mead continued his dominant season, winning the ten-kilometer race with a time of 30:21.9. Mead’s performance wasn’t enough to make up for their third through five runners, who finished 26th, 36th and 48th respectively.

Head coach Steve Plasencia’s squad will now have to hope they edge out Iowa State, who placed third, for one of the final at-large spots.

The selection committee will decide which at-large teams will join the automatic qualifiers at the 2009 NCAA Championships tomorrow at 7 p.m.