Mead sets 8-k record at pre-NCAAs in Indiana

Sophomore Hassan Mead set a new University of Minnesota record for an 8-kilometer course to lead the menâÄôs cross country team to a fifth-place finish this Saturday at the Pre-NCAA Meet in Terre Haute, Ind. MeadâÄôs time of 23:33.1 broke teammate and senior Chris RomboughâÄôs record, set at the same meet in 2007, by more than six seconds. The accomplishment is impressive considering Saturday was just the second meet Mead competed in all season. âÄúHassan did a great job of working his way up through the field,âÄù Gophers coach Steve Plasencia said in a statement. âÄúHassan was probably 50th at the mile mark but found [AlabamaâÄôs Tyson] David and was able to go with him to create a bit of distance from the rest of the field.âÄù Rombough came in eighth for Minnesota at 24:47.3 while sophomore Mike Torchia finished 67th. The No. 14 Gophers scoring was rounded out by redshirt freshmen Sean Olson in 72nd and transfer sophomore Ben Blankenship in 84th. In other action, senior Ben Puhl placed sixth at the Jim Drews Invitational in West Salem, Wis. The Gophers are off next weekend before the Big Ten championships in two weeks. Women finish third The University of Minnesota womenâÄôs cross country team improved their performance from one year ago to finish third at the same meet. Junior Megan Duwell again paced Minnesota with an 18th-place finish and a career best time of 20:45.2 while the GophersâÄô 2-5 runners were all within five seconds of each other. âÄúThatâÄôs kind of a trademark for us this year,âÄù Minnesota coach Gary Wilson said. Despite falling behind in the field early in the race, Duwell along with senior Gabriele Anderson (40th), senior Felicitas Mensing (42nd), junior Mallory Van Ness (46th) and junior Amy Laskowske (52nd) managed to all finish with times better than 21:20. âÄúThey never gave up. They just kept fighting,âÄù Wilson said. âÄúIt would have been easy for them to give up mentally.âÄù Sophomore Nikki Swenson finished seventh in the Pre-NCAA Open race while junior Elizabeth Yetzer placed ninth. The Minnesota contingency competing in West Salem, Wis. was one point short of a team medal; finishing second to South Dakota State at the Tori Neubauer Invitational.