In a crucial meet for extending the racing season, Minnesota’s cross country program saw mixed results Friday morning at the NCAA Midwest Regional meet in Stillwater, Okla.
After performing well throughout the season and at the regional meet, the women’s team earned an at-large bid to compete at the NCAA Championship meet. However, the men’s season will come to an end as the team did not qualify for the championship meet. The Gophers learned about their fate Saturday after the NCAA Cross Country Committee announced the at-large teams for the championship meet.
On the women’s side, the Gophers finished third overall with 130 points in the Midwest Regional meet. The team was eight points away from finishing second in the meet and automatically qualifying for the NCAA Championship meet. However, the Gophers needed the at-large bid to continue their season.
Redshirt sophomore Anastasia Korzenowski was the lead runner for Minnesota, finishing ninth overall with a six-kilometer time of 20:56.3. Redshirt junior Abby Kohut-Jackson also had a strong performance, finishing 13th overall with a time of 21:03.8. Redshirt juniors Sarah Werking, Lindsey Greenlund and Carissa Dock rounded out the top five finishers for the Gophers, finishing 24th, 41st and 43rd respectively.
Coming into the meet Friday, Illinois was one of the favorites to automatically qualify for the NCAA Championship meet. The Illini won the meet with 108 points with four of their top five runners finishing among the top 25 runners at the meet. Tulsa earned the second automatic qualifying bid by finishing second with 123 points.
The men’s team came into the Midwest Regional meet ranked seventh in the region. Minnesota improved slightly with 181 points which was good for a sixth place finish.
Redshirt junior Alec Basten once again led the Gophers in what could have been his last cross country race in the maroon and gold. Basten had a strong showing at the Midwest Regional, finishing fourth overall with a ten-kilometer time of 30:48.3.
Redshirt junior Jack Manderscheid and redshirt sophomore Jordan MacIntosh each finished almost a minute after Basten at 31st and 35th respectively. Redshirt freshman Khalid Hussein and redshirt junior Owen Hoeft rounded out the Gophers’ top five runners at 48th and 64th respectively.
Tulsa and Iowa State earned the two automatic qualifying bids on the men’s side in the Midwest Regional. Tulsa had a dominant team performance, finishing with 37 points and four runners finishing in the top ten overall. Iowa State finished second with 54 points.
Iowa State swept the individual titles at the meet. Junior Cailie Logue won the women’s individual title with a six-kilometer time of 20:20.6. Senior Edwin Kurgat was the men’s individual title winner, clocking a 30:38.3 in the ten-kilometer race.
The women’s team will have one week of recovery and training before the NCAA Championship meet. The Gophers will travel to Terre Haute, Ind. for the meet on Saturday, Nov. 23 for their third consecutive appearance at the meet.