U runner finishes a disappointing 71st at the NCAA meet

Ryan Schuster

After crossing the finish line at the 1996 NCAA Women’s Cross Country Championships in Tucson, Ariz., on Monday, Gophers runner Anna Gullingsrud bent over and started to cry.
She had hoped to finish in the top 25, which would have guaranteed her of being an All-American this season. It was not to be, however, as she ran to a 71st-place finish out of 184 runners at the national meet in a time of 18 minutes, 50 seconds on the 5,100-meter course.
Minnesota women’s cross country coach Gary Wilson traveled with Gullingsrud to Arizona this weekend and was there to console his disheartened runner after the race.
“She cried a lot,” Wilson said. “I let her cry. I let her go off and do her cool down run and then I sat down with her and talked.”
Gullingsrud faltered early in the race when she overextended herself and ran out of energy, leading to her disappointing finish. She was 40th after the first 1,000 meters and pushed herself up to 18th place by the 2,000-meter mark, using up valuable energy that she would need later on.
“She made a rookie mistake,” Wilson said. “She got caught up in the excitement and went a little too hard in the middle and paid the price at the end. She moved way too fast in too short of time and just ran out of gas.”
Gullingsrud trained all season long with one thing in mind — the NCAA cross country meet. Those countless hours of preparation paid off Nov. 16 at the Division IV Championships, where her sixth overall finish earned her a chance to compete at the NCAAs.
Despite having a trying race in her first year running at nationals, the sophomore from Mounds View High School should have two more cracks at becoming an All-American before she graduates.
“Overall it was OK for the first time she was here,” Wilson said. “The good news is she’s a sophomore and this is her first time running in the big dance. She’ll be back here. She’ll be back in the hunt.”
Football Awards
The Gophers football team held its annual awards banquet Monday and here are the honorees:
ù Receiver Tutu Atwell, safety Crawford Jordan, quarterback Cory Sauter and linebacker Parc Williams were named next season’s captains.
ù Receiver Ryan Thelwell was named second-team All-Big Ten by the media. Sauter and Williams were named District V Academic All-Americans.
ù The team MVPs were Thelwell and offensive lineman Gann Brooks.
ù Williams won the award for outstanding defensive player, Atwell won for offense and Rishon Early won for special teams.
ù Sauter won the award for outstanding competitiveness on the field and in the classroom,+ and defensive end Jerome Davis won the award for unselfishness and concern for the University.

— Matthew Cross