U’s Gullingsrud stars again

by Ryan Schuster

Gophers sophomore cross country runner Anna Gullingsrud ran on and conquered a difficult course this weekend at Iowa State.
Along the way she also defeated her own health problems and led Minnesota to a second-place finish at the Iowa State Memorial Classic on Saturday in Ames, Iowa.
Gullingsrud missed the team’s last meet at Auburn with flu-like symptoms. Her third-place finish in 17 minutes, 58 seconds was her best overall finish in more than a month.
“She had a very, very good performance,” Coach Gary Wilson said. “She’s back to form, and right back to where she was.”
The Gophers took second in the 11-team race with 48 points, 14 behind host Iowa State’s tally. Minnesota has finished in the top 10 in all five of its races this year, and three times Minnesota placed in the top two.
“I thought the first kids did a good job,” Wilson said. “We ran a good solid race. Gullingsrud ran real well and Minna (Haronoja), (Kari Thompson) and (Karen) Kleindl also had good races.”
Haronoja was 12th with a time of 18:51. She has finished in the team’s top three in all of her races so far this season. For the second time this season, Thompson lost a close race with Haronoja by less than five seconds, taking third among the Gophers.
Kleindl was 16th, Andrea Lentz took 22nd and Keri Zweig finished in 25th place. Janet Howe, Amy Hoel, Bridget Neutgens, Julie Golla and Danielle Giusti all had sub-20-minute times on the day.
After running in the Minnesota Open on Saturday at the University’s Les Bolstad Golf Course, the Gophers will compete in the conference meet the following weekend.
“We’re in pretty good shape,” Wilson said. “We’re healthy, and that two days off (from practice last week) really helped. We will be ready for the Big Tens.”
Minnesota’s good showing this weekend also helps the team’s chances of making it to the NCAA cross country meet on Nov. 25 in Tuscon, Ariz.
“We’ve got to keep our chin up and keep working,” Wilson said. “There are 20 more good solid teams like ours vying for the opportunity to make it to the national meet. We’ve got a one-in-20 chance of making it to nationals, as do the other teams.”