U cross-country teams compete at Pre-NCAA meet

Minnesota’s men’s cross-country team placed 16th in the Purple Race of the Pre-NCAA Meet in Waterloo, Iowa, on Saturday. Defending national champion and top-ranked Stanford cruised to the team title with 25 points, placing six runners in the top 10. Iona College was second with 95 points. Minnesota tallied 419 points.

The Pre-NCAA meet field was split into two races, Purple and Gold, of equal strength. No. 5 Colorado edged No. 3 Northern Arizona by a 109-114 margin to capture the team title in the Gold race.

Gophers’ junior Erik Grumstrup was the top finisher for Minnesota, finishing in 47th place. Grumstrup covered the 8-kilometer course in 24 minutes, 22.6 seconds, a personal best.

“This is a very fast course,” Gophers coach Steve Plasencia said in a release. “We will have some work to do; we need to get faster if we hope to be back here for the NCAA championships meet in November.”

Redshirt freshman Antonio Vega continues to run impressively in his first collegiate season. Vega was the second Gophers finisher, placing 57th overall with a time of 24:30.5

Other Gopher finishers were Luke Mullranin in 102nd place (24:56.0), Ryan Malmin in 105th place (24:57.6), Ryan Ford in 111th place (25:00.2), Josh Dobell in 124rd place (25:07.6) and Martin Robeck in 135th place (25:16.2).

Four Gophers competed in the Open Race at the Pre-NCAA Meet. Michael Bialick finished 13th (25:15.7), followed by Mike VanBeusekom in 26th (25:43.3) and Ben Hanson in 71st (26:51.5). Tom Schmidt did not finish.

Women’s cross country

Minnesota’s women’s cross country team scored 527 points to place 20th in the Purple Race of the Pre-NCAA meet in Waterloo, Iowa, on Saturday. Defending national champion and top-ranked Brigham Young won the Purple Race title with 86 points. Second-ranked Stanford won the Gold Race with 66 points.

The Gophers were led by freshman Katrina Rundhaug. Rundhaug covered the 6-kilometer race in a time of 21:57.2 to place 82nd.

“Our top four runners raced very tough, but overall we didn’t execute as a team,” Gophers coach Gary Wilson said in a release. “We went out too hard to begin the race and that cost us.”

In addition to Rundhaug, Wilson praised Harper McConnell, Jen Hess and Zoe Nagell. McConnell placed 92nd with a time of 21:59.9, while Hess finished 107th in 22:09.6 and Nagell placed 1110th in 22:10.4.