Gophers go to Ann Arbor for Big Tens

MINNEAPOLIS — The championship season officially begins for the University of Minnesota Gophers cross country teams on Friday, October 28, when the Maroon and Gold head to Ann Arbor, Michigan for the 2022 Big Ten Conference Championships. The women’s 6K (3.73 miles) race starts at 9:45 AM, followed by the men’s 8K (4.97 miles) race, which starts at 10:45 AM

“We are excited and ready for Big Tens this week,” said head coach Sarah Hopkins. “You know it’s going to be a grinder. Any Big Ten team is good, there are no soft teams in the pack. It’s not for the faint of heart, but we’re ready. We’re excited about this opportunity for our teams and student athletes and have a great plan for them to succeed.”

BIG TEN SQUAD The women’s team will compete against 12 student athletes in Ann Arbor, while the men will have eight in uniform:

The men’s side will feature Emmet Anderson, Seth Eliason, Leo Goodman, Eli Hoeft, Noah Kohut-Jackson, Willem Landis, Matt Lepine and John Quigley.

The women are represented by Ali Weimer, Anastasia Korzenowski, Emma Atkinson, Brianne Brewster, Libby Halbmaier, Taylor Kreitinger, Liesl Paulsen, Erin Reidy, Maria Rickman, Ava Hill, Marta Kogucki and Megan Lundstrom.

LAST TIME OFF ROCKY’S RUN The University of Minnesota cross-country team saw both the men’s and women’s 2022 regular cross-country season complete at Rocky’s Run on October 22, at the Les Bolstad Golf Course. The open 6K meeting is held annually in memory of Gopher runner Rochelle “Rocky” Racette. The race was contested by Minnesota’s non-Big Ten participants after that group competed in the Nuttycombe Invitational the week before.

The top five of the women belonged to the Maroon and Gold with Zoie Dundon first in a time of 22:55. Elsa Bergman was second in a time of 22:57 followed by Lila Branchaw (23:24), Sydney Kretlow (23:35) and Anna Lien (23:39) in third to fifth place respectively. The men were led by real freshman Shane Griepentrog who took the crown in a time of 18:32 followed by fellow freshman Griffin Ward in 18:33. Tanner Klumph (18:33), Dan VanAcker (18:59) and Owen Lindseth (19:28) rounded out the top five in the men’s race.

A TRUSTED COURSE The University of Minnesota participated in the Big Ten Preview game at the UM Golf Course earlier this season, with both teams finishing fourth respectively. During that competition, which was held on September 9, Brianne Brewster ran her second-best career of 6K time, while Emmet Anderson finished 17th in the 6K race. Prior to this year’s races in Michigan, the Gophers hadn’t raced in Ann Arbor in over 10 years.

BIG TEN HISTORY Minnesota is coming off a championship performance by their women at the 2021 Big Ten Championships, capturing the team’s first team title since 2008. Megan Hasz won the individual title a year after her sister Bethany Hasz won for the Gophers. From that championship roster, only three return to this year’s team, with Korzenowski the top returner (21st), along with Emma Atkinson (67th) and Brianne Brewster (69th).

The men finished third as a team with Alec Basten (5th) leading three top-20 performances with Matt Wilkinson (15th) and Owen Hoeft (20th) all anchoring that performance. From that line-up, only captains Eli Hoeft and Seth Eliason return with Hoeft in 66th in 2021 and Eliason in 69th.

THE NEXT NCAA season is upon us for the Maroon and Gold as both the men’s and women’s teams head to Columbia, Mo. on Friday, November 11. going for the NCAA Midwest Regionals. The University of Missouri will host the regional championships and hold both races at the Gans Creek Cross Country Course.

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