XC23 PRE-NATIONALS RACE SCHEDULE
- Men’s 8K Orange Race (B Race) – 7:45 a.m. CT
- Men’s 8K Blue Race (Championship Race) – 8:40 a.m. CT
- Women’s 6K Blue Race (Championship Race) – 9:30 a.m. CT
- Women’s 6K Orange Race (B Race) – 10 a.m. CT
Saturday’s competition in Virginia consists of 42 different teams on the women’s side and 39 on the men’s. The teams will be divided between the Orange and Blue races. The most notable teams competing on the women’s side are No. 6 BYU, No. 7 Virginia, No. 17 Oregon, No. 19 Arkansas, and No. 24 Utah Valley. The men’s races will feature No. 10 Virginia, No. 17 Tennessee, No. 21 Arkansas, No. 28 Cal Poly, and No. 29 Oregon.
LAST TIME OUT: JOE PIANE INVITATIONAL
The University of Minnesota women’s cross country team finished seventh overall at the 2023 Joe Piane Invitational in South Bend, Ind., on the morning of September 29, while a trio of Gophers also competed at the Blugold Invite in Eau Claire, Wis.
The women’s team at Notre Dame finished in seventh place with 208 points, finishing ahead of the likes of Vanderbilt and Washington State. Senior Taylor Kreitinger was the top finisher for the Maroon and Gold, placing 28th in a time of 17:11.3, a lifetime best time at the 5K distance. No. 1 ranked NC State won the meet with a total of 44 points, defeating host Notre Dame who finished second overall ahead of Alabama, UC Davis, Florida State, and Pittsburgh.
HOW THE GOPHERS GOT HERE
After a strong start to the season, the Gophers are now in the middle portion of the campaign and are ready to ramp up their performances for the post-season. The women’s team has had a balanced attack all season with many of the meets featuring the team’s top five runners finishing within seconds of one another, including all five of the team’s scores finishing within 30 seconds of one another at Notre Dame. The men’s team has had three weeks off to prepare for the trip to Virginia and will rely on that time to see if the likes of Noah Kohut-Jackson, Emmet Anderson, and Leo Goodman can lead the Gophers to a strong team performance on Saturday after finishing in the team’s top three at the 2023 Roy Griak Invitational back in September.
In the latest U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) regional rankings, the Maroon and Gold women sit at No. 4 in the Midwest Region behind Oklahoma State, Iowa State, and Northwestern. The men are ranked No. 7 in their Midwest Regional rankings.
A GOPHER STATE OF AFFAIRS
Of the 23 women on Minnesota’s roster, 16 hail from the Land of 10,000 Lakes. Four additional states and one other country are represented, including Illinois (2), Wisconsin (2), North Dakota, California, and Canada. On the men’s side, nine of the 17 members are from Minnesota. Wisconsin is represented by three student-athletes, while Idaho, Montana, Iowa, Connecticut, and Washington are the homes to one Gopher each.
Minnesota’s final regular-season competition, Rocky’s Run, will take place on October 21. The Maroon and Gold will then get set for the Big Ten Championships, which will take place in Madison, Wis., on October 27.