Before we close up the Down the Backstretch office for the Thanksgiving holiday, we thought we'd wrap-up a few loose items we noticed after the NCAA meet.
This wrap-up is dedicated to Chris Marshall, who covered the D1 meet for DtB yesterday and Gene Niemi, whose photos from the D3 championship grace our slide-show -- Thanks guys!
Third-best Gopher Finish Ever ... The men's team's 8th place finish at the NCAA Championships is the best finish at the meet by the program since 1969. It's the third-best finish in team history. The 1968 team finished 4th at NCAAs; the 1969 team was 7th.
All-Americans .... We should also note that the Gopher men's Chris Rombough, Hassan Mead, and Jamie Cheever of the women's team all earned all-America honors at the meet. The top-30 runners in the meet as well as the top-30 U.S. citizens earn the distinction.
Golden Gopher Quotes ... You can get the full scoop on the Gophers at NCAAs in our stories below. We also offer these additional quotes from the head coaches thanks to the Minnesota sports information folks ...
From men's coach Steve Plasencia: “We had guys making big moves as the race went on. We wanted to go out with our heads in the first half of the race and run with hearts to the finish. We got solid efforts from all our guys today.”
From women's coach Gary Wilson: “We ran okay, but we didn’t run great. You could line up these teams and run this race over and over and there would be a different result every time. We fought hard, but we were a touch off and that is magnified in a race with as much talent as this one had. We are a bit disappointed because we really thought we had a chance to be a trophy team (top four) and we had set our goals pretty high. Still, it was a great season.”
Minnesotans at NCAAs ... Here's our list of Minnesota finishers the NCAA Division I Championships. Let us know if we missed anyone.
29 Chris Rombough, Minnesota
43 Hassan Mead, Minnesota
58 Forrest Tahdooahnippah, Minnesota
70 Michael Krisch, Georgetown
76 Jake Watson, Notre Dame
120 Justin Grunwald, Minnesota
161 Mike McFarland, Minnesota
162 Garrett Heath, Stanford
175 Rick Furseth, Minnesota
208 Ben Puhl, Minnesota
237 Elliott Heath, Stanford
25 Hanna Grinaker, Wisconsin
33 Jamie Cheever, Minnesota
53 Alex Gits, Stanford
76 Bria Wetsch, Oregon
105 Elizabeth Yetzer, Minnesota
109 Ladia Albertson-Junkans, Minnesota
111 Sarah Price, Michigan State
125 Megan Brandeland, Princeton
139 Gabriele Anderson, Minnesota
141 Sally Paulson, Minnesota
147 Megan Duwell, Minnesota
186 Heather Dorniden, Minnesota
216 Molly Lehman, Duke