Thursday, November 12, 2009

Pick 10: Divison I and III Regional Meets

NCAA Division I and Division III cross country athletes and teams will attempt to qualify for their respective national meets in contests all around the country this weekend. The local squads are all heading south to compete in their Regional Meets on Saturday. The Gophers will travel to Missouri State to face off with teams such as the #2 ranked Oklahoma State men and individuals like 2009 5000 Meter NCAA champion Angela Bizzarri. The MIAC teams will congregate at Grinnell, Iowa on Saturday morning to determine who moves on to the National Meet at Baldwin-Wallace.

Just as area cross country teams are getting one last chance to cap a great year or salvage a not-so-great one, fantasy contestants on DtB will be doing the same. The week will mark the end of the year for the Pick 10 contest and next week will conclude the Yes/No season.

A refresher on Pick Ten rules: You're asked to predict the finish place for each of 10 Minnesota athletes/teams in their respective regional races. You will score points for each athlete/team that scores at or above the finish place you predict for them. The rules change slightly for cross country as we will not use track and field scoring (10-8-6-5…) but will simply go 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 for each place.

Remember though, if the athlete/team finishes below your predicted place, you receive zero points.

To play Pick Ten, cut and paste the list of names below into an e-mail and add your place predictions -- 1st, 2nd, 3rd ... or 10th. Send your predictions to DtBFantasy [AT] gmail [DOT] com by 10:00 A.M. CDT on Saturday, November 14. Make sure your full name is in the e-mail. We'll announce the winner of this Pick Ten contest next week and crown a grand champion.

The current overall top-5 in Pick Ten is:

Doug Cowles – 286
Nate Porath - 258
Mick Hondo - 255
Ryan Aylesworth - 251
Charlie Mahler – 249

The full leaderboard is HERE.

Pick Ten ... Division I/Division III Regional Meets:

Megan Duwell (Gophers):
Hassan Mead (Gophers):
University of Minnesota Men:
University of Minnesota Women:
Elliott Heath (Stanford):
Carleton Women:
Hamline Men:
Margot Branigan (Hamline)
Dan Greeno (Bethel):
Ben Sathre (St. Thomas):

To Help You Make Your Picks ... Here is some information on the athletes/teams we've included in the competition:

Hassan Mead and Megan Duwell were all All-Americans in Cross Country in 2008. Mead won the Midwest Regional and finished 31st at Nationals in 2008. He is also the 2-time defending Big Ten Champ. Duwell was fourth at Regions and 32nd at Nationals last year. She is coming off a third place finish at Big Tens.

Elliott Heath is another former All-American with Minnesota ties. The Winona native finished third in the stacked PAC-10 Conference meet recently and will compete for Stanford in the West Regional on Saturday. Heath was 21st at Regions and 112th at Nationals in 2008.

The Gopher teams are also attempting to return to Nationals where they placed 15th (men) and 11th (women). On the men's side, #2 ranked Oklahoma State is the big favorite and the #29 ranked Gophers will be challenged by #18 Oklahoma and #27 Iowa State. The Gophers finished 2nd in the region last year. Oklahoma State features Minnesota natives John Stublaski and Ryan Little among it's top eight runners.

The #17 Gopher women are back to defend their Midwest Regional crown. They will be tested by #13 Illinois, #18 Iowa State and #30 Iowa.

Find 2008 Midwest Regional results here: Men Individual * Men Team * Women Individual * Women Team

The Carleton women and Hamline men emerged victorious at the MIAC meet recently and will match up again with their Minnesota foes as well as some tough teams from south of the border. Nationally ranked teams in the region include #14 Nebraska Wesleyan, #16 Carleton, #21 Wartburg, #24 Bethel, #26 St. Thomas and #32 Luther for the women. On the men's side, Nebraska Wesleyan is ranked #18, Hamline #26 and Grinnell #30.

Carleton women finished 5th in the Region in 2008 and went on to a 23rd place finish at Nationals. Hamline men have reloaded quickly from their 2008 squad that finished 9th at Regionals and did not qualify for nationals. Hamline graduated all-American Brandon Gleason but Paul Schmaedeke's squad really stepped up in 2009 led by 2nd place MIAC finisher Ian Bauer.

Click the links for 2008 Central Regional results for men and women.

Dan Greeno dominated MIAC two weeks ago and was 2nd in the Region and 33rd at Nationals in 2008, earning All-American status. Ben Sathre finished 3rd at MIAC and was the top Freshman in 2008 at the Regional Meet. He finished 23rd and was the lone Freshman in the top 40. Margot Branigan finished 3rd at the MIAC meet in 2009 and was 10th at the 2008 Regional Meet. Branigan qualified for Nationals and went on to finish 53rd.

Good luck!

Last week’s Yes/No question was: Will Morgan Place win the DII Central Regional Cross Country meet on Saturday? The correct answer was “yes” as Place ran away from the field, winning by 19 seconds. Five contestants answered correctly. The final Yes/No contest of the year will be next week and will likely feature two questions.

Thanks for playing Pick 10 on DtB!

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