It was all smiles for the Gophers after Sunday’s race as the team left a huge statement on the course.
The No. 19 Gophers finished second overall at the 2017 Big Ten Championships at the IU Championship Cross Country Course in Bloomington, Indiana. Madeline Strandemo led the Gophers with a second place finish and a personal best time of 20:13.5 for the six kilometer race.
“I could not be more proud of the women today,” said head coach Sarah Hopkins. “The goal is to win it, but if you can’t win, you just keep battling and keep fighting, and second place is an unbelievable finish. It’s a great day to be a Gopher, a great day for women’s cross country, and we’re looking forward to what the next three weeks hold.”
Megan Hasz followed Strandemo with a time of 20:23.5 and a fifth place finish. Bethany Hasz (20:34.4), Bailey Ness (21:15.1) and Abby Kohut-Jackson (21:26.2) rounded out the scoring for the Gophers with 10th, 30th and 39th place finishes.
“I’m really proud of how the team did,” Strandemo said. “I’m really happy. Last year we were eighth, so it was good to improve on that.”
No. 10 Michigan finished first overall in the team standings with 55 points, while Minnesota followed with 86 points. No. 17 Wisconsin (100), Penn State (107) and Michigan State (119) came in third, fourth and fifth, respectively.
As the season comes to a close, the Gophers will host their 37th annual Rocky’s Run at Les Bolstad Golf Course Nov. 5. The following week, the team will head to Ames, Iowa for the 2017 NCAA Midwest Regionals Nov. 10, where the team has high hopes.
“We hope to win the regional meet and make it back to nationals, so we’re excited about that,” Strandemo said.