Earlier today, the StarTribune reported that the University of Minnesota plans to cut 41 women's athletes from their sports teams in addition to the 57 men's athletes who were lost from the September eliminations of the track and field, tennis and gymnastics teams.
According to the report, Minnesota's women's cross country is "projected" to have 20 athletes starting in the fall of 2021. That would result in a reduction of 14 roster spots from the current total of 34 roster spots.
The article went on to note that the "Gophers women’s indoor and outdoor track rosters are also slated to shrink next school year, by 18 spots apiece."
In addition to financial concerns, the article details an effort from Minnesota to fall in alignment with Title IX. In order to achieve a percentage of student-athletes similar to the student body enrollment at the University of Minnesota (54% women, 46% men), the Gophers' athletic department also need to eliminate women's athletes.
According to the StarTribune, the ratio of men's and women's athletes in Minnesota's athletic department, following the cuts of the men's teams, is 59% women and 41% men.
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The Minnesota women's cross country team are ranked at TSR #8 in The Stride Report's "If Everything Was Normal" preseason rankings. They qualified for the 2019 NCAA XC Championships last fall despite two of their top runners redshirting the season.
Earlier today, Minnesota women's cross country coach Sarah Hopkins took to Twitter to detail the success of walk-on women's distance athletes at the University of Minnesota.