NCAA National Championship Sites Revealed

The NCAA announced sites for upcoming national championships in cross country, indoor track & field and outdoor track & field for all divisions today. The locations and hosts have been determined for the championships between 2014-15 and 2017-18. Watch the announcement from NCAA.com:

NCAA Division I Cross Country
2014: Terre Haute, Ind.
2015: (TBA)
2016: Terre Haute, Ind.
2017: Louisville, Ky.

NCAA Division I Indoor Track & Field
2015: Fayetteville, Ark.
2016: Birmingham, Ala.
2017: College Station, Texas
2018: College Station, Texas

NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field
2015: Eugene, Ore.
2016: Eugene, Ore.
2017: Eugene, Ore.
2018: Eugene, Ore.
2019: Eugene, Ore.
2020: Eugene, Ore.
2021: Eugene, Ore.

The cross country and track & field announcements came as the NCAA announced 523 sites that have been named hosts for 82 of its 89 championships for the 2014-18 seasons, marking the largest collection of host site announcements in association history.

Learn more:
NCAA: NCAA Championships Site Selections
USTFCCCA: NCAA Championships Sites for Cross Country and Track & Field Announced Through 2017-18

Watch the 2013 NCAA Championships Replay

Watch a recap of the 2013 NCAA Division I Cross Country Championships held Saturday, Nov. 23, at the LaVern Gibson National Championship Cross Country Course in Terre Haute, Ind.

Gopher fans can also watch a full replay of the NCAA's coverage of the 2013 championship. Catch both the men's and women's races, along with the trophy presentations.

The women's 6K race begins at approximately 82:00.

The Gophers earned a 20th-place team finish. All seven Gopher runners finished in the top 180 in a field of more than 250 of the nation's top collegiate runners. Led by senior Laura Docherty in 61st place, the top five Gophers were in the top 135 overall. Docherty earned the first top-100 NCAA finish of her cross country career to lead the Gophers in 20:58.2.

Hopkins, Seniors Preview NCAA Championship

Head coach Sarah Hopkins discusses the Gophers' approach to this Saturday's NCAA championship meet.

Hopkins and fifth-year seniors Kelli Budd and Laura Docherty reflect on their emotions heading into the final race of the season, and for the seniors, the final cross country race of their careers. All of the Gopher seniors hope to make their last race their best race.

USTFCCCA Previews Midwest Regional

The NCAA Midwest Regional is 26 hours away, and the U.S. Track and Field/Cross Country Coaches Assocatioin continued its preview coverage of all the regional competition today. The USTFCCCA expects host No. 7 Iowa State and the No. 16 Gophers to claim the two automatic bids, as the regional rankings indicate. From the USTFCCCA preview:

"The No. 7 Iowa State women enter as three-time defending region champions, and are the top-ranked team in this year's field. Led by Big 12 runner-up Crystal Nelson and seven top-20 finishers, the Cyclones won the conference by nearly 70 points over Texas, 35-104. Iowa State was also fifth in a very strong Wisconsin adidas Invitational field. No. 16 Minnesota is the only other nationally ranked team in the region and is in position to take one of the automatic bids, per the region rankings. The Golden Gophers were eighth at Wisconsin as one of only four teams with six or more top-80 finishers, led by 45th-place Molly Kayfes, and were third at the Big Ten Championships behind No. 6 Michigan State and No. 14 Michigan, 43-55-68."

Here are the links to catch up on all of the regional meets around the country:
The Warm-Up Lap (Part 1/3): East Coast Regions in DI and DIII
The Warm-Up Lap (Part 2/3): Midwestern/South Regions in Divisions I & III
The Warm-Up Lap (Part 3/3): Western Regionals in Divisions I & III

Hopkins Previews Big Ten Championship

No. 15 Minnesota travels to West Lafayette, Ind., for the 2013 Big Ten Championship meet this weekend. The women's race begins at 10:45 a.m. CT Sunday. Hear what head coach Sarah Hopkins and seniors Maggie Bollig and Laura Docherty think about this weekend's race.

Gophers Set for Oz Memorial Run

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The Gopher women's cross country team will participate in its first race of the regular season when it hosts the Oz Memorial Run on Friday, Sept. 7. The event will start with a men's 6K race at 4:30 p.m., followed by a women's 6K race at 5 p.m.

In addition to Minnesota, other participating teams will be Drake, Minnesota State Mankato, Minnesota Duluth, Northern Iowa and South Dakota State. In all, 144 women are expected to cover the course at the Les Bolstad Golf Course in Falcon Heights, Minn.

The Gophers competed in the annual intrasquad race last weekend, and are looking forward to officially kicking off the season this weekend. "I feel like we all feel really good after intrasquad,"  said Laura Docherty, the winner of last week's intrasquad meet. "We shook some dust off, and I think people are remembering how to race and are excited for the Oz."

Because the intrasquad race last weekend covered a 5K course, the Oz Memorial Run will be the team's first chance to compete on a 6K course this season. Another change from last weekend's intrasquad meet was that the team wore training shoes, but will wear flat race shoes this week at the Oz Memorial.

The Oz Memorial Run is named after Gary Osborn, the longtime Drake women's track and field and cross country coach who died in 2000. Osborn was a longtime friend of Minnesota head coach Gary Wilson.

Gophers Excel in the Classroom

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The Minnesota women's cross country team received some good news over the winter break. This year's squad has excelled in the classroom with an impressive 3.5 GPA.

If you combine both the women's cross country and track teams the overall GPA is 3.45.

Minnesota's cross country team is full of some very bright student-athletes and this clearly shows that all the hard work they have put, had paid off,

Congratulations team!

2011 Wisconsin adidas Invitational

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This afternoon at 1p.m. CT, the No. 21 University of Minnesota women's cross country team will be in action in Madison, Wis., for the Wisconsin adidas Invitational. At 1p.m. will be the championship race and at 2:20 p.m. the "B" race will take place. 


Yesterday afternoon Flo Track put together a preview of the 6k course. Check out the video below! 

Watch more video of Wisconsin adidas XC Invitational 2011 on flotrack.org

Q/A With Senior All-American Stephanie Price

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Gophersports.com: If you could be on any reality show, which would it be?

SP: I would love to be on The Amazing Race.

GS: What's the most notable thing about your hometown?

SP: I am originally from a really small Minnesotan town with a population of around 600 people. I am one of 8 children and when my family moved from this town when I was in middle school, my friends at school joked that the town had to change the population sign when we moved away.

GS: What song do you love to listen to, but are embarrassed to admit?

SP: I love Disney songs, especially anything from Beauty and the Beast!

GS: Do you have any pre-race rituals or superstitions?

SP: Nothing too crazy, I just like to be a creature of habit before races. I usually try to eat similar foods around the same times before races, wear the same socks, and listen to the same pump up songs on my way to the meet.

GS: What is your most embarrassing moment on the track?

SP: My most embarrassing moment was probably when I peed my pants during my leg of the 4xmile at the Drake Relays last year. I am not used to such a speedy race!

GS: What was the coolest thing about your bedroom growing up?

SP: My bedroom had the laundry chute down into our laundry room in the basement so we would always throw things up and down it, or we would secretly listen to anything going on in the basement.

GS: Describe your perfect day - who would you spend it with, what would you do, where you go?

SP: My perfect day would be spent with my family. Like I mentioned above, I am one of 8 children and it is the rare occasion that we are all together at once any more. I also love holidays, so my perfect day would be spent with my family on Christmas Eve, snuggled up in blankets in from of a fire, drinking warm drinks, and playing board games or cards.

GS: Where is your favorite place at the University of Minnesota?

SP: For relaxing, my favorite spot is the mall area in the spring or fall. For studying, my favorite spot is the Biomedical Library.

GS: Do you have any nicknames?

SP: My family and friends just shorten my name to Steph. But, when I was in elementary school and lost my front teeth, my dad called me "Spacer" because I had such a big gap!

GS: What is your cell phone ring?

SP: It used to be an Eric Church song, but now it is just a standard ring tone.

GS: If you were stranded on a desert island, what three things would you want to have with you?

SP: an endless supply of coffee, my Bible and journal, and a huge blanket

GS: Where do you want to be in 10 years?

SP: I want to be content and successful in whatever path I am led down. I would like to say that I would be married, maybe have a few children, have a nice house, etc. etc. but I have realized that you can't plan for anything like that in life. The future is full of unexpected opportunities and if we solely focus on our "plan" we miss out on great opportunities!

GS: What does being part of the Golden Gopher family mean to you?

SP: Being part of the Golden Gopher family means having an endless supply of sisters and a support system unlike anything else. It means always having someone to turn to, always having a friend to hang out with, always having someone backing you up, and always having someone looking out for you and keeping you on the right track.

GS: When you were little, who was your favorite cartoon character?

SP: My sister and I loved to watch Bananas in Pajamas. We even had two matching jump suits that we wrote B1 and B2 on in marker so we could play dress up as the characters.

GS: If you had your own energy drink, what would it be called?

SP: Orange Pedialyte (even though that is technically a drink already) because that is what I drink before races!

GS: If you could trade places with Coach Wilson for a day, what would you do?

SP: I would take my motorcycle out for the day and explore all the beautiful fall scenery of Minnesota.

GS: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?

SP: I would travel to India or Africa for medical service work.

GS: What is your favorite sport outside of cross-country or track and field? 

SP: Basketball

GS: What is one talent or skill you have outside of running? 

SP: I am a pretty good cook.. or so I like to think!

By: Edwina Reckel


The Roy Griak Invitational one of the largest cross country meets in the nation. For 2011, there will be over 4,000 runners competing from high school, to the college level. Some of the nation's best will be on hand this year.

We got an insiders perspective, from assistant Head Coach, Sarah Hesser, of what it is like to participate in the race from every aspect. Hesser first ran in the race as a 16-year-old from South High School.

"As a high schooler, the Griak opened my eyes to what cross country can be. I hadn't realized before how many athletes and spectators were so passionate about the sport," Hesser said.

It was also her first race against competition outside of Minnesota.

"I remember my mom telling that I passed all of Kansas on an uphill!"

While running at the meet as a high schooler, Hesser also got a glimpse of what the Gopher Cross Country team was all about, which fueled her interest in becoming part of the team. After introducing herself to Coach Wilson and proving her ability by placing in the top 10 and top five throughout her high school career, she joined the U's team in 2006.

However, her first time running as a Golden Gopher did not start out as smoothly as she had hoped.

"My freshman year of college, the Griak did not hold such a special place in my heart," the seventh year assistant coach said. "I went out way too hard and ended up face down in the dirt at the 5K. Not the glorious start to my college cross country career I had anticipated."

In the following three years, Hesser, found her stride and finished as a top 7 runner. She reminisces on being on the U of M's team.

"To have the opportunity to race in front of you home fans with the "M" on your chest is an experience I will never forget."

After graduation, Coach Wilson gave Hesser the opportunity to continue to be part of the team by offering her the assistant coaching position. Part of Hesser's role is to organize the 220 high school teams participating in the Griak.

"Working 'behind the scenes' for the Griak is amazing," Hesser said. "You meet so many people who work tirelessly for months in advance to make the meet what it is. When you are an athlete, you get to show up, run and enjoy the experience. In a way, you think you know how hard people work, but when you see it up close it is truly a thing of beauty. The passion that people have for this meet and this sport never ceases to amaze me."

Throughout all of the meets Hesser has participated in and now planned, the Griak still holds a special place in her memory.

"Everyone works so hard to show up on one day, in one race and tries to give it everything they've got. Sometimes you pass the whole state of Kansas on an uphill and sometimes you end up face down in the dirt trying to breathe, but you always know that you have raced in the Roy Griak Invitational and you will take that with you for the rest of your life."