Throwers, 4x400, and 1500-meter runners highlight Minnesota's effort.
Sarah Hesser is in her eighth season on the Minnesota women's cross country and track and field coaching staff as a volunteer coach, and her third with the title of volunteer assistant head cross country coach. Since Hesser joined the coaching staff in 2005, Minnesota has qualified for every NCAA Cross Country Championship as a team becoming one of only 5 programs in the nation to accomplish this feat. Minnesota has placed in the top 12 in the NCAA five of those seven years. Since 2005, the Gophers have won the first two Big Ten Championships in program history (2007 & 2008) and three consecutive Midwest Region titles (2007, 2008 & 2009).
Individual athletes have also seen great success since Hesser joined the coaching staff. During her tenure, Hesser has worked with five different athletes who collectively earned eight NCAA All-American honors in cross country. Stephanie Price is the latest All-American, earning the honor in 2010. In 2009 Megan Duwell finished a program best seventh in the NCAA. At the Big Ten level Hesser has coached five athletes to a total of 10 First Team All-Big Ten honors and six athletes to Second Team All-Big Ten honors. An impressive 16 different gophers have earned a total of 32 All-Midwest region awards under Hesser's guidance.
On the track Hesser has been on the coaching staff for all four Big Ten Team Titles in Minnesota history. Working with the mid-distance and distance athletes, she is currently focusing on the longer distance events. In the past seven seasons Minnesota has seen marked improvement in the 10,000m. Megan Duwell won the Big Ten 10,000m title twice (2009, 2010) and Amy Laskowske finish runner-up both years. Laskowske was an All-American at 10,000m in 2009. One of the highlights of Hesser's coaching career on the track was a 1,2,4 finish for the Gophers in the 10,000m at the 2010 Big Ten Championships with Duwell, Laskowske and Mallory Van Ness. The Gophers have also experienced success at 5,000m indoor and out. Duwell earned Indoor All-American honors in the 5,000m in 2010 placing fifth with a school record time of 15:58.
Hesser, a former Golden Gopher student-athlete on both the cross country and track teams, graduated Suma Cum Laude in May of 2006, with a major in child psychology. She continued her education at Minnesota earning a master's degree in applied kinesiology: sport management.
Hesser, a Minneapolis native, was a three-time letterwinner in cross country and served as team captain as a junior and senior. She was honored as the Minnesota recipient of the 2005 Big Ten Conference Sportsmanship Award. Hesser was also a three-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree and awarded the Gophers' Coaches Award in her junior season. Hesser lettered once as a member of the track team and was a captain her senior season.
Hesser owns a Level 1 Track and Field / Cross Country Coaching Certificate and is the 2012-2014 USTFCCCA Midwest Region Representative to the Executive Cross Country Committee.