Gophers to Begin 2014 with Northwest Open
Jan. 14, 2014
MINNEAPOLIS - The Minnesota women's track and field team is pleased to host the 2014 Northwest Open at the University of Minnesota Fieldhouse to kick off its 2014 season this Saturday, Jan. 18. Field events begin at 11 a.m. with running events set to start at 11:30 a.m.
Women's cross country head coach and track and field assistant coach Sarah Hopkins expects the distance crew to carry over much of its success from the cross country season into the indoor track season. Not only can the team rely on the physical base of mileage and fitness they built during the fall, but Hopkins expects they will carry over their confidence as well.
"They know what they've got coming out of cross country is going to carry them through the indoor season. They don't need to start over," Hopkins said. "You're building on what you did in the summer, what you did in the fall, as evidenced by our mile time trial at the end of the cross country season. They ran really fast - and they hadn't done any speed work."
Read more: Distance Runners to Build off Fall Success
Sprints, Jumps and Multi-Event Preview
Director of women's cross country and track and field Matt Bingle, who coaches the Gophers' sprinters, jumpers and multi-event athletes, took a look at the Golden Gophers' line-up heading into the 2014 campaign.
"I'm very excited about the season," Bingle said. "We're ready to compete... I'm always cautious about how good we can be. I'm more work-centered, but I'm very optimistic. The team goal is to be in the top three at the Big Ten meet indoors and outdoors."
Read more: Gopher Sprinters, Jumpers Set for 2014
Minnesota women's track and field assistant coach Peter Miller is excited about the upcoming season and confident in his group of young throwers. Miller, a former Golden Gopher student-athlete, enters his first season coaching the Gophers.
The Gophers return nine throwers from their 2013 squad, led by juniors Devin Stanford (Milwaukee, Wis.), Jess Herauf (Dickinson, N.D.) and Rachel Melum (Iola, Wis.), along with sophomores Lyndsey Thorpe (Stanley, Wis.) and Becci Osterdyk (Mora, Minn.).
Read more: Miller Previews Gopher Throwing Events
USTFCCCA Releases Preseason National Poll
The Texas women are the top-ranked teams in the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Preseason Division I National Team Computer Rankings released this week. Following Texas, No. 2 Texas A&M, No. 3 Florida, No. 4 Oregon and No. 5 Georgia round out the top five.
Two Big Ten Conference teams are ranked in the preseason top 25 in No. 13 Michigan and No. 17 Purdue. Michigan finished third at the 2013 Big Ten indoor meet, while Purdue was ninth.
2013 Northwest Open Rewind
Minnesota produced three event winners at the 2013 Northwest Open in Jessica Schmidt (3,000m), Becci Osterdyk (shot put) and Caitlyn Dongoske (weight throw). The Gophers competed at both the Bison Classic and the Northwest Open to begin the 2013 season.
Up Next: Jack Johnson Classic
The Gophers host the 2014 Jack Johnson Classic next Friday and Saturday, Jan. 24-25, at the University of Minnesota Fieldhouse.