April 11, 2012
Redshirt sophomore Laura Docherty (St. Paul, Minn.) has emerged as one of Minnesota’s top distance runners this season. The Cretin-Derham Hall graduate recently became one of the Golden Gophers’ best all-time performers in the 10,000-meter race. She ran a time of 34:07.40 at Stanford last weekend, good for fifth all-time in school history. GopherSports.com caught up with Docherty to talk about her No. 5 time and learn more about her.
GopherSports: Talk about the race you had last week at Stanford.
Laura Docherty: Starting out, I felt really relaxed and comfortable. I got with a good group and just kind of hit a rhythm. I had (assistant coach Sarah Hesser) at each 400 telling me my splits, telling me I was hitting them perfectly. It was really actually kind of surprising how good I felt, but I liked it.
GS: Talk a little about your improvement over your time at Minnesota.
LD: Coming in as a freshman during cross country season, it was a little slow start. It took a while for me to adjust. But I just keep doing what the coaches are telling me and not getting too crazy with anything, but always putting in the work. It’s progressed, I think, how I’ve planned it to.
GS: How did you first get into distance events?
LD: When I started doing track, I wasn’t very speedy. My parents were both runners, and they’re both longer distance runners, so I kind of just fell into that.
GS: When did you know you could compete at the college level?
LD: I always dreamed it when I was in high school, but I guess the first year I made it to start I was a sophomore, and then I just kept setting goals. By my junior year I started expressing interest in different schools and heard back from them.
GS: Do you have any pre-race rituals?
LD: I just like to stay relaxed—got to have my Gatorade and my banana. But other than that, just being with my team, pretty general stuff.
GS: Tell us something funny about one of your teammates.
LD: Rachel Drake is kind of my 10K buddy, and we always have funny interactions with strangers. We always come off as way cooler than we really are. It’s always a fun time warming up with her.
GS: What are your favorite hobbies off of the track?
LD: I’m an avid chocolate eater—I have it every day. I like to hang out with my friends. I love unicorns. They’re my favorite animals, so that’s kind of a hobby, I guess—mythical creatures.
GS: Is there a sport or other activity you are not afraid to admit you are terrible at?
LD: I’m really bad at arguing. I just kind of drop really easily—I just kind of give up. If I know I’m going to lose, I stop myself.
GS: What are some of your favorite spots on campus?
LD: Bierman, obviously. I like Wilson Library. I enjoy studying there. STSS at night—I study there. It’s kind of creepy, but I like it there.
GS: What is your favorite song on the radio right now?
LD: This is embarrassing, but, “So Good” by B.O.B.