Minnesota featured 16 programs with at least one Distinguished Scholar Award winner for the 2012-13 academic year.
Women's track and field leads the way with 45 recognized individuals
All seven NCAA Championships competitors were among the honorees.
Cassy Opitz was the Gophers' first finisher.
The race raised funds for a good cause.
2013 Senior Season: Raced in five meets finished second on the team at three meets ran a career-best 21:42 at the open race of the Wisconsin adidas Invitational as Minnesota's second runner in 10th overall finished second on the team (third overall) at Jack's Run in22:21.8 took second on the team (seventh overall) at Rocky's Run in23:29 posted a time of 22:37.34 as the third Gopher in14th overall at the Blugold Invitational clocked in at 23:12.7 at the Griak Invitational.
2012 Junior Season: Finished third at the Blugold Invitational with a season-best time of 21:47.92 won Jack's Run (22:30.01) top female finisher at Rocky's Run (22:44) competed in six races overall Big Ten Distinguished Scholar and Academic All-Big Ten honoree.
2011 Sophomore Season: Ran in seven meets competed at the NCAA Championships, racing 22:18 placed sixth among her Gopher teammates at the NCAA Midwest Regional in 22:30.67 clocked a time of 21:51 at the Big Ten Championships as the team's seventh-best runner raced her season-best time at the Wisconsin adidas Invite in 21:42 ran 17:55.8 to finish tenth overall and seventh on the team at the SDSU Invite raced the Roy Griak Invitational in 22:39.90 finished the Oz Memorial in 22:58.78, placing ninth among the Gophers and ninth overall received the team's Tough as Nails Award Academic All-Big Ten selection.
2010 Redshirt Freshman Season: Posted her season-best time of 22:28.1 at the Pre-NCAA race ran in six meets received the team's Comeback of the Year Award Academic All-Big Ten letterwinner.
2009 Freshman Season: Redshirted the season.
High School: A 2009 graduate of Eden Prairie High School high school coach was Jeff Lindlief the 2008 Minnesota Class AA state cross country champion, individual and team runners-up in 2007 placed 10th in 2007 Nike Outdoor Nationals three-time state track champion won 2009 crown in 1600m (4:59.53) and earned titles in 3200 meters in 2008 and as a member of the 4x800-meter relay in 2007 eight-time all-state honoree, three times in both cross country and track and twice in Nordic skiing high school teammate of Megan Smith.
Personal: Born February 6, 1991 given name is Cassandra majored in public health, family social science and communications going to graduate school for health and wellness - human resources daughter of Kevin and Ann Opitz has an older brother, Tyler.
Gophers in the Polls: Sept. 20
The University of Minnesota continues to represent at a high level as multiple Golden Gopher teams achieved national rankings this week.
Eighteen-Team Field Set for Griak Gold Race
The Gophers return to the 32nd annual Roy Griak Invitational looking to improve on last year's ninth-place team finish.
Minnesota to Host Griak Invitational
One of the nation's largest cross country meets, the Roy Griak Invitational is set for Saturday at Les Bolstad Course.