Aug 30, 2013
SAINT PAUL, Minn. - The Minnesota Gophers kicked off the 2013 women's cross country season with the annual Intrasquad 5K Meet at Les Bolstad Course Friday evening. Junior Molly Kayfes (Maple Grove, Minn.) won the meet in 18:24.88. Seniors Laura Docherty (Saint Paul, Minn.) and Maggie Bollig (Cross Plains, Wis.) rounded out the top three in 18:27.54 and 18:33.96, respectively.
"We ran some really good times, and everyone ran really under control within themselves," head coach Sarah Hopkins said. "We were aiming for them go out there and get a hard effort in but not necessarily push over the edge. Especially for our top runners, we accomplished everything we needed to today."
The top six runners finished in under 19 minutes, separated by less than 30 seconds. Another seven athletes came in before the 20-minute mark. A group of seven runners led the pack through the opening two kilometers, followed by a short gap to another half dozen athletes.
"We probably had 13 runners within about five or six seconds of each other at the 2K mark," Hopkins said. "Docherty and Kayfes started to roll in the 2K-3K range. There's a pretty big hill leading up to the 3K mark. It definitely started to spread out a little more at that point, but there were still strong groups working together."
Hopkins was impressed with the team's overall performance, particularly that of the redshirt sophomore class. Liz Berkholtz (Sun Prairie, Wis.) led the class with a fourth-place time of 18:33.06, followed by Becca Dyson (Roseville, Minn.) in 18:43.12.
"Last year, I told the redshirt sophomore class that they needed to start seeing themselves as team leaders and start establishing themselves," Hopkins said. "I think a lot of them really took that to heart. That class really stood out overall today."
Hopkins was also especially pleased with the performance of Kaitlin Mincke (Farmington, Minn.). The fifth-year senior took ninth in 19:08.81.
"Kait Mincke had a heck of a day today," Hopkins said. "She has really worked hard and gotten so much better every year, and she is coming around - better late than never. She did a great job.
"The best thing was we came out unscathed, so we can get back to some good training over the weekend. We don't need to back off a whole lot. We can have a great week of training to get ready for the Oz and then press on from there."
The Gophers officially open the 2013 season with the Oz Memorial Run next Friday, Sept. 6. The meet begins at 5 p.m. at Les Bolstad Course.
Full Intrasquad 5K Results
1. Molly Kayfes, 18:24.9
2. Laura Docherty, 18:27.6
3. Maggie Bollig, 18:34.0
4. Liz Berkholtz, 18:37.1
5. Becca Dyson, 18:43.2
6. Katie Moraczewski, 18:51.1
7. Rachel Drake, 19:02.7
8. Kelli Budd, 19:05.6
9. Kaitlin Mincke, 19:08.9
10 Jamie Piepenburg, 19:20.1
11. Jamie Vandenberg, 19:27.9
12. Ashlie Decker, 19:36.0
13. Kate Bucknam, 19:44.5
14. Taylor Mikkalson, 20:00.4
15. Andie Zeman, 20:02.8
16. Stacey Swatek, 20:03.6
17. Rachael Weber, 20:05.1
18. Haley Johnson, 20:08.2
19. Katie Hill, 20:11.4
20. Melissa Cabak, 20:12.4
21. Tess Wasowicz, 20:13.9
22. Anne Ferguson, 20:21.5
23. Violet Weibel, 20:23.6
24. Kaila Urick, 20:25.7
25. Stephanie Solfelt, 20:26.8
26. Jillian Johnson, 20:28.4
27. Madeline Strandemo, 20:53.9
28. Lauren Domski, 21:03.3
29. Chelsea Pettit, 21:09.9
30. Naomi Ollila, 21:13.3
31. Paige D'Heilly, 21:32.2
32. Megan Bailey, 21:44.8
33. Sarah Klecker, 22:34.9
Gophers Earn Top-20 NCAA Finish
Minnesota finished 18th in the team race for its highest NCAA finish since 2009.
Berkholtz Honored By USATF Minnesota
Senior Liz Berkholtz was named the USATF Minnesota Female Athlete of the Month for October.
No. 23 Gophers Head to NCAA Championship
Fifth-year seniors Liz Berkholtz and Kaila Urick lead Minnesota into its 11th-straight NCAA Championship this weekend.