Oct. 4, 2013
BROOKINGS, S.D. – The Gophers claimed the top 10 individual places to win the SDSU Classic 5K with a perfect team score of 15 in Brookings, S.D., Friday evening.
Junior Molly Kayfes and seniors Maggie Bollig, Laura Docherty and Katie Moraczewski led the way for the Gophers, taking the top four places and finishing within a seven-second span. Kayfes crossed the line in 17:29.01, followed by Bollig in 17:30.21. Docherty finished in 17:34.83 with Moraczewski on her heels in 17:35.29.
"It makes me very happy as a coach to know that we have those interchangeable parts," head coach Sarah Hopkins said. "If one person is a little off, it doesn't mean that they whole thing is going to collapse. We've got four or five people up front who are very capable of being number one on any given day. You just don't find that very often.
"I told the team that this is the mark of this team. At the Griak, it was Docherty leading the way and Katie Moraczewski having a break-through. This week it was Molly leading the way and Maggie having a break-through. That's what good teams do. They have enough depth."
In total, seven Gophers posted sub-18 minute times for the 5K course. Senior Kelli Budd (17:41.11), sophomore Becca Dyson (17:51.96) and senior Rachel Drake (17:54.52) finished in the top seven places.
Sophomore Liz Berkholtz (18:03.56), senior Kaitlin Mincke (18:05.47) and sophomore Kaila Urick (18:08.90) rounded out the top 10. The Gophers fielded 12 runners total with sophomore Kate Bucknam (18:13.94) in 13th overall and Jamie Vandenberg (18:44.68) in 26th. The 12-team meet included 134 runners total.
"Nothing like back-to-back weeks of pretty tough weather, but everybody is dealing with it," Hopkins said of the wet, windy conditions during the race. "When you look at the times, they ran really well. I was impressed with how fast they ran given all those factors."
North Dakota State took second in the team standings with 57 points, followed by South Dakota (101), host South Dakota State (102) and North Dakota (140) as the top five teams.
Gopher runners also raced at the Blugold Invite in Eau Claire, Wis., tonight. Redshirt freshmen Haley Johnson and Taylor Mikkalson each recorded career-best times to lead the Gophers to another first-place team finish.
Up next for Minnesota is the Wisconsin adidas Invitational in Madison, Wis., and the Tori Neubauer Invite in La Crosse, Wis., both on Saturday, Oct. 19.
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.