Gophers Finish 16th in Competitive Field at Wisconsin adidas Invitational

Go Gophers! Docherty finished 51st.
Go Gophers!
Docherty finished 51st.
Go Gophers!

Oct. 12, 2012

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The Golden Gophers finished 16th against a tough field at the Wisconsin adidas Invitational today. A tie-breaker put them ahead of Boston College, with whom they tied in total points. The meet, held at the Thomas Zimmer Championship Course in Madison, featured 20 teams in the USTFCCCA’s top-30 poll.

“It would have been nice to beat a few more teams, but we did a really good job,” assistant coach Sarah Hesser said. “We wanted to be closer to Penn State (eighth) and Michigan State (ninth) going into Big Tens, but we beat a lot of quality teams.”

Laura Docherty and Molly Kayfes led the team as they have throughout the season. Docherty finished 51st with a time of 20:29, and Kayfes came in close behind in 55th (20:30). They competed well in a field similar to what they might eventually see at this year’s NCAA Championships.

“They work together really, really well,” Hesser said. “Being farther back in the group than they were at the Griak, it was a bit of a reality check for them. I think they learned a lot. They felt like they waited too long to make their move at the end.”

Overall, Hesser said the group started well, then faded a little between the second and third kilometers before picking up the pace again. After Docherty and Kayfes, Katie Moraczewski was the Gophers’ next finisher at 20:45. Ashlie Decker and Rachel Drake rounded out the scorers. Liz Berkholtz and Maggie Bollig also ran in the invitational race.

The Gophers also had a handful of runners in the open race. Kelli Budd led the way for Minnesota, finishing third individually (21:05) and making her case to be part of the Gophers’ top seven runners for the Big Ten Championships roster. Freshmen Becca Dyson and Jamie Piepenburg also impressed Hesser. The Gophers finished second to BYU in the open race.

“I think today showed our team’s depth,” Hesser said.

Minnesota’s second group of runners will compete tomorrow at UW-La Crosse’s Tori Neubauer Invitational. The race start time is set for 11:30 a.m. at Maple Grove Country Club (West Salem, Wis.).