Oct. 14, 2011
Senior All-American Stephanie Price covered the 6k Thomas Zimmer Championship Cross Country Course in 20:27 which was good for 16th overall, at the 2011 Wisconsin adidas Invitational. The No. 21 Minnesota Golden Gophers finished 20th overall, with 520 team points, in a field that featured 19 ranked teams in the country. This race was new to the Gopher schedule this year, as in years past they would compete at the Pre-NCAA Meet.
Price was the highest Big Ten finisher in the championship race, on a very windy afternoon in Madison, Wis. Redshirt Freshman Molly Kayfes was the next Gopher to cross the line in 102nd place (21:16). The sophomore pack of Ashlie Decker (118th21:24), Katie Moraczewski (133rd 21:31) and Maggie Bollig (151st 21:37), were the Gophers three through five runners. Sophomore's Laura Docherty (200th 21:53) and Missa Varpness (295th 23:39) rounded out the Gophers, that competed in the championship race.
Head Coach Gary Wilson was pleased with how his All-American performed this afternoon in Madison, but the overall team outcome could have been a lot better.
"We were pleased with Stephanie's performance today," Wilson said. "It was a disappointing team day in the championship race. We have to be a lot more mentally tough than what we were today or we will have a very disappointing end of the year. The team has to do a gut check and decide how they want the championship part of the season to go."
Coach Wilson went on to say that he knows his squad is much better then how they performed today and thought the "B" group did a good job.
"They are so much more talented than they showed today," Wilson said. "I was very pleased with how the B race kids ran."
Minnesota was the third highest Big Ten team overall. Iowa finished 18th with 489 team points and Michigan State came in eighth, with 362 points. The Gophers finished one spot higher than host Wisconsin, who tallied 526 team points.
Seven Gophers competed in the "B" race, which was held later in the afternoon. No Team score was kept for the race.
Cassy Opitz lead the Gophers with 11th place finish overall, after covering the 6k course in 21:43, while sophomore Rachel Drake ran a 21:47 race, to place 14th overall. Two other Gophers finished in the top 20, Andrea Rediger came in at 18th (21:53), Claire Rindo 20th (21:55). Annie Talajkowski finished in 24th (22:02), Paige Orcutt took 35th (22:12) and senior Mikaya Larson placed 83rd (23:29) for the Maroon and Gold.
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.