Nov. 3, 2013
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Senior Laura Docherty (St. Paul, Minn.) finished third in the individual standings to lead the No. 15 Minnesota women's cross country team to a third place team finish at the 2013 Big Ten Conference Championship Sunday.
Docherty clocked in at 21:03.9, narrowly edging fourth-place finisher Michelle Thomas of Ohio State (21:04.1) and fifth-place finisher Katie Landwehr of Michigan State (21:04.4).
"I think we ran pretty phenomenally through four," head coach Sarah Hopkins said. "Laura Docherty finishing third was just awesome to see. For her to be third as a senior just speaks volumes to how far she's come, and her faith in herself and her belief in the system are just great to see."
Junior Molly Kayfes (Maple Grove, Minn.) and senior Maggie Bollig (Cross Plains, Wis.) joined Docherty in earning All-Big Ten honors. Kayfes was eighth in 21:10.8, and Bollig came in 13th overall in 21:25.2. Docherty was named to the All-Big Ten first team, while Kayfes and Bollig earned second team honors.
"Molly Kayfes had her best cross country Big Ten meet by far," Hopkins said. "She was fighting up there with Doc for a long time. Eighth is a great result for her today.
"I was absolutely thrilled for Maggie Bollig and Kelli Budd. I think Kelli Budd is probably the story of the meet as far as somebody who has really stepped up. It speaks volumes to how hard she's worked and how tough she is. All four of them probably had their best races of the season."
Michigan State claimed the Big Ten team crown, followed by Michigan in second. Wolverine freshman Erin Finn took top individual honors in 20:48.3, and Michigan State's Leah O'Connor was second in 20:56.9.
Senior Rachel Drake (White Bear Lake, Minn.) came in 29th (21:45.5) as the Gophers' sixth runner, and sophomore Liz Berkholtz (Sun Prairie, Wis.) rounded out Minnesota's top seven in 31st overall (21:48.1).
Seniors Kaitlin Mincke (Farmington, Minn.) and Katie Moraczewski (White Bear Lake, Minn.) also competed for the Gophers. Mincke came in 37th overall in 21:57.2, and Moraczewski was close behind in 39th (22:03.2).
Docherty's third-place finish was the highest by a Gopher since Stephanie Price came in second in 2010. Docherty improved six places from her ninth place individual showing at the 2012 Big Ten championship, where she also led the team.
Minnesota's third-place team finish was the program's best since taking third in both 2010 and 2009. The Gophers were Big Ten champions in 2007 and 2008.
The Gophers host Rocky's Run at Les Bolstad Course on Sunday, Nov. 10 before competing in the NCAA Midwest Regional meet on Friday, Nov. 15 in Ames, Iowa.
2013 Big Ten Championship Team Standings
1. Michigan State (43)
2. Michigan (55)
3. Minnesota (68)
4. Penn State (143)
5. Ohio State (157)
6. Indiana (158)
7. Wisconsin (158)
8. Purdue (221)
9. Illinois (241)
10. Northwestern (264)
11. Nebraska (320)
12. Iowa (369)
2013 Big Ten Championship Top 10
1. Erin Finn, Michigan (20:48.3)
2. Leah O'Connor, Michigan State (20:56.9)
3. Laura Docherty, Minnesota (21:03.9)
4. Michelle Thomas, Ohio State (21:04.1)
5. Katie Landwehr, Michigan State (21:04.4)
6. Katie Borchers, Ohio State (21:07.2)
7. Samantha Ginther, Indiana (21:08.4)
8. Molly Kayfes, Minnesota (21:10.8)
9. Lindsay Clark, Michigan State (21:12.3)
10. Megan Weschler, Michigan (21:20.2)
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