Gophers Take 20th at NCAA Championship
Nov. 23, 2013
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – The University of Minnesota women's cross country team concluded its 2013 campaign with a 20th-place team finish at the 2013 NCAA Championships held Saturday afternoon at the LaVern Gibson National Championship Cross Country Course in Terre Haute, Ind.
All seven Golden Gopher runners finished in the top 180 in a field of more than 250 of the nation's top collegiate runners. Led by senior Laura Docherty (St. Paul, Minn.) in 61st place, the top five Gophers were in the top 135 overall. Docherty earned the first top-100 NCAA finish of her cross country career to lead the Gophers in 20:58.2.
Fellow seniors Maggie Bollig (Cross Plains, Wis.) and Kelli Budd (Omaha, Neb.) were Minnesota's second and third finishers. Bollig came in 108th overall for the best NCAA finish of her career with a time of 21:22.4 (128th in 2012, 112th in 2011). Meanwhile, Budd put herself in Minnesota's top three runners for the first time this season, posting a season-best 21:25.7 in 118th overall in her first NCAA championship race.
Junior Molly Kayfes (Maple Grove, Minn.) came in fourth for the Gophers in 120th overall at 21:25.9, just behind Budd. Senior Katie Moraczewski (White Bear Lake, Minn.) rounded out the Gophers' top five in 135th (21:33.5) in the best NCAA finish of her career (163rd in 2012, 190th in 2011, 208th in 2010).
Redshirt sophomores Becca Dyson (Roseville, Minn.) and Liz Berkholtz (Sun Prairie, Wis.) also competed for the Gophers. Dyson finished in 21:52.4 (176th overall) after serving as an alternate at the 2012 NCAA meet, while Berkholtz was close behind in 21:53.5 (180th overall) in her second NCAA championship appearance.
The Gophers' 20th-place team finish marked the highest for Minnesota since taking 10th in 2009. Docherty earned the highest individual finish by a Gopher since Stephanie Price also was 61st in 2011.
Providence took home the women's team crown with 142 points, followed by Arizona (197), Butler (200), Michigan (215) and Georgetown (226) to complete the top five. Minnesota finished with a team score of 406, nine points behind 19th place Villanova (397). Dartmouth senior Abbey D'Agostino won the individual title in 20:00.3.
The Gophers' 20th-place showing concludes head coach Sarah Hopkins' first year at the helm of the Minnesota women's cross country program. The 2014 indoor track and field season is set to begin with the Northwest Open at the UM Fieldhouse on Saturday, Jan. 18.