June 18, 2014
MINNEAPOLIS - The Golden Gopher women's cross country team has released its 2014 schedule, which includes five home meets. The 2014 season marks the Gophers' second year under head coach Sarah Hopkins, and the program looks to make its 10th-consecutive appearance at the NCAA championships.
The Gophers kick off their season with the annual intrasquad exhibition meet at Les Bolstad Golf Course in Falcon Heights, Minn., at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 29. The following week, the Gophers officially begin the season as they remain at home to host the Oz Memorial, which is named in memory of long-time Drake coach Gary Osborn, on Friday, Sept. 5.
After racing in the BYU Autumn Classic on Sept. 13, the Gophers return home to host the 29th annual Roy Griak Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 27. The meet, which is one of the largest one-day meets in the country, is named after former Gophers coach Roy Griak, who led the program for 33 years and still serves the program in an administrative capacity.
Following the Griak Invitational, the Gophers will split the squad on the road. Some of the Gophers will race in the UW-Eau Claire Blugold Invite on Friday, Oct. 3, while the Gophers' top 12 runners will compete the following day at the SDSU Classic in Brookings, S.D.
After a week away from competition, the Gophers will again split the team for two meets Oct. 17-18. The Gophers' top performers will race at the Wisconsin adidas Invitational on Friday, Oct. 17, while the rest of the squad will run at UW-La Crosse's Tori Neubauer Invite.
Minnesota returns home on Saturday, Oct. 25 for Jack's Twilight Run, which honors the Gophers' late equipment manager Jack Johnson. Johnson served as the Gophers' equipment manager for over three decades and passed away in February 2006 after a battle with cancer. Proceeds from the race are divided equally between the Jack Johnson Endowed Scholarship and the Angel Foundation of Minnesota.
The Gophers begin the postseason with the 2014 Big Ten Championships hosted by Iowa on Nov. 2. Minnesota finished third at the 2013 B1G championships behind a third-place individual showing by Laura Docherty.
Minnesota hosts its final home meet of the season on Saturday, Nov. 8, with Rocky's Run set for 10:30 a.m. Rocky's Run was founded in 1981 to honor former Gopher runner Rochelle "Rocky" Racette, who died in a car crash that fall at age 22. Racette was a Big Ten and Drake Relays champion in the 5,000 meters at Minnesota, and her legacy lives on through the meet and with the scholarship for which it raises money.
The Gophers then cap the season with the NCAA postseason, beginning with the 2014 NCAA Midwest Regional hosted by Bradley University in Peoria, Ill., on Nov. 14, where the Gophers will look to secure their 10th-straight NCAA berth. Minnesota finished 20th in the team standings at the 2013 national championships. The 2014 NCAA Championships are set for Saturday, Nov. 22, in Terre Haute, Ind.
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Warm-Up Lap: Q&A with Madeline Strandemo
Catch up with Gophers co-captain Madeline Strandemo after she ran the second-fastest mile in program history last weekend.