MINNEAPOLIS -- The 2017 University of Minnesota women's cross country team has selected its 2017 captains. The team will be lead by first-year captains Amelia Barczi, Bailey Ness, Patty O'Brien, and Paige Peschel and returning captain Madeline Strandemo.
“I am excited about this group,” head coach Sarah Hopkins said. “We have Madeline Strandemo coming back from last year, so that brings some experience having done some of the things we expect captains to do. We also have four new captains this season, so it will be nice to add some new blood in there.
“Maddie and Amelia are both fifth-year seniors who have been around the program for four full years and have been through almost everything at this point. They have that ‘Mom’ feel. Paige, Bailey, and Patty are a little more of that energetic and excited crew who bring good experience and energy to the group. They all have their different styles, and it will be a very solid group of people that will lead in their own ways.”
Amelia Barczi, Redshirt Senior (Madison, Wis.)
Barczi competed in nine races during the 2017 indoor track season where she posted a career best in the 600m, clocking a time of 1:38.31, and the 800m with a time of 2:17.67. Out of the eight races she appeared in during the outdoor season, the redshirt senior ran a career-best time of 2:15.57 in the 800m and 4:44.25 in the 1,500m. She was tabbed Academic All-Big Ten after the 2016 cross country season and is a psychology major.
Bailey Ness, Redshirt Junior (Woodbury, Minn.)
Ness finished among Minnesota’s top eight runners at six meets and had four top-five finishes in her 2016 cross country campaign. She posted career bests in the 6K at the NCAA Midwest Regional with a time of 21:20.6 and in the 5K at the Notre Dame Invitational in 17:56.5. Ness also made her second Big Ten Championship appearance in three years, placing 42nd overall last fall. As a redshirt sophomore, she finished the 2016 cross country season ranked 36th on Minnesota’s all-time top-50 6K performers list. Ness is also an Academic All-Big ten honoree majoring in retail merchandising.
Patty O’Brien, Redshirt Junior (Maplewood, Minn.)
O’Brien raced in six meets this past cross country season and clocked a career-best time in the 5K at the Notre Dame Invitational with a time of 17:37.8. She made her second Big Ten Championship appearance where she placed 61st with a time of 22:45.3 and ran a season-best 6K time of 21:53.5 to place 97th as the sixth Gopher at the NCAA Midwest Regional. She collected numerous honors last season, including the Minnesota Big Ten Cross Country Sportsmanship Award, Big Ten Distinguished Scholar, and Academic All-Big Ten. O’Brien is an elementary education major.
Paige Peschel, Redshirt Junior (Westfield, Wis.)
Peschel competed in six meets during the 2016 season and clocked a career-best 6K time at Jack’s Run with a time of 22:47.7. Peschel will take the reins and lead the 800-meter group throughout the 2017 season. On the track, the Westfield, Wis., native raced at the Big Ten Championships for both the indoor and outdoor seasons last year. During the 2017 indoor season, she had career-best times in the 600m and 800m, and in the outdoor season she posted career-best times in the 800m and 1,500m. Peschel is a kinesiology major.
Madeline Strandemo, Redshirt Senior (Fargo, N.D.)
Standemo co-captioned the 2016 cross country squad and competed in seven meets where she finished among the team's top three at every race. The Fargo, N.D., native finished her 2016 season ranked seventh on Minnesota’s all-time top-50 6K performers list. She ran a career best 5K with a time of 16:45.7 at the Notre Dame Invitational and posted a personal best 20:23.7 at the NCAA Midwest Regional to lead the Gophers and place seventh overall. In her second Big Ten Championship performance, Strandemo placed eighth as the top Gopher. The redshirt senior represented Minnesota at the 2016 NCAA Championship as an individual at-large qualifier where she placed 51st as well. Strandemo earned All-Midwest Region and All-Big Ten Second Team honors as well as USTFCCCA All-Academic, Academic All-Big Ten, and Big Ten Distinguished Scholar accolades last season. She is a double-major studying marketing and Mandarin Chinese.
Minnesota begins its 2017 season with its annual Intrasquad Meet at home at Les Bolstad Course on Friday, Sept. 1 before some of the team travels to Bloomington, Ind., the next day to officially open the season at the Indiana Open.
Captains Corner: Amelia Barczi
Gophers co-captain Amelia Barczi reflects on her journey as a Gopher so far and looks forward to the year ahead.
Captains Corner: Paige Peschel
Paige Peschel is one of five Gophers serving as team captain for the 2017 cross country season.
Minnesota Names 2017 Captains
Amelia Barczi, Bailey Ness, Patty O'Brien, Paige Peschel and Madeline Strandemo have been selected to lead the team.