MINNEAPOLIS – Redshirt junior Liz Berkholtz had an outstanding season with the Gophers in 2013-14. She was a member of Minnesota's NCAA, Midwest Region and Big Ten cross country teams and ran a career-best 20:50 6K at the Wisconsin adidas Invitational last fall. Berkholtz then placed fifth in the 5,000m indoors and fourth in the 10,000m outdoors at the Big Ten track & field championships.
A psychology and neuroscience major, Berkholtz was also an Academic All-Big Ten honoree for both cross country and track & field last year. The Sun Prairie, Wis., native is expected to be one of Minnesota's top runners this season.
What is your favorite thing about Gopher track & field and cross country?
My favorite thing about Gopher track & field and cross country is the people. We have a huge team, and everyone contributes an important piece to the puzzle. I have 50 sisters that I know have my back, and not many people can say that. Being a part of the Gopher team is something extremely special that words can’t even describe.
What is your best memory with the team so far?
My best memory with the cross country team so far would be traveling to NCAAs in 2013. The upperclassmen taught me a lot about life. Each senior taught me something different, and each of them is a big part of the athlete I am today.
What’s your proudest accomplishment in your track/cross country career so far?
My proudest accomplishment would be scoring points for my team at the Big Ten championships during the 2014 indoor track season. We placed fourth as a team and exceeded expectations.
What are your major and career goals?
I’m currently studying psychology and neuroscience, but I want to attend nursing school upon graduating from the University of Minnesota.
How did you choose the University of Minnesota?
I chose the University of Minnesota because of the feeling I got the minute I stepped onto campus for my visit during high school. I knew special things could happen at Minnesota both athletically and academically.
How did you first get into running?
I first got into running when I was a sixth grader. I was a sprinter back then and was involved in gymnastics. I found success in running as I began high school and completely fell in love with the cross country and track atmosphere.
Were you involved in any other sports growing up?
Yes, gymnastics. I also had a trampoline growing up and spent my days jumping for hours with my siblings listening to Aaron Carter. We would jump off the roof onto the trampoline, put the sprinkler under it, sleep on it... the trampoline was pretty much our life growing up.
Do you have any pre-meet rituals or superstitions?
I usually listen to the song, "Don't Stop Believin'," by Journey. It's my good luck charm!
What are you most looking forward to about the 2014-15 season?
I’m looking forward to a new era and identity of this team. We graduated a lot of senior leadership, but I’m excited to see what special things this new group can do. I think this group has put in the time and effort to keep the tradition alive at Minnesota.
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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.