Cross Country Set to Open with Oz Memorial
Sep 4, 2013
MINNEAPOLIS - The Gopher women's cross country team opens the 2013 season by hosting the Oz Memorial Run at Les Bolstad Course this Friday. The women's 6K race will begin at 6:40 p.m., and the men's 6K race will follow at 7:20 p.m.
In addition to Minnesota, the five-team race includes Drake, Minnesota State, North Dakota and South Dakota State.
Awards ceremonies are set to begin at 7:55 p.m. (women) and 8:10 p.m. (men).
Last season's Oz Memorial Run saw the Gophers earn the top 11 places, led by junior Laura Docherty pacing the field in 21:31.44. Minnesota posted a perfect team score of 15 as Docherty was followed into the chute by Molly Kayfes (21:43.75), Ashlie Decker (21:48.65), Katie Moraczewski (21:52.44), and Rachel Drake (22:06.81).
Minnesota was ranked No. 1 in the NCAA Division I Midwest Region preseason rankings by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA). The USTFCCCA National Coaches Poll ranked the Gophers preseason No. 19.
The Gopher women took part in their annual Intrasquad Meet last Friday, and Kayfes led the field in 18:24.88. Thirteen runners posted sub-20:00 times for the 5K course.
About the Oz Memorial
The Oz Memorial is named in memory of former Drake coach Gary Osborn, who passed away on May 21, 2000. Osborn was a longtime friend of former Minnesota coach Gary Wilson. Osborn served as the head coach of the Drake women's cross country program from 1989-99 and also assumed the head coaching duties of the women's track & field program during the 1993-94 season. Under Osborn's guidance, Drake won consecutive Missouri Valley Conference cross country titles in 1994 and 1995, as well as 1998. In all, Osborn spent 32 years involved in coaching at Drake.
Osborn was named the MVC Cross Country Coach of the Year in 1983, when he guided Drake to within one point of the league title. Osborn was also honored by the league in 1994 and 1995. In 1989, he was named the Gateway Conference Cross Country Coach of the Year. A native of Winterset, Iowa, Osborn was a seven-time placewinner in the MVC, competing for Drake in the high and intermediate hurdles and the 100 and 220-yard dashes.