Sept. 7, 2011
Golden Gopher Women’s Cross Country This Week:
The Minnesota Women’s cross country team will open its 2011 season on Friday as they host the 12th annual Oz Memorial. 56 women make up this year’s squad and it is the biggest team in the country. After Friday Minnesota will have a week off before hosting the 26th Roy Griak Invitational, on Saturday Sept. 24.
12th Annual Oz Memorial
Les Bolstad Golf Course (6k)
Friday, Sept. 9 – Minneapolis, Minn.
4:00 p.m. CT
On Your Mark…Get Set…Go!
The Minnesota Women’s cross country team will start the season at home on its own turf this Friday. Les Bolstad Golf Course will be hosting the 12th annual Oz Memorial which will consist of a 6k race. Action gets underway at 4:30 p.m.
Looking to Stay Perfect
Minnesota will put its 11 race winning streak at the Oz Memorial on the line. The Gophers have won every Oz race dating back to 2000, when the annual event began.
Back for One Last Shot
Senior All-American Stephanie Price returns for her final campaign and with fall training in the books, Price will look to have a strong and healthy season with an eye on a Big Ten Championship, as she finished second last year. The Mankato, Minn., native won last year’s Oz Memorial after covering the 6k course in 21:16.15.
The Gopher Lineup
Minnesota will carry 56 women to open its 2011 season, the most by far in the country in college cross country. The Gophers have 12 seniors, seven juniors, 18 sophomores and 19 freshmen. Sophomore Missa Varpness looks to be the Gophers second runner entering the season. Behind Varpness will be fellow sophomore Ashlie Decker.
Not a Bad Start
After last week’s annual Intrasquad 5k race, the Gophers look to be in good shape heading into the season. Everyone who ran in this year’s Intrasquad posted a faster time than a year ago. To explain this, the 2010 second place finisher would have placed 15th at this year’s race. Price, who was last year’s champion, improved her time by 58 seconds.
Minnesota Coaching Staff
Golden Gopher head coach Garry Wilson enters his 27th season at the helm for the Minnesota program. Wilson has guided the Gophers to NCAA Championships berths in 13 seasons as the Maroon and Gold leader. The Gophers have made the trip the big dance the last five years in a row. Wilson’s 2005 squad finished ninth in the country, which is the Gophers best finish yet and they are looking to change that this season. Assistant coach Sarah Hesser returns for her seventh year, while the team will welcome Nikki Swenson as a volunteer assistant this year. Swenson finished up her Gopher career last season.
By: Athletic Communications Assitant Michael Levy