Gophers Set for Road Debut
Oct. 1, 2013
MINNEAPOLIS – The Golden Gopher women’s cross country team is taking part in two meets this Friday, with part of the squad heading to Brookings, S.D., for the SDSU Classic and the rest of the team racing at the UW-Eau Claire Blugold Invitational in Colfax, Wis.
Last Time Out: Docherty, Moraczewski Lead Gophers at Griak
Seniors Laura Docherty (St. Paul, Minn.) and Katie Moraczewski (White Bear Lake, Minn.) led the Gophers to a fourth-place finish in the Women's Gold Race at the 28th annual Griak Invitational last Saturday. No. 5 Arizona won the women's team title, while Arizona State's Shelby Houlihan took first overall in 20:36.
Racing in her eighth Griak, Docherty came in 11th in 21:11. The St. Paul, Minn., native took six seconds off her 2012 Griak time (21:17), leading Minnesota's charge. Moraczewski, also no stranger to the Griak, was just 10 seconds behind in 15th place (21:21) and improved on her 26th-place finish (22:03) at last year's event.
Senior Maggie Bollig (Cross Plains, Wis.) and junior Molly Kayfes (Maple Grove, Minn.) were the Gophers' third and fourth runners, crossing the finish line in 23rd and 24th place, respectively. Senior Rachel Drake (White Bear Lake, Minn.) was Minnesota's fifth scoring runner, placing 31st (21:46) overall. Sophomore Liz Berkholtz (Sun Prairie, Wis.) and senior Kelli Budd (Omaha, Neb.) rounded out Minnesota's top seven.
In total, 26 Gophers raced at the Griak and a number of Minnesota runners competed unattached.
Gopher Slip to Second in Midwest Region
Minnesota remains the top-ranked Big Ten Conference team in the Midwest Region but fell to second behind top-ranked Oklahoma State in this week’s rankings. No other changes took place among the region’s top five teams as Iowa State, Tulsa and Northwestern round out the top five, respectively. Illinois fell one spot to 15th, and Iowa dropped out of the top 15.
The Gophers also fell to No. 23 in this week’s U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) National Coaches Poll. Four Big Ten teams are nationally ranked: No. 11 Michigan State, No. 13 Penn state, No. 16 Michigan, No. 23 Minnesota. Wisconsin (18) also received votes in this week’s poll.
2012 Blugold Invitational Rewind
Last season’s Blugold Invitational saw the Gophers earn a team score of 34 to win the meet, led by Kate Bucknam and Cassy Opitz in second and third, respectively. The duo cross the finish line together as Bucknam posted a 21:47.46 while Opitz ran a career-best time of 21:47.92. Rebecca Rethwisch (seventh overall), Jamie Vandenberg (10th) and Paige Orcutt (13th) rounded out the Gophers' top five.
2012 SDSU Classic Rewind
Minnesota recorded a perfect team score of 15 to win the 2012 SDSU Classic, and the Gophers claimed the top nine finishes in the 5K race. Molly Kayfes led the way in 17:15.82. Runner-up Laura Docherty (17:22.85) was followed closely by Katie Moraczewski (17:24.01), and Ashlie Decker and Maggie Bollig rounded out the top five.
USTFCCCA Honors Griak Runners
The Roy Griak Invitational produced five of this week's six USTFCCCA national athlete of the week award winners. The three women’s race individual winners, Shelby Houlihan of Arizona State (Gold Race), Runa Falch of Augustana (S.D.) (Maroon II), and Chelsea Johnson of St. Scholastica (Maroon III), were honored with their respective Division weekly awards, while the men’s Division II honor went to Kevin Batt of Adams State, who was a half-step from winning the Men’s Gold Race. Division III’s honor went to David Stilin of UW-La Crosse, who earned a ninth-place individual finish to lead the Eagles to a runner-up team showing in the men’s Maroon II Race.