The Minnesota women’s cross country team scored just 24 points with all five scoring runners in the top-10 finishers to capture the South Dakota State Invitational title in dominating fashion. The victory was the Golden Gophers’ second of the weekend, as a second group of runners won the Blugold Open on Friday.
Senior Nikki Swenson covered the 5-kilometer course at the Edgebrook Golf Course in Brookings, S.D., in a runner-up time of 17 minutes, 16.5 seconds.
A string of three freshmen followed in close order. Missa Varpness finished third in a time of 17:20.4, Ashlie Decker was fourth in 17:42.5 and Katie Moraczweski placed seventh in 17:59.1. The fifth scorer for the Gophers was sophomore Kayla Wagner, who finished eighth in 18:00.1.
Completing the Gophers’ top seven was Laura Docherty in 10th place in a time of 18:02.1 and Rachel Drake in 11th in 18:11.6.
“We ran very well today,” said Golden Gopher associate head coach Sarah Hesser. “We had a lot of people step it up after they didn’t run well last week at the Griak. Nikki Swenson ran a very nice race today in taking over our top spot.”
Stephanie Price, the Gophers’ number-one runner in the first two meets of the season, missed the meet to attend her sister’s wedding in Michigan.