Oct. 22, 2013
NEW ORLEANS - The University of Minnesota women's cross country team climbed to No. 15 in this week's U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) National Coaches Poll.
The Gophers jumped from No. 22 to No. 15 following their eighth-place team finish at last weekend's Wisconsin adidas Invitational.
Arizona is the new No. 1 in the women's poll after defeating former No. 1 Providence head-to-head at the Wisconsin adidas Invitational. New No. 2 Arkansas finished second to the Wildcats last weekend. The final first-place vote in this week's poll went to No. 3 Georgetown, the Pre-Nationals team champion.
Previously top-ranked Providence fell to No. 4 following its third-place showing at the Wisconsin adidas Invitational. Rounding out the top five was Florida State after finishing runner-up at the Pre-National meet.
Six Big Ten Conference teams are among the nation's top 30 as No. 6 Michigan State, No. 14 Michigan, No. 21 Indiana, No. 28 Wisconsin and No. 29 Penn State join No. 15 Minnesota in this week's national poll.
The Gophers remained the second-ranked team in this week's Midwest Regional rankings. Minnesota trails top-ranked Iowa State (No. 8 nationally) after the Cyclones flipped places with previously top-ranked Oklahoma State. The Cowboys are now third in the region and dropped out of the national poll.
At the Wisconsin adidas Invitational, Minnesota placed six runners in the top-80 led by junior Molly Kayfes (Maple Grove, Minn.) and senior Laura Docherty (St. Paul, Minn.) in 45th and 48th, respectively. Kayfes crossed the finish line in 20:36 with Docherty on her heels in 20:38.
Minnesota's top six runners all posted sub-21:00 times as senior Katie Moraczewski (White Bear Lake, Minn.) and sophomore Liz Berkholtz (Sun Prairie, Wis.) were the Gophers' third and fourth runners in 20:50, placing 67th and 68th overall. Senior Maggie Bollig (Cross Plains, Wis.) came in at 20:56, good for 75th place, while sophomore Becca Dyson (Roseville, Minn.) was right behind her in 20:57 and 79th place.
The Gophers return to Les Bolstad Course for the sixth annual Jack's Twilight Run at 6 p.m. this Saturday. The 6K run, which is open to the public, honors the late Minnesota equipment manager Jack Johnson. Race-day registration will begin at 4:30 p.m.
The 2013 Big Ten Championship is also on the horizon, set for Sunday, Nov. 3, in West Lafayette, Ind. Purdue University will host the championship at the Boilermaker Cross Country Course. The women's race is scheduled for 10:45 a.m. CT. Admission is free for the event and parking in adjacent lots will be $10.
Gophers in the 2013 National Coaches' Poll
Preseason: No. 19
Sept. 17: No. 20
Sept. 24: No. 19
Oct. 1: No. 23
Oct. 8: No. 22
Oct. 22: No. 15
Gophers in the 2013 Division I Regional Rankings
Preseason: No. 1
Sept. 16: No. 1
Sept. 23: No. 1
Sept. 30: No. 2
Oct. 7: No. 2
Oct. 21: No. 2
Gophers Earn Top-20 NCAA Finish
Minnesota finished 18th in the team race for its highest NCAA finish since 2009.
Berkholtz Honored By USATF Minnesota
Senior Liz Berkholtz was named the USATF Minnesota Female Athlete of the Month for October.
No. 23 Gophers Head to NCAA Championship
Fifth-year seniors Liz Berkholtz and Kaila Urick lead Minnesota into its 11th-straight NCAA Championship this weekend.