Nov. 21, 2013
MINNEAPOLIS – University of Minnesota senior Kaitlin Mincke (Farmington, Minn.) has received the 2013 Big Ten Sportsmanship Award, given annually to a representative of each of the conference's 12 women's cross country programs.
The student-athletes chosen are individuals who have distinguished themselves through sportsmanship and ethical behavior. These student-athletes must also be in good academic standing and have demonstrated good citizenship outside of the sports-competition setting.
"Kait has been awesome, especially this year as a fifth-year senior," head coach Sarah Hopkins said. "As someone who wasn't necessarily a top-top runner on the team for the first couple years of her career, she has shown the rest of the team that if you just keep with it, keep striding, and keep believing in yourself, you can do a lot of really special things.
"That's been a great thing to show some of the younger kids. I think the underclassmen see the rest of that fifth-year senior group as just always having been good, and I think they all remember where Mincke was last year and how far she's come. She's a really great example of someone who sticks to it and has been able to get better every day."
Mincke raced in five meets this season, including her first Big Ten Championship meet. She posted back-to-back career-best 6K times at the Griak Invitational (22:17.6) and the Wisconsin adidas Invitational (21:21). Mincke also took ninth overall at the SDSU Classic 5K and 10th overall at the Oz Memorial 6K. At the conference meet, Mincke came in 37th overall in 21:57.2 as the Gophers' eighth runner. She served as an alternate for the NCAA Midwest Regional and will do the same at this weekend's NCAA championship.
Mincke and the Gophers are set to make their ninth-straight NCAA championship appearance at the 2013 NCAA Championships hosted by Indiana State this Saturday.
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