Monday, August 27, 2012
Volunteer assistant head coach Sarah Hesser said the team is hoping to improve upon last year’s fifth-place finish in the Big Ten and 27th-place finish at the NCAA Championships.
“We’re going to be looking for a solid couple of frontrunners,” Hesser said. “I think that’s the thing that will elevate us, hopefully, from being a team that qualifies for the national meet to being a team that is in contention to win a Big Ten title or a team that’s in contention to be in the top 15 in the country.”
With All American Stephanie Price graduating it opens up the competition for the number one spot and creates a different team dynamic. Hesser believes that Docherty is one of the favorites to contend for that slot. She had a breakout year on the track, finishing fourth in the 10,000 meters and seventh in the 5,000 meters at the Big Ten meet.
Competition for the top seven places will be strong. In addition to the runners mentioned above, NCAA Regional runner Rachel Drake and Big Ten Championships runner Missa Varpness also return from last season. A handful of others, including freshmen Jamie Piepenburg and Haley Johnson, could push for a place in the top seven.
The Big Ten meet will be the Gophers’ major focus during the early part of the season.
“I really firmly believe that this group can put five in the top 25 at the conference meet,” Hesser said.
Following camp, the Gophers will run an intrasquad meet on Saturday, September. 1, at 9:30 AM at Les Bolstad Golf Course.
Posted by jdf at 10:25 AM