For Dyson, the sport is in the family

The Gophers star’s mother and sister both ran collegiately.

Aidan Coleman

When one’s parents are both runners who met at the track, it’s a pretty good indicator of what the future will hold.

Such is the case with Gophers redshirt junior runner Becca Dyson.

“My parents met at the Austin Track Club when my mom was at [graduate] school,” Dyson said. “I guess [my dad] was the local ‘cool guy.’”

However, Dyson didn’t always know she wanted to be a runner. She said her parents encouraged her to try several different sports.

“Running wasn’t my go-to sport,” Dyson said. “I played soccer all the way up until my junior year of high school, and that’s really what I wanted to do.”

But with time, she began to see track and field and cross country as her best option.

Dyson’s mother, Marybeth, ran track and cross country for Wisconsin, and her sister, Katie, ran for Minnesota.

Now, Becca Dyson is one of the top runners on a young Minnesota team. With more pressure on her this upcoming season, she said she isn’t too nervous about expectations for her.

“I feel a lot more comfortable and confident,” Dyson said. “I’ve been around our system a long time, and I trust in our coach and her cross country training system.”

Head coach Sarah Hopkins said she has big goals for Dyson in the season.

“[Dyson] was 18th in the region last year,” Hopkins said. “Improving on that would be great.”

Hopkins also said being named to the All-Big Ten team is on Dyson’s radar, but that could prove challenging in a strong field of runners.

Teammate Kaila Urick said she typically runs with Dyson during practice and sees how hard she trains.

“She definitely is one of [the runners] who likes to run harder,” Urick said. “That helps me be able to run my runs faster.”

Urick said she expects Dyson to be one of the team’s best runners.

Dyson finished second at last week’s intrasquad meet behind redshirt junior Liz Berkholtz.

Dyson and Berkholtz are the only two returning Gophers runners who competed in last year’s NCAA championships.

Now, at the top of the team, Dyson will be a leader on the course.

“She’s a really good student of the sport,” Hopkins said. “She sees the big picture.”