Minnesota wins first road meet of the season

Both the men’s and women’s teams placed first in their respective meets.

Aidan Coleman

It was only a matter of time before the Gophers captured their first victory of the season.

Minnesota, led by redshirt junior Becca Dyson, scored 29 points and edged out BYU by six to win the BYU Autumn Classic on Saturday.

Dyson finished second overall with a time of 18:02.9 — seven seconds off the lead of BYU’s Andrea Harrison.

Dyson was the first of five Minnesota runners to crack the top 10.

Fellow redshirt junior Liz Berkholtz finished seventh as the third Gophers finisher.

“It’s great for the team to come away with a win,” Berkholtz said. “We ran a smart race. I think we pulled off a great team
effort.”

Head coach Sarah Hopkins said the upperclassmen helped keep everyone relaxed on Minnesota’s first road trip of the season.

“[The upperclassmen] have traveled a lot,” Hopkins said. “We had to keep it light and relaxed. … I think the underclassmen [handled] it about as well as you could ask them to.”

Hopkins said the team has a good amount of time to get their training in for their next meet, the Roy Griak Invitational on Sept. 27.

“We have to be smart this week coming off of travel,” Hopkins said. “I like the way our schedule is playing out.”

Berkholtz called the upcoming Roy Griak Invitational the team’s first midterm and said Minnesota is in a great spot heading into it.

“[The] Griak is our No. 1 focus at the beginning of the season,” Dyson said. “We didn’t want to have any race that would put us in a well where we’re not able to train for two weeks.”

Men win UC Riverside Invitational

Like the women, the men’s team also had success this weekend.

Minnesota edged out Southern Utah by five points to win the UC Riverside Invitational.

Junior Aaron Bartnik led the Gophers with a time of 24:07.1. He placed second overall, 11 seconds behind Central Arizona’s Harry Mulenga.

“I felt strong,” Bartnik said. “I’m excited to see what I’m capable of as the team progresses.”

The surprise of the day came from redshirt freshman Charlie Lawrence, who placed fifth overall in his first official race with Minnesota.

“I’m pleased to this point — knock on wood — at how smoothly things have gone,” head coach Steve Plasencia said. “For [Lawrence] it was a good race.”