Kimberly Golding serves as track and field team inspiration

The senior serves as a captain on the team this year, but had been a leader long before.

Kimberly Golding continues running after winning the Women's hurdle event at the Field House on Jan. 23, 2016.

Sam Harper, Daily File Photo

Kimberly Golding continues running after winning the Women's hurdle event at the Field House on Jan. 23, 2016.

Alyssa Hodenfield

The Minnesota women’s track and field team will head to the Meyo Invite in South Bend, Ind. this weekend.

One athlete to look out for this weekend is senior captain Kimberly Golding in the hurdles events.

Golding most recently added to the eight titles won by the Gophers at the Jack Johnson Classic last weekend by winning the 60-meter hurdles event.

“I looked at my time [at that meet] and was like, ‘wow I’m further than I was at this time last year,’” Golding said. “I think it’s because I’m healthy, and I’ve taken a different approach since I’m a senior and trying to do the right thing to be a good athlete.”

Golding’s athletic contributions to the women’s team are obvious. What happens behind the scenes, though, makes Kimberly a favorite among her teammates and the coaching staff.

“She’s a very caring young woman. She has a connection with people and a good spirit about her,” director of women’s track and field and cross country Matt Bingle said. “My overall view of her is just that she’s very caring and people are drawn to her.”

The senior is originally from Portmore, Jamaica and transferred to Minnesota. She competed for Central Arizona College for two seasons before joining the Gophers.

“I knew her in high school and recruited some of her teammates,” Bingle said. “I stayed in contact with her, and it became a good thing. She found a good connection with the women on the team and the coaching staff.”

Golding said when she was in the transfer process she looked at Minnesota and Nebraska. She ultimately chose Minnesota because of the team dynamic.

“It’s like a family,” Golding said. “Even though we have different groups in our team, you can find different people that you can connect to.”

Golding placed fourth at last year’s indoor Big Ten Championship in the 60-meter hurdles with a career-best time of 8.18 seconds — a time that earned her the Minnesota program record for the third time that season.

Golding posted a time only .02 seconds shy of that program record at the Jack Johnson Classic last weekend.

“She’s just blessed with the ability, and she’s very focused. She wants to do things the right way,” Bingle said. “She’s just a talented young lady, and she’s using her God-given abilities the best she can.”

Golding said she’s ready to compete this weekend and hopes to improve based on her success last weekend at the Jack Johnson Classic.

“I think she wants to do the best she can for the team,” Bingle said. “She loves the sport of track and field and has a lot of little dreams this year. Right now we’re right where we need to be in terms of getting after and achieving those.”