No. 20 Women’s Cross Country takes 10th at Nuttycombe Wisconsin Invitational

Head coach Sarah Hopkins said the Big Ten meet in two weeks is going to be a dog fight.

by Anthony Bryant

Madeline Strandemo and the Hasz sisters highlighted the ranked Gophers once again.

No. 20 Minnesota finished 10th in the overall team standings for the Nuttycombe Wisconsin Invitational at the Badgers’ Thomas Zimmer Championship Course Friday, led by top 25 performances from Strandemo, Megan Hasz, and Bethany Hasz. 

The Gophers top-four runners all posted personal bests in the six kilometer race, as Strandemo led the way for the team with a time of 20:14.5 and a 20th place finish. This moves her up the list for third all-time in the Gophers 6K. 

Megan Hasz (20:16.0) and Bethany Hasz (20:16.9) finished with personal bests of their own, placing 23rd and 25th in the race. The two added on to Minnesota’s legacy along with Strandemo, and moved to fourth and sixth place on the Gophers all-time 6K list. 

“It’s hard to talk about my individual performance without talking about Megan and Bethany,” Strandemo said. “We ran together today and basically finished with the same times. Having each other, right next to each other, was encouraging and kept us in the hunt.”

Bailey Ness put up her own personal best time at the meet with 21:20.2, finishing 104th, while Emily Betz (21:38.6) placed 141st to round out the top five for the Gophers. 

The Gophers finished 10th out of 33 total teams competing Friday. No. 3 New Mexico (87 points) took first place in the team standings with three top seven runners, while No. 6 San Francisco (126), No. 7 N.C. State (169), No. 13 Boise State (233), and No. 8 Providence (253) made up the top five. 

“I’m really proud of the women today,” said head coach Sarah Hopkins. “It was kind of the same theme, our top three ran really well. I really think our four and five did a much better job of putting themselves in the right spot.”

The Gophers will race at the Big Ten Championships Oct. 29. With that in mind, the team looks to stay focus and stay away from distractions as the season comes to a close. 

“I saw a Big Ten coach out here today and she just looked at me and said, ‘man, the Big Ten meet is going to be pretty crazy.’ It’s going to be a dogfight like it always is,” Hopkins said.