Minnesota hosted open Twilight Run at home over the weekend

Molly Eastman was the top finisher for the Gophers during the meet.

Redshirt sophomore Courtney Alama runs in the Jack Johnson Women's Gold Race at the Roy Griak Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 24, 2016 at Les Bolstad golf course.

Chelsea Gortmaker, Daily File Photo

Redshirt sophomore Courtney Alama runs in the Jack Johnson Women’s Gold Race at the Roy Griak Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 24, 2016 at Les Bolstad golf course.

Alyssa Hodenfield

The Minnesota women’s cross country team hosted the ninth annual Jack’s Twilight Run on Friday evening.

Twenty-one Gophers runners posted career-best 6K times in the meet, with redshirt sophomore Molly Eastman finishing first of the Minnesota representatives.

“We’ve been tapering, so I feel like that has a lot to do with [people getting PR’s],” Eastman said. “We backed off on mileage since it’s towards the end of the season, and it was just a really nice day to run.”

The Minnesota team was led by redshirt sophomore Molly Eastman (21:32.6), followed by redshirt sophomore Courtney Alama (21:38.5) and graduate student Carlin Schulz (21:54.0).

The meet was open to the public, so Eastman finished first of all Gophers runners, but also first in front of two other women competing in the race.

“It felt good, and I was definitely excited,” Eastman said. “I pushed myself, and I did get a PR, but knowing I can actually run that fast is kind of cool.”

Although Jack’s Run took place at Les Bolstad Course, the route for the 6K race was different, and in Eastman’s opinion, a bit easier than the Roy Griak course earlier in the season.

“It’s a lot flatter,” Eastman said. “There aren’t as many hills too, so I think that’s another reason why we saw PR’s too.”

The run honors former University of Minnesota equipment manager, Jack Johnson, who worked for the university for over 30 years before he died of cancer in February 2006.

Jack’s Run features Minnesota as its only collegiate team and is open to the public with free registration. The Gophers ran with a total of 41 runners. Joe Moore of the Twin Cities Track Club came in first for the whole race with a time of 17:59.1.

Eastman said this run also played a part in deciding which runners will take the finals spots on the Big Ten team. The final two added to the team were Eastman and Alama.

Both the Minnesota men’s and women’s cross country teams will host the Big Ten Championships on Sunday, Oct. 30 at Les Bolstad Course.