Women’s cross country takes first in 18th annual Oz Memorial

The team won the race with their top-seven from the Indiana Open not competing.

Redshirt Freshman Abby Kohut-Johnson competes in the Oz Memorial on September 8, 2017 at Les Bolstad Golf Course.

Redshirt Freshman Abby Kohut-Johnson competes in the Oz Memorial on September 8, 2017 at Les Bolstad Golf Course.

Anthony Bryant

When there are people sitting out, somebody has to step up, and that’s exactly what the Gophers did Friday evening. 

Despite Minnesota’s top seven runners from the Indiana Open last week not participating, the Gophers still placed first overall in the team standings. Redshirt freshman Abby Kohut-Jackson led the team and won the 18th annual Oz Memorial Run 6K at Les Bolstad Golf Course in St. Paul.

“We obviously didn’t run our top seven from Indiana, but everyone else that ran today had really great progress,” said head coach Sarah Hopkins.

Kohut finished first out of 63 runners, with a time of 22:35.6, while unattached freshman Anastasia Korzenowski (22:43.4) finished second. Redshirt freshman Zetta Mason (22:51.0) and unattached Gophers rookie Jaycie Thomsen (23:02.6) placed fourth and fifth, respectively, to round out the top five. Overall, the Gophers had seven runners finish in the top seven, three of which were unattached.

“I felt like I went out there and didn’t think about it too much,” Kohut-Jackson said.

Though Kohut-Jackson placed first, she said the team has bigger goals this year.

“There’s always room for improvement,” Kohut-Jackson said. “We have a really tight knit group this year to work with.”

The Gophers handedly won in the overall team standings with 25 points, while North Dakota (54), South Dakota State (62), Drake (95) and Hamline (151) rounded out the top 5.

“We get another two weeks to get back to work and train, and then get ready for the [Roy Griak Invitational],” Hopkins said. “We’ll know a lot more after Griak. This race was kind of like a first quiz, and Griak is our first midterm. Quizzes are important, but they’re not make or break.”