Minnesota grabs perferct score in S.D.

Sophomore Jamie Cheever led the pack, finishing the race with a 17:20 mark.

Mark Remme

One might imagine the Minnesota women’s cross country team likes to run in Brookings, S.D.

The eighth-ranked Gophers earned a perfect score at the South Dakota State Jackrabbit Invite on Saturday, showing little sign of weakness in a rather impressive rout of eight other opponents.

up next

women’s Cross Country Roy Griak Invitational
when: 12:55 p.m. Sept. 29
where: Falcon Heights

The South Dakota State alumni team was the closest squad to Minnesota’s perfect score, but it was well short of creating a competitive finish, as the Gophers finished with a 15-78 advantage over the second-place Jackrabbits’ alums.

Sophomore Jamie Cheever led the way for the Gophers by finishing the course with a 17:20 mark.

It was her second win of the season. Cheever won the Oz Memorial Run last weekend at Les Bolstad Golf Course, a meet that featured three of the same opponents Minnesota ran against in Brookings – South Dakota State, North Dakota State and Minnesota State-Mankato.

“From the time (Cheever) put on a pair of track shoes here, she’s done some pretty amazing things,” coach Gary Wilson said. “It just continues Ö she’s just a solid kid and is very talented.”

Wilson has talked at great lengths about the depth his team sports this year compared to recent memory. His team backed up his words Saturday.

There was a 35-second spread between Cheever’s first-place finish and Heather Dorniden’s fifth-place run. The margin between first place and fifth was 16 seconds better than last week’s showing at the Oz Memorial.

Julie Schwengler, who rounded out the top 10 for Minnesota, finished just 51 seconds behind Cheever.

“I felt really strong (running) but it was also fun to see how everyone else finished,” Cheever said. “We’re all very competitive but we also encourage each other throughout the race.”

Albertson-Junkans returns

Senior All-American Ladia Albertson-Junkans returned to the Gophers lineup Saturday after missing last week’s Oz Memorial Run.

Albertson-Junkans was scratched from running last weekend due to what Wilson described as flu-like symptoms. He said he didn’t want to risk her running while she was ill during the early-season meet.

In Brookings, Albertson-Junkans took fourth place with a 17:53 finish.

Wilson said Albertson-Junkans looked strong running at the Jackrabbit Invite and helped solidify the team’s performance from top to bottom.

“Emotionally, she’s such a positive influence that it just bonds everybody,” Wilson said. “She ran a really solid race and is starting to get on top of her game. She’s a huge factor for us.”