Gophers race to honor Rochelle “Rocky” Racette

Racette is a former Minnesota cross country runner, who died in a car crash.

RS Senior Sarah Klecker competes in the Gopher's final home race of the season on Sunday, Nov. 5 at the Les Bolstad Golf Course.

Jack Rodgers

RS Senior Sarah Klecker competes in the Gopher’s final home race of the season on Sunday, Nov. 5 at the Les Bolstad Golf Course.

Anthony Bryant

After a second-place finish at the Big Ten Championships last Sunday, and with the Midwest Regionals a week away, the Gophers switched gears to host their 37th annual Rocky’s Run Sunday at Les Bolstad Golf Course, where they compete for a cause close to the team.

Rocky’s Run is a six kilometer open race that honors former Gophers runner Rochelle “Rocky” Racette, who died in a car accident in 1981 at the age of 22. The money the race earns then goes into the Rocky Racette Scholarship.

Unattached freshman Jaycie Thomsen finished eighth overall as the top female runner with a time of 22:58.5. She was followed by fellow unattached freshmen Sophie Schmitz (23:41.5), who finished 12th overall, and Tate Sweeney (23:52.3) finished in 14th place. 

“Cross country is all about the battle, and I was proud of the way they battled today,” said head coach Sarah Hopkins.

Sarah Werking (23:56.6) finished in 15th place finish, while Molly Eastman (24:03.3) and Carissa Dock (24:06.0) finished out the top-20 — finishing in 16th and 20th place, respectively. 

With regionals not too far off, the team is looking to keep their momentum going after a runner-up finish at the Big Ten Championships. 

“They all still feel good physically, and emotionally they know we can keep building,” Hopkins said. “I’ve been saying all year that I think we’re a better national level team than we are a Big Ten level team just because of how those two meets are different.”

The Gophers will travel to Ames, Iowa to compete at the 2017 NCAA Midwest Regionals Nov. 10.

“Confidence is key,” Hopkins said. “That’s such a big part of the end of the season is being confident and keeping positive momentum rolling.”