Kyle Doperalski hopes to become a frontrunner for Nebraska in 2004. Returning to the cross country course for the first time since 2002, he will provide leadership for the Huskers, after being voted co-captain by his teammates. After proving he can run with the best of the conference on the track last spring, Doperalski looks to prove it on the course this fall.
"Kyle has made great improvements since he came to Nebraska," Coach Jay Dirksen said. "He has a great work ethic, attitude and leadership ability. He had a foot injury over the summer and his season will depend on how quickly he can get back into top racing condition."
An injury forced Doperalski off the starting line during both the cross country and indoor track seasons.
Outdoors, Doperalski recovered to run the 3,000-meter steeplechase, an event which he focused on during his redshirt track season of 2003. Getting in better shape each week, Doperalski kept improving his time each race. He placed sixth in a career-best time of 9:13.75 at the Big 12 Championships, helping the Huskers to the conference title.
A transfer from Cloud County Community College, Doperalski’s impact on the men’s cross country team was immediate. He garnered a first-place team finish at the season-opening Creighton/Nebraska-Omaha Invitational. In the next three meets, he finished fifth for the team each time. Needing to close the gap between himself and the top four, Doperalski rose to the occasion in the postseason. At the NCAA Midwest Regional, he turned in a time of 31:03.89, his season-best on a 10,000-meter course, on his way to a 41st-place finish.
Doperalski redshirted both the indoor and outdoor track seasons, but ran unattached and set personal bests at every distance he competed in during 2003. He highlighted his abbreviated track season by earning a championship in the 10,000-meter run (30:43.92) at the Kansas Relays.
Cloud County Community College
Earning five NJCAA All-America honors at Cloud County (Kan.) Community College under Coach Harry Kitchener, Doperalski placed fourth at the 2001 NJCAA Division II Cross Country Championships, improving on his 20th-place finish in 2000.
On the track, Doperalski recorded a third-place finish while running a season-best time in the NJCAA indoor 5,000 meters (15:12.78) and a fifth-place finish in the NJCAA outdoor 10,000 meters during his sophomore year. As a freshman, Doperalski placed eighth indoors in the 5,000 meters and seventh outdoors in the 10,000 meters at the NJCAA Championships. In each of the NJCAA Championships, Doperalski finished higher than his seed position entering the championships. Competing at the 2002 Texas Relays, Doperalski ran a season-best time of 32:07.33 in the 10,000-meter run.
As a student-athlete, Doperalski was a four-time NJCAA Academic All-American and was also honored for student sportscasting play-by-play by the Kansas Association of Broadcasters.
Doperalski ran cross country and track for coach Rick Patton while attending Wamego High School in Wamego, Kan. He earned Kansas Class 4A all-state honors in basketball, cross country and track his senior year.
During his senior year, Doperalski led the cross country team to a second-place finish at the 1999 Kansas 4A state championships, finishing third as an individual, improving on his fifth-place finish from his junior year. The Red Raiders won the 4A state title in 1997, and never finished out of the top three in his career.
In track, Doperalski had high school personal-best times of 4:29 in the 1,600-meter run and 9:46 in the 3,200-meter run. He finished third both his junior and senior years at the 4A state meet in the 3,200-meter run. Doperalski was a member of the National Honor Society.
The son of Tom and Joanie Doperalski, Kyle was born Sept. 1, 1981, in Manhattan, Kan. Doperalski is working toward his degree in broadcasting and carries a 3.09 GPA.