Nov. 6, 2003
Vanessa Menze, a member of the UI women’s cross country team, is the latest addition to the 2003-04 McLeodUSA StarHawks team.
A sophomore from Glendale Heights, Illinois, Menze ran well during the 2003 indoor season, finishing 18th in the 3,000 meters at the Panther Classic, but was redshirted prior to the outdoor season to give her a chance to develop. UI Cross Country Coach Layne Anderson believes this will give Menze a chance to mature in a way that will have very positive results for her in the future.
“Vanessa has already made a lot of progress and by the time she’s a senior I feel confident she’ll have improved in a way we that will make all of us, but especially her, feel very proud.”
Iowa Coach Layne Anderson
“Vanessa has already made a lot of progress,” says Anderson, “and by the time she’s a senior I feel confident she’ll have improved in a way we that will make all of us, but especially her, feel very proud.”
Anderson’s high hopes for Menze stem in part from the fact that she is so dedicated to her sport.
“Vanessa is very quiet and unassuming, “Anderson continued, “but she is also very persistent and hard-working. Maybe more than that, though, she is so very coachable; she gives you her undivided attention when you talk with her. You can see her soaking up every word you say, and then watch her apply your instructions to her running.”
Menze has earned the respect of her teammates with her hard work and determination as well, and was chosen to represent the team on the Iowa Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, a group of student-athletes from each varsity sport who help to shape Athletic Department policies and procedures and to initiate department-wide outreach programs. Menze has an open major, but is concentrating her coursework in biology.
“She’s just a great young woman-a super nice person,” Anderson says. “It’s a pleasure to coach someone who is as appreciative and easy to be around as Vanessa is.”