Hawkeyes To Host Eastern Illinois

Aug. 30, 2004

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THIS WEEK – The University of Iowa men’s and women’s cross country teams will host a dual meet with Eastern Illinois Friday at the Bill & James Ashton Cross Country Course. The women will begin the meet at 6 pm running 3,000 meters and the men 6:45 pm running 6,000 meters. 2004 SEASON PREVIEW – The Iowa women return a talented core with the potential to challenge the Big Ten’s best. Fifteen Hawkeye runners return while six newcomers will see their first collegiate action Friday. Nikki Chapple is the top returnee, and holds the 6,000-meter school record. Shannon Stanley and Jenni Capista are two returnees who competed in all six races last season. The newcomers will add strength and depth to an impressive group of runners. The Iowa men return ten runners from the 2003 seson with seven newcomers. Junior Brian Rae is returning after leading the Hawkeyes in 2003 with individual places of 13th at the Big Ten Championships and seventh at the NCAA Midwest Regional. He was the only Hawkeye to compete at the NCAA Championships. Senior Tony Rakarik returns after leading the team in the Big Ten meet. Rae and Rakarik shared all-Big Ten Honors last season. This group has been labeled as the most talented at Iowa in decades by Head Coach Larry Wieczorek. HAWKEYE COACH LARRY WIECZOREK – Larry Wieczorek is in his 18th season as Iowa men’s head cross country coach. In the past six years, Iowa has placed no lower than sixth at the NCAA Regional, including a first place finish at the 2002 NCAA Regional, the highest finish in school history. Wieczorek was a two-time Big Ten champion and a member of Iowa’s last Big Ten track championship team in 1967. Wieczorek owns Iowa records in the outdoor 5,000-meters and the indoor two mile. HAWKEYE COACH LAYNE ANDERSON – Layne Anderson enters his second season as Iowa women’s head cross country coach and assistant women’s track coach. In his first season at Iowa, Anderson guided the cross country team to a ninth-place finish at the NCAA Midwest Regional. Anderson served as the head men’s and women’s cross country coach and assistant track coach at Auburn University prior to joining the Iowa staff. During his tenure at Auburn, he coached seven all-Americans, two SEC champions and 58 academic all-SEC performers. QUOTING WIECZOREK – “The summer is so critical in cross country because it is the first half of the season. Our guys did a good job of doing their homework and they are well prepared. We have the potential to be a very good team. We do have a few recovering from injuries, but we should be ready for the first meet.” QUOTING COACH ANDERSON – “I’m very optimistic about our team this year. I plan to split up the team for the first two meets to get an idea of the final spots. We have some people on the bubble I want to see run. This meet will be a great chance for the younger runners to race. The next two weeks will give us an indication of how good we will be.”