Sept. 20, 2004
IOWA CITY, IA –
THIS WEEK – The University of Iowa men’s cross country team travels to Minneapolis, MN, Saturday to compete in the Roy Griak Invitational. Iowa will be one of 26 teams competing in the 8,000 meter, Division I Gold Race begining at 11:20 a.m.
LAST WEEK – The Iowa men dominated the Hawkeye Triangular defeating Loyola 17-39 and Wisconsin 27-28 in the 8,000 meters. Senior Matt Eshce led Iowa, running to a third place finish in 25:22. In a close finish freshman Eric MacTaggart and junior Dan Haut finished fourth and fifth, both running times of 25:23. Sophomores Micah VanDenend and Jeff Kent placed eight and ninth in 25:39 and 25:46. Senior Tony Rakaric finished 16th and freshman Jonathan Ruud placed 18th. Wisconsin sophomore Bobby Lockhart won the race in 25:10 followed by teammate Ben Gregory placing second in 25:22.
HONORS – Hawkeye senior Matt Esche was named Big Ten Men’s Cross Country Athlete of the Week, September 8, Eshce won Iowa’s dual meet over Eastern Illinois, running the 6,000-meter course in a personal-best 18:45. The senior from Waukesha, WI, is a two-time all-region performer. Iowa defeated Eastern Illinois, 17-41, claiming five of the top six spots.
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 still owns Iowa records in the outdoor 5,000-meters and the indoor two mile.
QUOTING WIECZOREK – “This meet is very important to our team. It is a mini-national meet with many ranked teams competing. By running well we can pick up at large points for the NCAA and we can pick up wins against nationally ranked teams. It is important to do well at this meet, a top ten finish will pick up some points for us. From there we can only get better, preparing to do well at the pre-National meet. Our guys are looking good. We have a few coming off injuries who will get better as the season progresses. This has allowed freshman Eric MacTaggart to develop more. I am really happy where we are right now and confident about this week.”