Nov. 8, 2004
IOWA CITY, IA –
THIS WEEK – The Iowa men’s cross country squad heads to Peoria, IL to compete in the NCAA midwest regional Saturday with hopes of qualifying for the NCAA championship. Bradley University will host the meet on the Newman Golf course beginning with the women’s 6,000 meter race at 11 am. The men’s 10,000 meter race will begin at 12 pm.
LAST MEET – The University of Iowa hosted the Big Ten Championships October 31 at the Ashton Cross Country Course. The Hawkeye men delivered their best performance since 1967 finishing third (10 teams) with 110 team points.
Sophomore Micah VanDenend was Iowa’s top runner in 14th place in 24:39 on the 8,000 meter course. Freshman Eric MacTaggart ran 24:40 to place 16th. Senior Matt Esche finished in 24:49 for 18th place. Junior Adam Roche (27th), junior Dan Haut (39th), senior Tony Rakaric (43rd) and junior Brian Rae (48th) also competed for the Hawkeyes. Wisconsin’s Simon Bairu won the individual competition in 23:45.
HONORS – Sophomore Micah VanDenend ran to second team all Big-Ten honors with his 14th place finish in 24:39.
The Iowa men are ranked 17th nationally, one of the highest rankings it has ever received by the Men’s Mondo National Top Poll.
Senior Matt Esche has been selected as a candidate for the Big Ten Sportsmanship award which will be determined at the end of the school year.
HAWKEYE COACH Larry Wieczorek – Larry Wieczorek is in his 18th season as Iowa men’s 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 COACH WIECZOREK – “We are moving along well, everyone is healthy and we are getting ready for regionals. Our Big Ten performance gave us a lot of confidence going into this meet. In August we set two goals; one being to be in the top three at the Big Ten meet and second to be in the top 15-20 in the nation. We accomplished our first goal and now it is time to get the second. Our guys feel that they can be the top one or two team at the regional meet. We ran well at the Big Ten Championship, now we have to put our best out there for regionals.”