Nov. 13, 2004
IOWA CITY, IA – Peoria, IL – The University of Iowa men’s and women’s cross country teams earned top ten finishes at the NCAA Midwest Regional Championship today at the Newman Golf Course on the campus of Bradley University. The men’s team finished third (21 teams) for it’s second consecutive year with 87 team points. Out of 153 runners all seven Hawkeyes finished in the top 40. The Iowa women improved two places from last year finishing seventh (26 teams) with 235 team points.
Junior Dan Haut led the Hawkeyes in the men’s 10,000-meter race with a 10th place finish. Haut finished the course in 30:55:16, the 11th fastest time in school history. Senior Matt Esche finished 12th in 30:58:08 and the 12th fastest Iowa time. Junior teammate Adam Roche finished just three seconds behind Esche in 31:01:49 for 14th place. Senior Tony Rakaric placed 24th in 31:19:98. Sophomore Micah VanDenend and freshman Eric MacTaggart finished 27th and 28th respectably in 31:22:95 and 31:24:02. Sophomore Jeff Kent rounded out the top 40 perfomance placing 38th in 31:34:89.
The Hawkeyes finished just 39 points behind regional champion University of Minnesota. The Gophers were led by two top ten competitors, first place finisher Andrew Carlson (29:48:44) and third place finisher Ryan Malmin (30:09:96). Oklahoma State placed second, switching places with Minnesota who placed second last year. The Cowboys finished with 79 team points, just 6 points ahead of the third-place Hawkeyes.
The Iowa women’s seventh place finish was a 48 point improvement from last year. Sophomore Nikki Chapple led the Hawkeyes for the fifth consecutive meet this year. Chapple completed the 6,000-meter race in 21:04:36, 12th overall. The Melbourne, Australia native ran into school history, running the fastest 6,000 meter time for Iowa. Freshman Meghan Armstrong ran the second fastest time in the Iowa record books in 21:39:04, placing 36th. Fellow freshman Racheal Marchand turned in a time of 21:45:07 for 41st place. Sophomore Shannon Stanley finished 65th in 22:17:68 while senior Michelle Sokol finished 95th in 22:49:69. Sophomore Christine Kotarba (110th, 23:03:55) and freshman Molly Esche (121st, 23:16:94) rounded out the Hawkeye performance.
The University of Missouri claimed the women’s team championship finishing the meet with 52 team points and earning an automatic bid to the NCAA Championships. Illinois earned the second and final automatic bid finishing with 93 team points. The Illini claimed the individual champion in Cassie Hunt. Hunt finished the course in 20:21:29. Faithy Kamangila of Oral Roberts University finished second overall in 20:30:07 while Oklahoma State’s Mary Davies took third in 20:34:11.
The Iowa men narrowly missed an opportunity to earn an automatic bid to the NCAA Championships by placing third overall. The top two teams in each regional championship earn automatic bids to the NCAA meet in Terre Haute, IN November 22. The Hawkeyes could still receive an at-large invitation to compete at the national meet but will have to wait until Monday to learn their post season fate. Thirteen at-large selections are distributed to complete the 31-team field.