Iowa To Host Invite

Sept. 10, 2007


THIS WEEK — Iowa will host the Hawkeye Invitational Saturday at the Ashton Cross Country Course in Iowa City. The women will run 3,000 meters at 8:30 a.m. and the men 6,000 meters at 9 a.m. Other competing teams are Oregon State, Wichita State and the University of Northern Iowa. Admission to the event is free.

LAST TIME OUT–The University of Iowa cross country teams opened at Western Illinois’ Early Bird Invitational in Macomb, IL. Hawkeye sophomore Jesse Luciano won the men’s race in 25:26. The Iowa men posted five finishers in the top six and had every runner finish in the top 15. Redshirt freshman Tommy Tate placed third (25:51), freshman Mark Battista placed fourth (26:01), sophomore Andy Napier was fifth (26:07) and redshirt freshman Bruce MacTaggart sixth (26:10). The Iowa women were led by sophomore transfer Fionna Fallon in 24:26. Other placers for the Hawkeyes were senior Christine Kotarba (16th-25:01), freshman Kathryn Guess (17th-25:02), freshman Caitlin Wooldridge (23rd-25:50) and sophomore Brittany Graham (26th-26:08).

HAWKEYE WOMEN’S COACH Layne Anderson — Layne Anderson is in his fifth year as head women’s cross country coach at Iowa. In his four years with the cross country team, the Hawkeyes have made strong strides toward recapturing the program’s success of the 1980’s. The program took a major step in that direction in 2006, qualifying for the NCAA Championships, as a team, for the first time in 14 years and posting its highest Big Ten finish (sixth) since 1993. The Hawkeyes also recorded their highest finish at the NCAA Midwest Regional meet (third) under Anderson. Iowa has improved its finish at the NCAA Midwest regional each season, placing ninth in 2003, seventh in 2004, sixth in 2005 and third in 2006.

HAWKEYE MEN’S COACH Larry Wieczorek — Larry Wieczorek is in his 21st season as Iowa men’s cross country coach. During his tenure, the cross country team has placed sixth or higher 10 times at the NCAA Regional Championships, has posted 29 all-region selections and qualified for the NCAA Championships five times. In 2004, the Hawkeyes recorded their highest placing under Wieczorek at the Big Ten (3rd) and NCAA Championships (13th). In 2002, Wieczorek was named Midwest Region Coach of the Year by the United States Cross Country Association after the Hawkeyes won the NCAA Regional for the first time 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 the Iowa record in the indoor two miles.

QUOTING COACH ANDERSON – “We’re excited to be hosting a meet and have Oregon State, Wichita State and UNI in it. This meet will serve as our official beginning; everyone who is healthy will be running. It will be our first opportunity to see how much we’ve improved over the last year.”

QUOTING COACH WIECZOREK – “[Western Illinois] was an excellent start for us. It answered the question of who could step up and how we would manage with new personnel. The team ran well, our goal was to run as a pack, and a group, and they executed it.”

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