Nov. 15, 2008
STILLWATER, OK – Iowa senior Racheal Marchand finished first place overall (20:32.05) in Saturday’s Midwest Regional Championship, hosted by Oklahoma State University. The women’s team posted a fourth place finish (126 pts.) in the 6,000 meters and the men earned a seventh place finish (189 pts.) in the 10,000 meters. The Hawkeyes failed to earn automatic team bids to the NCAA Championships, but will be sending at least two individual runners, including automatic qualifiers Racheal Marchand and junior Jesse Luciano, as well as any others that earn a bid, which will be determined early in the week. The top overall team for the women was Minnesota (57 pts.) and the top men’s team was Oklahoma State (42 pts.)
Marchand’s championship marks the third year in a row that an Iowa runner has taken home the women’s title, with Diane Nukuri winning back-to-back championships in 2006 and 2007. Head Coach Layne Anderson says he couldn’t be more pleased with the way Marchand’s senior season is turning out. After red-shirting the 2007 cross-country season, Marchand has been the top Iowa runner in every race she has competed in this season, including three top-five individual finishes. Along with Marchand, graduate student Sarah Spencer Perry (22nd, 21:33.95) earned USTFCCCA all-region honors.
The men’s team gave an outstanding effort as well, with junior Jesse Luciano (15th, 31:32.55) and senior Eric MacTaggart (21st, 31:42.90) earning USTFCCCA all-region honors. Head Coach Larry Wieczorek was pleased with the team’s performance and says finishing the season on a high note will give positive momentum going into the track season in the spring, especially for the seniors who will look to finish their seasons on a strong note. The top individual finisher was Minnesota’s Hassan Mead (31:15.65).
The Midwest Regional Championship also marked the next chapter in the fifth annual Hy-Vee Cy-Hawk Series. Iowa and Iowa State both earned two points towards the series, bringing the total score to 7-4 favoring Iowa. The Hawkeyes and the Cyclones have both won two of the yearly series. The rivalry will continue on Dec. 6 when the teams’ wrestling squads will meet in Iowa City.
Iowa’s individual qualifiers will compete in the NCAA Championships in Terre Haute, IN, on Nov. 24.