Oct. 17, 2009
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TERRE HAUTE, IN —The University of Iowa cross country squads were in action Saturday in Terre Haute, IN, for the Pre National Invite. The women’s team finished eighth in the Blue 6,000-meter race in a field of 37 teams earning 283 points. Junior Brooke Eilers was Iowa’s top finisher at 29th with a season-best time of 21:17.6. The men’s team placed 16th out of 34 teams in the Blue 8,000-meter race with 422 points. Once again, freshman Jeffrey Thode was the leader of the Hawkeye pack, finishing 19th overall with a time of 24:15.9.
This is the second time this season that Eilers has led the Hawkeyes. Sophomore Betsy Flood was the next finisher, coming in at 46th with a time of 21:33.4. Flood’s time is a new career best, beating her previous best 6,000-meter time of 21:37 from last year’s Pre Nationals. This places her ninth all-time at Iowa in the 6,000-meters. Iowa’s next finisher, junior Amanda Hardesty also earned a new career-best mark of 21:48.9, crossing the line at 65th. Head Women’s Coach Layne Anderson spoke highly of his team’s performance.
“I thought it was a very solid day of running. We had some very outstanding performances. I really see a lot of potential in this team moving forward if we compete well down the stretch.”
Thode continued his stellar debut season, leading the Hawkeyes for the fourth consecutive time this season. Senior Jesse Luciano was the next Hawkeye to cross the line, finishing 68th at 24:51. Junior Mark Battista was next at 87th, earning a season-best finish of 25:02.5.
“I thought we ran well, but we’re not totally happy with how we did,” said Men’s Head Coach Larry Wieczorek. “We made progress but I think that we can run better. I liked our individual efforts, we had a great day from guys like Thode and Battista, so hopefully this leads to bigger and better things down the road.”
Iowa’s next meet is the Big Ten Championships on Sunday, Nov 1. This year’s championships are hosted by Penn State University at University Park, PA. Events are slated to begin at approximately 11 a.m. CT.