Three Hawkeyes Earn All-Region Honors

Nov. 14, 2009

SPRINGFIELD, MO – The University of Iowa cross country teams continued the championship portion of the season Saturday at the 2009 NCAA Midwest Regional, hosted by Missouri State University. The women finished fifth with 160 points in the 6,000-meters and the men finished sixth with 170 points in the 10,000-meters. Sophomore Brooke Eilers was the women’s top finisher (13th, 21:14.3), earning all-region honors in the process with her season-best finish. The men had two athletes earn all-region honors with freshman Jeffrey Thode (21st, 31:27.9) and junior Mark Battista (25th, 31:42.4) both crossing the line in the top 25.

The women were ranked fourth in the region coming into Saturday’s competition, a spot they had held all season. With Eilers leading the squad, the rest of the women stuck close to each other and finished in packs. Junior Amanda Hardesty (35th, 21:49.7) and senior Hannah Roeder (36th, 21:51.5) finished back-to-back as Iowa’s second and third highest finishers.

The men finished higher than their seeded ranking coming into Saturday’s action. The men had been ranked seventh all season in the Midwest Region. This is the first time that Thode or Battista have earned all-region honors, and their finishes are both collegiate bests. The men’s next highest finisher was senior Jesse Luciano (40th, 32:06.0).

Athletes not earning automatic bids to the NCAA Championships with have a chance to earn an at-large bid, with the winners determined early next week. Minnesota won the women’s competition, while the men’s top spot went to Oklahoma State.

The NCAA Championships will be held November 23 at Indiana State University in Terre Haute, IN. Events are slated to begin at 11:00 AM CST.