Hawkeyes Open Season In Impressive Fashion

Sept. 3, 2010

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IOWA CITY, Iowa – – The University of Iowa cross country teams opened their 2010 season Friday evening at the Ashton Cross Country Course in Iowa City. The Hawkeyes battled Illinois State and Missouri-Kansas City, with both the men and women’s squads posting double dual victories. The Iowa women’s team defeated Illinois State (16-47) and Missouri-Kansas City (15-50), while the Hawkeye men posted identical 20-35 wins over the Redbirds and Kangaroos.

Iowa’s Lauren Hardesty won the women’s 3K with a collegiate best time of 10:21. The senior tied her twin sister Amanda for the fourth best 3K time in school history. Hawkeye junior Betsy Flood finished second with a time of 10:24. Brooke Eilers recorded a third place finish. The junior ran a time of 10:27. Amanda Hardesty finished fourth with a time of 10:34. Additionally, McKenzie Melander finished sixth in the overall standings, turning in a time of 10:38.

“We had a great team effort,” said Head Women’s Coach Layne Anderson. “We worked on running as a pack, and we had five girls together with some support behind them, so I was pleased. I feel like this is a good indicator of our team. We know we need to get better. If we keep racing like this, with this group, I think we will be in great shape down the stretch.”

Illinois State’s Matthew Mroczynski won the men’s 6K with a time of 18:47. Sophomore Jeff Thode was Iowa’s top finisher in the event for the second straight year. He recorded a third place finish with a time of 19:04 after winning the event a year ago. Hawkeye team captain Mark Battista finished fourth, turning in a time of 19:07. James Paul finished fifth overall. The junior recorded a time of 19:10. Fellow junior Chase Kadlec finished sixth in the event, clocking a time of 19:31. Freshman Andrew Smith made an impressive debut in his first college competition. Smith finished seventh, running a 19:35.

“The fact that we ran well as a team was a big positive,” said Head Men’s Coach Larry Wieczorek. “Our fifth man is a freshman, and I thought he competed very well. We know we have work to do, but I thought this was a good start.”

Iowa will return to action Sept. 18 at Ashton Cross Country Course in Iowa City. The Black and Gold will host the 2010 Iowa Invitational, with the men’s 8K beginning at 8 a.m. and the women’s 3K following at approximately 8:45 a.m. Admission is free.

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