Hawkeyes Win Iowa Invitational

Sept. 18, 2010

IOWA CITY, Iowa – – The University of Iowa cross country teams competed in their second event of the season Saturday, hosting the Iowa Invitational at the Ashton Cross Country Course in Iowa City. The Hawkeyes battled Northern Iowa and Wichita State, with both the men and women’s squads posting victories. The Iowa women’s team recorded a score of 22, downing Wichita State (35) and Northern Iowa (83). The Hawkeye men’s team tallied a total score of 19, defeating Northern Iowa (55) and Wichita State (65).

The top three finishers in the men’s 8K were all Hawkeyes. Sophomore Jeff Thode won the event with a time of 25:05. Hawkeye team captain Mark Battista finished second. The senior turned in a time of 25:15. Sam Bailin saw his first action of the year. The junior finished third with a time of 25:39. James Paul finished fifth overall. The junior recorded a time of 25:59. Three Hawkeye freshmen saw action Saturday as well. Jon Michael Brandt, competing in his first collegiate event, finished eighth overall with a time of 26:22. Right behind Brandt was fellow freshman Nick Young. Young finished ninth, turning in a time of 26:28. Andrew Smith recorded a time of 26:44, finishing 11th overall. In addition, Cameron Rieger finished 14th after posting a time of 27:14.

“We answered a little bit more of our questions today,” said Head Men’s Coach Larry Wieczorek. “We got Sam Bailin back in there. Jon Michael Brandt ran well. Jeff Thode looked like his old self again and Mark Battista ran well. We have the ability to be a good team before the season is up, and I think today we took a step in that journey.”

Tonya Nero of Wichita State won the women’s 3K, posting a time of 10:15. The next four finishers were all Hawkeyes. Brooke Eilers finished second, a split-second behind Nero. The junior ran a career-best time of 10:15. The time is the third best 3K time in Hawkeye women’s history. Fellow junior Betsy Flood finished third, posting a career-best time of 10:18. That time is the fourth best in Hawkeye history. Lauren Hardesty, winner of the Hawkeye Invite two weeks ago, finished third, turning in a time of 10:22. Junior McKenzie Melander finished fifth (10:26), while senior Amanda Hardesty finished eighth (10:40). Redshirt freshman Megan Ranegar (10th – 10:41), sophomore Kelsey Hart (11th – 10:42), freshman Katherin Rehn (12th – 10:54), sophomore Danielle Berndt (13th – 10:57) and freshman Hannah Luber (14th – 10:58) recorded the next five places. Also competing for the Hawkeyes were freshman Mary Schleusner (19th – 11:09), junior Brittany Dlhy (25th – 11:18), junior Jackie Laesch (29th – 11:27), freshman Kasey Krum (30th – 11:30), junior Alissa Duffy (31st – 11:42), redshirt freshman Nia Hermansen (32nd – 11:44) and junior Susan Kuhl (36th – 12:09).

“We were really strong down the line,” said Head Women’s Coach Layne Anderson. “We need people at 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10 to close the gap down on our front five. We have an outstanding front five but we are going to need some support. Our top objective is to get back to the NCAA’s. We missed out last year and the team was very disappointed after working very hard. Since then, that has been our top objective. We are very motivated and hungry, and we are making progress as we go through each week.”

The University of Iowa men’s cross country squad will return to action Sept. 25. The men will travel to the Roy Griak Invite in Minneapolis, MN. The next competition for the women’s team will be Oct. 1 as both teams will travel to the Notre Dame Invite in South Bend, IN.

Complete Results