Hawkeyes Head To Big Ten Championships

Oct. 26, 2010

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The University of Iowa men’s and women’s cross country teams travel to the Big Ten Championships this weekend. The event will be held Sunday in Madison, Wis.

The 2010 Big Ten Championships will be hosted by the University of Wisconsin. The event will be held at the year-old Zimmer Championship Cross Country Course in Madison, Wis. The women’s 6K race is scheduled to begin at 10:45 a.m. CT, with the men’s 8K to follow. An awards ceremony will be held after the conclusion of the men’s championship. The Iowa men’s team raced at this course earlier in the year, posting a 14th place finish at the Wisconsin adidas Invite.

Both the men’s and women’s cross country teams are ranked in the USTFCCCA Regional rankings. The Hawkeye men’s team is ranked seventh in the Midwest Region and the women’s team is ranked fifth. Nationally, the women’s team is ranked 30th.

Both the men’s and women’s squads finished sixth at the Big Ten Championships last year at Penn State University. Hawkeye men’s standout Jesse Luciano earned second team all-Big Ten honors. Wisconsin enters the meet as the 11-time defending champion on the men’s side. Penn State is the defending women’s champion.

Senior Lauren Hardesty and sophomore Jeff Thode both earned Big Ten Weekly Runner of the Week honors this year. Hardesty was honored after leading the Iowa women’s squad to a win at the Hawkeye Invitational. She finished first in the 3K event (10:21). Thode won the award after leading Iowa to a win at the Bradley Classic. He finished second in the 8K event (23:37).

The Iowa men’s team finished first at the Bradley Classic Oct. 15 in Peoria, Ill. The Black and Gold posted a score of 67 at the Newman Golf Course, the site of the NCAA Midwest Regionals. The win marked the third of the year for the Hawkeye men’s team. Iowa also won the Hawkeye Invitational and the Iowa Invitational earlier this fall. Iowa’s total of 67 points in the seventh-annual event surpassed Southern Illinois (105), in-state rival Iowa State (143), Big Ten rival Illinois (165), Northern Iowa (168), Missouri (193), Drake (214) and Illinois State (223), among others. Matthew Graham of DePaul finished first in the 8K with a time of 23:37. Three of the next four finishers were Hawkeyes. Iowa was paced by Jeff Thode, who finished just a split second behind Graham. The sophomore also posted a career best time of 23:37 and has led the Hawkeyes in each race this season. The time is the fifth best in Hawkeye history. Captain Mark Battista finished third. The senior turned in a time of 24:00. Junior Sam Bailin posted a time of 24:16 to finish fifth.

The Iowa women’s team finished 10th at the Pre-Nationals Meet Oct. 16 in Terre Haute, Ind. The Black and Gold posted a score of 353, finishing just one point out of ninth place in the 38 team field. The 6K race was held at the LaVern Gibson Championship Cross Country Course, site of the NCAA Championships. The Hawkeyes were paced by Betsy Flood. The junior posted a time of 20:54 to finish 34th. The time is the fifth best in Hawkeye history. Fellow junior Brooke Eilers finished 48th, turning in a time of 21:15. McKenzie Melander finished 63rd. The junior ran a time of 21:22, the 10th best time in school history. Senior Lauren Hardesty finished 66th, posting a time of 21:23, the 11th best in Hawkeye history. Senior Amanda Hardesty posted a time of 22:00 to finish 143rd.

Head Coach Larry Wieczorek has named Dr. Georgina Dodge, the University’s Chief Diversity Officer and Associate Vice President, an honorary team member for the 2010-11 track and field season. Dr. Dodge served as assistant vice provost of Ohio State University’s Office of Minority Affairs for five years before joining the University of Iowa in July, 2010. She earned her B.A., summa cum laude, from the University of California, Irvine, and her Ph.D. in English from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Both teams will travel to Peoria, Ill. Nov. 13 to compete at the NCAA Midwest Regionals.