Nov. 13, 2010
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PEORIA, Ill. — Hawkeye sophomore Jeff Thode and junior Betsy Flood earned all-region honors at Saturday’s NCAA Midwest Regional Cross Country Meet at Newman Golf Course in Peoria, IL. The University of Iowa men’s team placed seventh out of 24 teams with 215 points, while the Hawkeye women placed seventh out of 27 teams with 208.
Thode, who placed fifth in the men’s 10,000-meter race with a school record-setting time of 29:55.78, earned an individual automatic bid to the NCAA Championships Nov. 22 in Terra Haute, IN. It is the second straight season he has earned all-region honors. Former Hawkeye Matt Esche set the previous men’s 10,000-meter record of 30:10 at the 2002 NCAA Regional Meet.
Flood placed ninth with collegiate best 20:22.71, which is 14 seconds faster than the personal record she ran two weeks ago at the Big Ten Championships. It is her first all-region honor. Her time ranks fifth in school history, and her place puts her in solid contention for an NCAA at-large individual bid, which will be announced Sunday by 6 p.m. (CT).
Iowa State won the women’s race with 35 points, while Oklahoma won the men’s race with 43. The Oklahoma State men (50 points) and women’s (105 points) teams also earned automatic NCAA team bids with their runner-up finishes.
“Jeff ran a smart, tough race,” said Hawkeye Head Men’s Cross Country Coach Larry Wieczorek. “He stayed with the lead pack, had some great tactics during the race, and had a strong finish. As a team, I felt like we ran as well as we could, and finished the season on a positive note. I was proud of the effort we gave.”
Competing in the last cross country race of his Hawkeye career, senior captain Mark Battista placed 29th with a collegiate best time of 30:45.96. That time ranks ninth all-time at Iowa. Also posting collegiate bests for the Hawkeyes were juniors Sam Bailin (47th-31:15.05) and Chase Kadlec (56th-31:25.79), and freshmen Andrew Smith (86th-32:06.58), Jon Michael Brandt (32:13.31) and Nick Young (114th-32:47.64).
“I thought we really competed hard today and I was pleased with the effort,” said Iowa Head Women’s Cross Country Coach Layne Anderson. “We had some outstanding individual performances with Betsy’s (Flood) all-region finish, McKenzie’s (Melander) first finish under 21 minutes and personal records for (Megan) Ranegar and (Kelsey) Hart.”
Junior McKenzie Melander was Iowa’s second finisher, placing 27th with a collegiate-best 20:56.05. That time ranks sixth all-time at Iowa, and her finish just missed the all-region honors given to the top 25 placers. Redshirt freshman Megan Ranegar battled back from early season injuries to placed 43rd with a collegiate-best 21:15.34, which ranks 10th in school history. Seniors Amanda and Lauren Hardesty placed 63rd (21:37.25) and 66th (21:40.91), respectively, in their final Hawkeye cross country event. Also competing for the Hawkeye women were junior Brooke Eilers (75th-21:47.36) and sophomore Kelsey Hart (87th-21:51.95).