Oct. 30, 2011
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CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – – The University of Iowa cross country squads competed at the Big Ten Championships Sunday in Champaign, Ill., with the women placing sixth (149 points) and the men 10th (260 points). The Hawkeyes were led by senior McKenzie Melander on the women’s side and junior all-American Jeff Thode of the men’s side. Melander received second team all-Big Ten honors. The event was hosted by Illinois at the University of Illinois Arboretum.
Michigan State won the women’s 6K event, tallying 55 points. Penn State’s Caitlin Lane finished first, carding a time of 19:58. The Hawkeyes were paced by Melander. The senior finished 13th overall, posting a time of 20:41, a career best time that ranks sixth best in Hawkeye history. Betsy Flood finished 21st overall. The senior crossed the line in 20:52, the seventh best time in school history. Senior Brooke Eilers carded a time of 21:09 to finish 36th. Graduate student Mareike Schrulle (21:12) and freshman Kayla Beattie (21:13) finished 39th and 40th, respectively, while sophomore Megan Ranegar recorded a 62nd place finish, turning in a time of 21:43. Jackie Laesch finished 65th. The senior ran a time of 21:44. Junior Kelsey Hart (73rd, 22:03) and senior Danielle Berndt (76th, 22:06) also competed.
Wisconsin won the men’s event for the 13th straight year. The Badgers’ Mohammed Ahmed finished first in the 8K event, posting a Big Ten Championship record time of 23:18. Thode, a junior, finished 20th overall with a time of 24:22. Junior Nick Holmes finished 43rd recording a time of 24:46. Freshman Kevin Lewis crossed the line in 25:27 to finish 67th, while freshman Ben Witt finished 72nd, turning in a time of 25:35. Cameron Reiger finished 75th. The junior ran a time of 25:38. Junior Nick Young (25:58), sophomore Jon Michael Brandt (26:02), and freshman Evan Selsor (26:11) placed 85th, 86th, and 87th, respectively.
“It was a disappointing race,” said men’s head cross country and track and field coach Larry Wieczorek. “We were getting better, and taking steps forward, but in this case we took a step backward. We didn’t compete very well as a team; however, we look forward to the NCAA Regional. Hopefully that will give us an opportunity to end on a high note.”
Both the men’s and women’s cross country teams will return to action Nov. 12 at the NCAA Midwest Regional in DeKalb, Ill., hosted by Northern Illinois University. Teams will meet to determine the top regional teams as well as attempt to earn automatic and at-large bids to the NCAA Championships (Nov. 19, Terre Haute, Ind.)