Aug 30, 2013
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IOWA CITY, Iowa – The University of Iowa men’s and women’s cross country teams defeated Illinois State at the Hawkeye Early Bird Invitational on Friday. The women defeated the Redbirds 21-37, while the men posted a team score of 19 to Illinois State’s 37. The meet was held at the Ashton Cross Country Course in Iowa City.
Freshman Kevin Docherty took the men’s 4,000-meter title in his first race as a Hawkeye. Docherty crossed the line in 12:34.
“I feel good,” said Docherty. “We planned to run as a pack for about 2K. I felt pretty good at that point and I started to make a move, and obviously I held it. I felt good though.”
Senior Sam Chaney (12:43), freshman Ben Anderson (12:45), sophomore Caleb Wilfong (12:48.32) and junior Sam Fourman (12:48.99) finished third through sixth, respectively, to round out the scoring for the Hawkeyes.
“At first I was very concerned about the heat, so my first thought was survive,” said head men’s coach Larry Wieczorek. “We weren’t able to do a lot of extensive work and we have some new kids so we didn’t know what to expect. I am very encouraged from what we saw. We held back some of our top kids, but a couple freshmen, Docherty and Anderson, really stepped forward. It’s only a 4K, but it’s so hot that I am really pleased with the times and overall effort.”
Lena Placzek was the first-place finisher for the Hawkeye women. The senior clocked a 3,000-meter time of 11:07 to finish second overall.
“It was pretty tough to run in the 100-degree weather,” Placzek said. “The main point was to just run in a pack and finish strong the last stretch, which we did. It’s just the beginning of the season so you can’t really predict anything, but our goal for the season is just to keep together so we can get as close to each other as possible.”
Freshman Tess Wilberding (11:08.26), sophomore Courtney Martin (11:08.33), and freshman Samantha Zishka (11:08.50) finished third, fourth and fifth, respectively. Sophomore Jocelyn Todd rounded out the scoring for the Hawkeyes, finishing seventh with a time of 11:14).
“I thought all in all we executed the plan,” said head women’s coach Layne Anderson. “We raced as a pack, worked together, and stayed together. I thought we did some good things. It was nice seeing Lena up there. She led a pretty good effort against a very good Illinois State team.”
The Hawkeyes host the Black and Gold Invite at the Ashton Cross Country Course on Sept. 13.