Sept. 9, 2015
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The University of Iowa men’s and women’s cross country teams travel to Normal, Illinois, for the Illinois State Invitational on Friday. The women’s 5,000-meter race starts at 5 p.m. (CT) followed by the men’s 8,000 meters at 5:45 p.m. The event is held at the Weibring Golf Course on the campus of Illinois State.
SCOUTING THE COMPETITION
The Illinois State Invitational features nine teams in the both the men’s and women’s competition — Illinois State, DePaul, Illinois-Chicago, Loyola, Wisconsin, Eastern Illinois, and Southern Illinois-Edwardsville. North Central joins the men’s field and Northern Illinois competes for the women.
ROOKIES LEAD IOWA IN SEASON OPENER
Newcomers Ian Eklin (Plymouth, Minn.) and Madison Waymire (Grimes, Iowa) were Iowa’s top finishers at the Early Bird Invitational last week. Eklin made his collegiate debut with a third-place finish in the men’s race, completing the 6k-course in 19:13.5. Waymire, a transfer from the University of Missouri, crossed the women’s 3k-mark in fifth (10:29.2).
FRESHMEN MEN IN SCORING POSITION
The Hawkeyes had three freshmen — Ian Eklin (19:13.5), Bailey Hesse-Withbroe (19:32.2), and Daniel Soto (19:32.3) — who would have placed among their top five finishers in the men’s 6,000 meters at the Early Bird Invitational last week. The trio competed unattached and will make their Iowa debut at the Illinois State Invitational on Friday. Sophomores Ben Anderson (12th/19:30.2) and Michael Melchert (13th/19:30.3) rounded out Iowa’s top five.
Four of the five point scorers for the Hawkeye women were underclassmen at the Early Bird Invitational. Sophomores Madison Waymire (5th) and Kelly Breen (10th) snatched two of the top 10 spots, while freshman Andrea Shine (16th) and sophomore Courtney Bruns (19th) finished among the top 20. Junior Tess Wilberding (15th) was Iowa’s third finisher.
HAWKEYES RETURN TO ILLINOIS STATE INVITE
Sophomore Ben Anderson was Iowa’s second finisher at last year’s Illinois State Invitational. He helped lead the Hawkeye men to a first-place finish overall in the 8,000 meters (9th/24:42). Senior Anthony Gregorio (12th), and juniors Taylor Soltys (13th) and Nate Ferree (14th) cracked the top 15. Junior Tess Wilberding (17th/18:10) and sophomore Marta Bote Gonzalez (27th/18:26) helped pace the Hawkeye women to a second-place finish at last year’s event in the 5,000 meters.
SCHEDULE AT A GLANCE
The men’s and women’s cross country teams compete in three events leading up to the Big Ten Championships — Illinois State Invitational on Friday (Normal, Ill.); Notre Dame Invitational on October 2 (South Bend, Ind.); Bradley Pink Classic on October 16 (Peoria, Ill.). The conference championship is scheduled for November 1 in Evanston, Illinois. The NCAA Midwest Regional takes place November 13 in Lawrence, Kentucky.
The Hawkeyes head to the Notre Dame Invitational in South Bend, Indiana, on October 2.