The University of Iowa men’s and women’s cross country teams return to action after a week off to travel to the 31st annual Roy Griak Invitational in Minneapolis. The men’s 8,000-meters starts at 12:20 p.m. (CT) while the women’s 6,000-meters begins at 1:35 p.m.
HOW TO FOLLOW
Results are posted on the Iowa cross country Twitter account: @Iowa XC_TF and online at hawkeyesports.com.
LAST TIME OUT
The Hawkeyes traveled to the Illinois State Invitational on Sept. 9 in Normal, Illinois. The men won their first competition of the season. Senior Ben Anderson and junior Michael Melchert led the team, finishing second and fourth, respectively, to clinch the victory with 44 points. The women placed second overall with 57 points. Senior Tess Wilberding placed second while sophomore Madison Waymire finished in third. Sophomore Andrea Shine set a personal best with a time of 18:08.2.
IN THE RANKINGS
The University of Iowa men’s and women’s cross country teams entered the USTFCCCA Midwest Regional Rankings on Sept. 12 following their performance at the Illinois State Invite. The men debuted at No. 13 while the women entered at No. 12. This is the first time in 2016 the team is ranked after finishing No. 15 on the men’s side and No. 19 on the women’s in 2015.
RETURNING TO MINNESOTA
Senior Kevin Docherty, sophomore Ian Eklin, and sophomore Bailey Hesse-Withbroe return to their home state of Minnesota to race in the Roy Griak Invitational. Docherty will make his 2016 debut this weekend after missing the first two races. Docherty last raced at Griak in 2013 where he placed 96th with a time of 25:44. Both Eklin and Hesse-Withbroe will make their Griak collegiate debuts. Iowa has not participated in the race since 2013.
HASENBANK TAKES CROSS COUNTRY LEAD
Randy Hasenbank was named interim associate head cross country coach/ assistant track and field coach in August. Hasenbank spent the past five seasons at Loyola University Chicago where he won numerous accolades, including being named Horizon League Coach of the Year five times as well as coaching nine All-Americans.
OUT IN FRONT
Senior Tess Wilberding and junior Madison Waymire have excelled to start the 2016 regular season. Wilberding recorded her first career win at the Hawkeye Invite on Sept. 2 and followed up with a second place finish a week later at the Illinois State Invite. Waymire has notched two straight third place finishes, recording a personal best at the Hawkeye Invite in the 3,000-meters. Both runners have yet to place outside the top three this season and rank in Iowa’s top 10 all-time performances in the 3,000-meters.
HAWKEYES IN THE TOP 10
Junior Michael Melchert placed among Iowa’s top 10 all-time performers in his first race in 2016. The Monticello, Iowa, native broke an 11 year old record in the 6,000-meters at the Hawkeye Invitational on Sept. 2 with a time of 18:12. On the women’s side, senior Tess Wilberding (10:20.4) and junior Madison Waymire (10:21.9) broke into the top 10, placing fifth and tying for sixth in Iowa history, respectively, in the women’s 3,000-meters.
The men’s cross country team added 21 student-athletes to its 2016 roster including 16 women and six men. Brandon Cooley, Adam Jones, Nathan Mylenek, Luke Sampson and Karson Sommer join the men’s team. Taylor Arco, Grace Coen, Amber Decker, Alex Dodds, Claire Dupuis, Maria Eastman, Lauren Gibbs, Julie Hollensbe, Marlie Houston, Mallory King, Hunter Koenigsfeld, Haylee Luna, Tia Saunders, Haley Schroder, Macie Weber, and Lindsay Welker join the women’s team.
HAWKEYES EXCEL IN CLASSROOM
The Hawkeyes had 10 student-athletes named to the 2015 Big Ten Fall Academic All-Conference team — Kevin Docherty, Marta Bote Gonzalez, Kelly Breen, Courtney Bruns, Nate Ferree, Daniel Gardarsson, Anthony Gregorio, Daniel Huff, Taylor Soltys, and Tess Wilberding. Gregorio and Gonzalez were named Big Ten Distinguished Scholars by being letterwinners and maintaining a Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.7 or higher in at least their second academic year.
Jon Michael Brandt is in his third season as volunteer assistant coach. Brandt was a five-time letterwinner for Iowa, finishing his collegiate career with a 15th place finish at the Big Ten Outdoor Championships in the 10,000 meters.
The Hawkeye cross country team is comprised of 48 student-athletes — 19 men and 29 women. The men’s team has four freshmen, seven sophomores, two juniors, and five seniors. The women’s team has 16 freshmen, seven sophomores, three juniors, and four seniors.
HAWKEYES HOST NCAA REGIONAL
The Hawkeyes are proud to be hosting the 2016 NCAA Midwest Regional on Nov. 11 at the Ashton Cross Country Course in Iowa City. The meet will be televised live by the Big Ten Network for the first time in its history. The women’s 6,000-meter race begins at 11 a.m. (CT) and the men’s 10,000-meter race starts at 12 p.m. (CT).
Iowa will host the NCAA Regional Preview on Oct. 1 at the Ashton Cross Country Course.