The University of Iowa men’s and women’s cross country teams host the 2016 NCAA Midwest Regional on Friday at the Ashton Cross Country Course. The women’s 6,000-meters begins at 11 a.m. (CT) followed by the men’s 10,000-meters at 12 p.m.
HOW TO FOLLOW
Results will be posted on the Iowa cross country Twitter account: @Iowa XC_TF and online at hawkeyesports.com.
Fans can visit hawkeyesports.com/NCAARegional for more information on the event.
A total of 31 teams will qualify for the NCAA D-1 Championships in Terre Haute, Indiana. The top two teams at each Regional automatically qualify leaving 13 at-large bids. The selection process looks at each team’s performance in 2016, beginning after Sept. 26, along with their finish at the NCAA Regional. Individually, 38 additional athletes per gender will qualify and the top four runners at each regional not on a qualifying team will automatically be selected.
LAST YEAR AT REGIONALS
The Hawkeyes competed at the 2015 NCAA Midwest Regional in Lawrence, Kansas. The men’s team tallied 408 points for a 15th place finish, while the women’s 465 points landed them 19th. Junior Madison Waymire highlighted the day with a 37th place finish on the 6,000-meter course. Senior Ben Anderson paved the way for the men, placing 47th overall while setting a new personal-best (31:17).
Iowa’s top finishers from the 2016 Big Ten Championships and 2015 NCAA Regional all returned in 2016.Madison Waymire, Andrea Shine, and Tess Wilberding return after leading the Hawkeyes in both postseason races. The men return their top five runners from the Big Ten Championships in Anthony Gregorio, Ian Eklin, Kevin Docherty , Daniel Gardarsson, and Ben Anderson. They also return three of their top finishers from NCAAs including Anderson, Gregorio, and Kevin Docherty.
IN THE RANKINGS
The University of Iowa men’s and women’s cross country teams remained in the USTFCCCA Midwest Regional Rankings for the fifth straight week following the release of the Oct. 31 polls. The women are No. 12 while the men are No. 14.
WILBERDING CONTINUES STELLAR SEASON
Senior Tess Wilberding has excelled in the 2016. Wilberding recorded her first career win at the Hawkeye Invite on Sept. 2 and followed with a second-place finish a week later at the Illinois State Invite. Wilberding has been Iowa’s leading runner in every race this season and is seeking to become the third runner since 2000 to complete that feat (Arens 2000, Waymire 2015). Wilberding ranks in Iowa’s top 10 all-time performances in the 3,000-meters.
LAST TIME OUT
The Hawkeyes traveled to Minneapolis for the Big Ten Championships at the Les Bolstad Golf Course. The women finished in 11th place with 318 points. Senior Tess Wilberding led the Hawkeyes for a sixth straight race. Sophomore Andrea Shine (22:50) recorded a 66th place finish and freshman Claire Dupuis (23:06) was 74th.
The men placed 12th with 341 points. Senior Ben Anderson led Iowa with a time of 25:45 and senior Kevin Docherty returned to his home state of Minnesota, recording a season-best 26:33. Sophomore Bailey Hesse-Withbroe (26:45), senior Anthony Gregorio (26:55), and freshman Nathan Mylenek (26:57) also cracked the team’s top seven finishers.
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.
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 set by Eric MacTaggart 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 at the Hawkeye Invite, 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, Tia Saunders, Haley Schroder, Macie Weber, and Lindsay Welker join the women’s team.
HAWKEYES EXCEL IN CLASSROOM
Eight current Hawkeye student-athletes were named to the 2015 Big Ten Fall Academic All-Conference team — Kevin Docherty, Marta Bote Gonzalez, Kelly Breen, Nate Ferree, Daniel Gardarsson, Anthony Gregorio, Daniel Huff, 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.