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IOWA CITY, Iowa – The University of Iowa men’s and women’s cross country teams compete at the 2017 Big Ten Championships on Sunday. Here are five things you need to know before the Hawkeyes compete in Bloomington, Indiana.
- The Hawkeyes are ranked fifth in the Midwest region.
The ranking ties their highest in program history. The team has improved seven spots over the course of the regular season after being ranked 12th in the preseason poll. Since then, they have surpassed Missouri, Wichita State, UMKC, South Dakota State, Bradley, Kansas, and Tulsa in the Midwest rankings.
- Junior Andrea Shine is keeping the trend going.
Shine has led Iowa in every race this season and looks to become the third straight Hawkeye to lead the Iowa women in every race of the season, joining senior Madison Waymire, who accomplished the feat in 2015, and Tess Wilberding, who did it in 2016. Shine has earned two second place finishes this season, first at the Woody Greeno Invite on Sept. 16 (21:31.9) and then shaving off almost a minute at the Bradley Pink Classic on Oct. 14 (20:47.3) to enter Iowa’s all-time top 10 at No. 9.
- Sophomore Nathan Mylenek is setting the pace for the future of Iowa men’s cross country.
The Clarkston, Michigan, nativehas led Iowa in three of its four races this season, including winning two 8,000 meter races at the Illinois State Invite (25:42.8) and Bradley Pink Classic (24:26.2, personal-best). Mylenek is Iowa’s first runner to win multiple races in a season since Jeff Thode in 2009.
- Senior Madison Waymire returning to form
Waymire has notched two top-10 finishes this season with the first coming at the Hawkeye Invite (6th) and later at the Woody Greeno Invite (7th). Waymire has solidified herself at Iowa’s No. 2 runner. In addition, Waymire entered Iowa’s all-time top 10 list for the second time. She is tied for eighth all-time in the 4,000-meters with a time of 14:03.
- Coach Randy Hasenbank already seeing progress in year 2.
After a season under his belt, coach Hasenbank’s positive impact on the team has been noticed by the runners, in the record book, and in the rankings. Since his arrival in August 2016, Hasenbank has seen his runners enter the record book in cross country nine times, win four individual titles, and five races at a team.
The Big Ten Championships begin at 9:45 a.m. (CT) with the men’s 8,000 meters. The women’s 6,000 meters follow at 10:45 a.m. Live results of the meet are available on hawkeyesports.com.