The University of Iowa men’s and women’s cross country teams kick off the 2018 season hosting the Hawkeye Invitational on Friday. The Hawkeyes host Illinois State, Iowa State, Iowa Central, Drake, and UNI at the Ashton Cross Country Course. The women’s 4,000-meter race begins at 6 p.m. (CT). The men’s 6,000 meters begins at 6:45 p.m. Admission is free.
ASHTON CROSS COUNTRY COURSE
The University of Iowa men’s and women’s cross country team’s home for training and competition is the Ashton Cross Country Course. Located west of the Finkbine Golf Course, the course first opened in 2003 and has hosted the 2014 Big Ten Championships and 2016 NCAA Regional. The course boasts a rolling terrain with an outstanding rhythm for running and offers the ability to race from 3,000 meters to 10,000 meters around a layout that enables spectators to view the entire race from start to finish.
HOW TO FOLLOW
Results are posted on the Iowa cross country Twitter account: @Iowa XC_TF and online at hawkeyesports.com/haweyeinvitational.
IN THE RANKINGS
The University of Iowa men’s cross country team is ranked No. 8 in the Midwest Region, up three spots from the 2017 preseason polls. The Hawkeyes are one of four Big Ten teams ranked in the top 15. They are joined by No. 3 Illinois, No. 4 Minnesota, No. 9 Nebraska. The women’s team made the top 15, coming in at 12th. They are joined by one other Big Ten team in the top-15, No. 3 Minnesota.
IN THE RECORD BOOKS
Four Hawkeyes rank in the all-time top-10 in events scheduled for this weekend. Ian Eklin holds the school record in the 6,000 meters, running 18:10 at the 2017 Hawkeye Invite. Michael Melchert ranks second all-time with a 18:12 finish at the 2016 Hawkeye Invite, and Nathan Mylenek ranks sixth (18:26) at the 2017 event. On the women’s side, senior Andrea Shine ranks seventh in the 4,000-meters, running 13:58 at the 2017 Hawkeye Invite.
MEN’S TOP RUNNERS
Seniors Ian Eklin and Daniel Soto both return for the Hawkeyes. This marks Eklin’s fourth consectuive year running in the Hawkeye Invitational. He finished 10th in 2017 to set the 6,000-meter school record (18:10.7). Soto returns after recording the second fastest 10,000-meter time at the NCAA Regional last fall in 30:04.51. It was also the second-fastest Hawkeye finish in school history.
WOMEN’S TOP RUNNERS
Senior Andrea Shine and junior Julie Hollensbe will both be running in the Hawkeye Invitational for the third time. Shine was six-for-six as the Hawkeyes’ top finisher during the 2017 cross country season. She placed sixth at the Hawkeye Invite and continued the next three weeks placing in the top five. Hollensbe also ran her fastest 4,000 meters at the Hawkeye Invite last season, marking a 17th-place finish in 14:38.0, the second fastest returning time.
MYLENEK COMES OFF RECORD BREAKING SEASON
Junior Nathan Mylenek placed 32nd at the 2017 NCAA Regionals (Nov. 10, 2017) in the 10,000 meters and broke the school record. He improved upon his previous best time by 2:09.45.
The University of Iowa cross country team added 16 student-athletes to its 2018 roster, including 14 women and two men. Spencer Smith and Konnor Sommer join the men’s team. Logan Akason, Ashley Bryja, Lily Campbell, Sophia Gilbert, Emma Gordon, Anna Hostetler, Kylie Latham, Grace McCabe, Jessica McKee, Megan Schott, Patty Teggatz, Elzerie van Dyk, Sidney Vancil and Jordan Winke join the women’s team.
NEXT UP FOR THE HAWKEYES
The Hawkeyes head to Lincoln, Nebraska, to compete at the Woody Greeno Invite on Saturday, Sept. 15.
LINK UP WITH THE HAWKEYES
For an inside look at the Iowa cross country program and to access exclusive coverage, “like” The University of Iowa Cross Country and Track & Field Facebook page and follow @IowaXC_TF on Twitter.