The University of Iowa men’s and women’s cross country teams kick off the 2019 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.
TOE THE LINE
Schools expected to send both men’s and women’s teams include Drake Illinois State, and Northern Iowa. Iowa State and Stephens-College-Columbia are sending their women’s teams.
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/hawkeyeinvitational.
IN THE RANKINGS
The University of Iowa men’s cross country team is ranked No. 9 in the Midwest Region preseason polls. The Hawkeyes are one of four Big Ten teams ranked in the top 15. They are joined by No. 4 Minnesota, No. 6 Illinois, and No. 8 Nebraska. The women’s team made the top 15, coming in at 10th. The women are joined by four Big Ten teams in the top-15, No. 3 Minnesota, No. 4 Illinois, No.5 Northwestern and No. 11 Nebraska.
IN THE RECORD BOOKS
One current Hawkeye ranks in the all-time top-10 in events scheduled for this weekend at the Hawkeye Invite. Nathan Mylenek ranks sixth all-time in the 6,000 meters, running 18:26 at the 2017 Hawkeye Invitational.
MEN’S TOP RUNNERS
Seniors Nathan Mylenek and Brandon Cooley are competing in the fourth Hawkeye Invitational. Both runners recorded their best finish in 2017. Mylenek placed 15th overall in 18:26, a time that ranks sixth all-time at Iowa. Colley placed 26th overall in 2017 in 18:45. Sophomore Spencer Smith is Iowa’s top returner from the 2018 Hawkeye Invitational. Smith placed 12th in 18:49 in his first collegiate race.
WOMEN’S TOP RUNNERS
Senior Megan Schott and sophomore Anna Hostetler return for a second season with the Hawkeyes. Schott consistently ran in second scoring position for Iowa last season and ran a collegiate-best 14:23 to place fourth at the 2018 Hawkeye Invitational in the 4,000 meters. Hostetler was Iowa’s third finisher at the 2018 Hawkeye Invitational. She placed 14th in 14:51.
MYLENEK COMES OFF RECORD BREAKING SEASON
in 2018, senior Nathan Mylenek had the best finish by a Hawkeye at the NCAA Regionals since Micah VanDenend won the event in 2006. Mylenek became the first Hawkeye to make the NCAA Championships since 2011 and set a career best 8,000 meters at the Big Ten Championship. He led the Hawkeyes at the NCAA Pre-Nationals (24:39.7, 57th), Big Ten Championships (24:00.5,11th), and NCAA Regionals (30:55.2, 3rd).
The University of Iowa cross country team added eight student-athletes to its 2019 roster, including five women and three men. Brendan Scott, Reece Smith and Nick Trattner join the men’s team. Maggie Gutwein, Leah Kralovetz, Elyse Prescott, Madeline Rhomberg, and Gabby Skopec 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. 21.
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.