IOWA CITY, Iowa — The University of Iowa men’s and women’s cross country teams return to action Friday at the 2021 Big Ten Championships at the Blue River Cross Country Course in University Park, Pennsylvania. The men’s 5.2-mile race will take place at 9:45 a.m. (CT), followed by the women’s 6K at 10:45 a.m.
IN THE RANKINGS
The University of Iowa men’s cross country team is ranked No. 8 in the USTFCCCA Midwest Region Week Five poll, and the Hawkeye women head into the weekend ranked ninth in the region. Wisconsin sits atop the Big Ten men’s side as the nation’s 10th-ranked squad, and is joined in the top 30 by No. 15 Michigan and No. 29 Minnesota. Five Big Ten women’s teams occupy spots in the national top 30, led by Minnesota at No. 6.
LAST TIME OUT
Freshman Brooke McKee led the women to a runner-up finish, taking a15th-place finish while setting a new PR (21:26.7). Junior Gabby Skopec (23rd; 21:34.9) and freshman Lauren McMahon (26th; 21:35.9) were next in for the Hawkeyes — McMahon also ran a new personal-best 6K time. Skopec moved up 50 places from the first 2,000-meters to the finish. Senior Jessica McKee was fourth in for the Hawkeyes (35th; 21:44.7), setting a new PR — and senior Emma Gordon rounded out Iowa’s scoring (37th; 21:49.2). Freshman Miriam Sandeen and sophomore Kelli Tosic finished 40th and 49th as the sixth and seventh runners, and Sandeen recorded a new career best in her effort. Sophomore Nick Trattner was once again the leader for the men, finishing eighth in a time of 24:14.5 to guide Iowa to a fourth-place finish. Trattner has led the Hawkeyes in every race but one this season. Senior Noah Healy finished inside the top 20, placing 19th (24:33.5). Freshman Kal Lewis was third in for the Hawkeyes (29th), recording a career best of 24:49.3. Freshmen Jack Pendergast (32nd; 24:51.1) and Ian Geisler (62nd; 25:11.3) rounded out Iowa’s scoring — both recording career bests.
TRATTNER MAKING HISTORY
Nick Trattner became the first underclassmen in over a decade to lead the Hawkeye men for the first two races of the season (Jeff Thode in 2010). Thode is one of the most decorated Hawkeyes in history, recording two individual national championship appearances and one All-America honor in 2010, placing 30th. Trattner finished third at the Hawkeye Invite and sixth at the Dirksen-Greeno Invite. Trattner added a ninth-place finish on Oct. 1 at the Gans Creek Classic, finishing behind senior teammate Noah Healy. Trattner led the Hawkeyes for the third time this season in Iowa’s last time out at the Bradley Pink Classic, finishing eighth to log his fourth top-10 finish in as many races.
MEN’S TOP RUNNERS
Senior Noah Healy is back for his fourth cross country season with the Hawkeyes. In 2019, Healy was Iowa’s second finisher at the Midwest Regional, running a collegiate-best 10K in 31:58. Healy started his 2021 campaign with a pair of top-eight finishes at the Hawkeye Invite and Dirksen-Greeno Invite, and finished fifth at the Gans Creek Classic on Oct. 1, setting a new 8K PR (24:08.4). Sophomore Nick Trattner finished second at the 2021 Hawkeye Invite on Sept. 3 to lead Iowa to a team win in the season opener, and has led the Hawkeyes in every race but one thanks to top-10 finishes in every race this season.
WOMEN’S TOP RUNNERS
Junior Gabby Skopec returns for her third cross country season at Iowa. At the Big Ten Championships in 2020, Skopec was the top finisher for the Hawkeyes (50th). Sophomore Kelli Tosic finished 61st in the same race in 22:06 — a freshman at the time, it was the first race of Tosic’s career. Tosic has been the team’s top finisher in three of four races this season, and led the Hawkeyes to a team win in Lincoln at the Dirksen- Greeno Invite. Brooke McKee has had an excellent freshman campaign, scoring in all three races she has competed, including a 15th-place finish to lead Iowa to a runner-up finish at the Bradley Pink Classic on Oct. 15. Senior Emma Gordon has also scored in all four races this season, and senior Jessica McKee has scored in both of her races this year.
2021 #B1GXC Live Results: bit.ly/2ZolXRU