XC Notebook: NCAA Midwest Regional

IOWA CITY, Iowa — The University of Iowa men’s and women’s cross country teams return to action Friday as the Hawkeyes host the 2021 NCAA Midwest Regional at the Ashton Cross Country Course in Iowa City, Iowa. The women’s 6K race will take place at 11 a.m. (CT), followed by the men’s 10K at noon.

The University of Iowa men’s cross country team is ranked No. 13 in the USTFCCCA Midwest Region Week Six poll, and the Hawkeye women head into the weekend ranked 10th in the region. Wisconsin sits atop the Big Ten men’s side as the nation’s ninth ranked squad, and is joined in the top 30 by No. 12 Michigan and No. 23 Minnesota. Four Big Ten women’s teams occupy spots in the national top 30, led by Minnesota at No. 5.

Sophomore Nick Trattner led the Hawkeyes for the fourth time in five races this season, finishing 42nd (25:54) in a competitive Big Ten field. Freshman Kal Lewis was next in for Iowa (54th) with senior Noah Healy close behind (59th). Freshman Isaac Hartman (89th) and senior Konner Sommer (91st) became the seventh and eighth Hawkeyes to score points this season, rounding out the top five. On the women’s side, freshmen Brooke McKee (21:53) and Lauren McMahon (21:56) led the way, finishing 52nd and 58th, respectively. McMahon moved up 24 spots from the mile mark to the finish. Next in for Iowa was senior Jessica McKee (63rd). Freshman Miriam Sandeen (64th) and junior Gabby Skopec (86th) rounded out the scoring for the Hawkeyes.

With the 2020 season being canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Hawkeyes have not competed at an NCAA regional since 2019. That season, former Hawkeye Nathan Mylenek finished fifth to lead Iowa to a seventh-place team finish. As a freshman in 2019, Leah Kralovetz was the top-finisher for the Hawkeyes (15th) as Iowa finished 10th in the women’s race. The Hawkeye men’s team was regional champions in 2002, and the women’s squad’s highest finish came in 2006 (3rd).

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 again at the Bradley Pink Classic, finishing eighth to log his fourth top-10 finish this season. Trattner led the Hawkeyes for the fourth time at the Big Ten Championships with a top-45 finish.

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