XC Notebook: Illini Open

The University of Iowa men’s and women’s cross country teams wrap up their regular season with the Illini Open this Friday in Champaign, Illinois. The meet is hosted by the University of Illinois and will be held at the UI Arboretum. The women’s 5,000-meter race begins at 3:00pm CT, while the men’s 8,000-meter race kicks off at 3:40pm. Live results will be found at Shazam Racing.

The University of Iowa men’s cross country team is ranked No. 12 in the latest USTFCCCA Midwest Region poll. The Hawkeyes are the second-highest ranked Big Ten team in the Midwest top 15, with Illinois ranked No. 7. Minnesota is the only other Big Ten team ranked in the region, coming in at No. 15. Seven additional Big Ten teams are ranked in their respective regions, including Indiana, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Penn State, Purdue and Wisconsin.

The University of Iowa women’s cross country team moved up one spot and is now ranked No. 13 in this week’s USTFCCCA Midwest Region poll. The Hawkeyes join Illinois, Minnesota, Nebraska and Northwestern in the top 15. Iowa is one of 12 Big Ten teams ranked in their respective regions including Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska, Northwestern, Ohio State, Penn State, Purdue and Wisconsin.

University of Iowa men’s and women’s cross country got a preview of the NCAA Championship course last Saturday at the Weis-Crockett Invitational. In a loaded field, the men’s team was led by junior Nick Trattner and finished 17th, while the women’s team also earned a 17th-place finish led by top-finisher senior Emma Gordon. In the women’s 6,000-meter race, 19 of the 26 teams were ranked by the USTFCCCA in their respective regions. Iowa was once again led by senior Emma Gordon. Out of 232 runners, Gordon finished 33th with a time of 21:33.5. Saturday’s performance marked Gordon’s fourth top finish in as many races for the Hawkeyes. Junior Brooke McKee crossed the line second for Iowa with a time of 22:10.4. Junior Kelli Tosic posted a time of 22:18.2. Juniors Amber Aesoph (22:44.0) and Ellie Twedt (22:51.4) wrapped up the top five for Iowa. The Hawkeyes finished 17th out of 26 teams, recording 417 points, an average of 22:19.5, and a spread of 1:18.0.

The men’s 8,000 meter race started the day, with 241 runners competing. 19 of the 26 teams were ranked by the USTFCCCA in their respective regions. Iowa was paced by Trattner, who finished 39th overall with a time of 24:25.0. Sophomore Max Murphy finished second for the Hawkeyes, logging a time of 24:42.9. Trattner and Murphy were the top two finishers for the Hawkeyes for the third time this season. Freshman Miles Sheppard crossed the line in 25:09.7. Senior Konnor Sommer (25:13.8) and freshman Hayden Kuhn (25:54.0) rounded out the top five scorers for Iowa. The team finished 17th out of 26 scoring teams, recording 426 points, an average of 24:59.9, and a spread of 1:03.3.

This week’s Illini Open is the final regular season event before the Big Ten Championships on Oct. 28. The Big Ten Championships will be hosted by Michigan in Ann Arbor and the NCAA Midwest Regional will take place Nov. 11 back in Columbia, Missouri. The 2022 NCAA Cross Country Championships will be back at the OSU Cross Country Course in Stillwater, Oklahoma. Teams and student-athletes that advance past the Midwest Regional will compete at the 2022 NCAA Cross Country Championships.

The Hawkeyes prepare for the Big Ten Championships in Ann Arbor, Mich. on October 28.

For an inside look at the Iowa cross country program and to access exclusive coverage, follow the University of Iowa Cross Country and Track & Field team on Facebook, Twitter (@IowaXC_TF) and Instagram (@iowaxctf). Follow live results at hawkeyesports.com/tracklive.