Hawkeyes Post Plethora of Personal Bests at NCAA Regionals

COLUMBIA, Mo. – University of Iowa cross country closed the 2022 season at the NCAA Midwest Regional on Friday. Seniors Emma Gordon and Konnor Sommer led the way for their respective races.

Gordon used a 20:37.1 personal best to pace the Hawkeye women to a 14th-place finish. Gordon’s time ranks seventh in program history. Her 18th place finish makes her the third Hawkeye in the last 10 seasons to finish in the top 20 at the NCAA Midwest Regional.

Sophomores Kelli Tosic (21:33.1) and Brooke McKee (21:40.1) followed Gordon with solid performances in Columbia. Juniors Ellie Twedt and Amber Aesoph rounded out the top five Hawkeye finishers with career best times of 21:47.4 and 21:59.9, respectively. Senior Maddie Block recorded a time of 22:11.4, while freshman Rowan Boulter clocked a personal record of 22:42.2 in her first regional appearance.

The Hawkeye women finished 14th out of 33 teams, earning 403 points, an average time of 21:31.5, and a spread of 1:22.8. Illinois’ Olivia Howell won the individual race with a time of 20:02.9, while Oklahoma State took the team title with 58 points.

Sommer led the Hawkeye men to a 17th-place finish in the 10,000-meter race. His personal record of 30:48.4 was a near three-minute improvement from last year’s regional performance. Junior Nick Trattner followed with a career best of 30:57.3. Freshman Miles Sheppard, in his regional debut, finished third for the Hawkeyes and crossed the line in 31:15.7. Sophomores Aidan King and Ian Geisler wrapped up the scoring for Iowa with times of 31:16.2 and 31:35.2, respectively. Sophomore Jack Pendergast improved on his regional time from a year ago, setting a personal best of 31:53.2, while fellow sophomore Yohana Yual finished in 31:55.9.

The Hawkeye men finished 17th out of 27 teams, earning 454 points, an average of 31:10.5 and a spread of 46.9. Isai Rodriguez of Oklahoma State earned the individual title, breaking the tape in 29:40.1, while Tulsa took the team title via tiebreaker over Oklahoma State.

HEAR FROM COACH HASENBANK: “Emma Gordon was the best story of the day. It would be hard to find another athlete, who has come as far. She was 157th in this meet as a sophomore.  Last year she was only 116th. Just a fantastic performance. Stick with it, believe in yourself and be consistent. It is not easy, it’s not supposed to be easy. Very proud of her accomplishment today.  We had a solid team effort. Not where we would like be but the effort was very good today.”

“Kelli, Brooke and Maddie put themselves in a good spot early, may have over run the front of the race a bit, but the fought hard. Ellie Twedt definitely had her best race of the season running under 22:00 for the first time and a big improvement over her performance here a month ago.”

“On the men’s side we have dealt with some injuries and health issues the past two weeks. You can’t go into this meet less than full strength. I thought Konnor Sommer competed well today and, overall, had a solid season. Freshman Miles Sheppard had a strong freshman campaign running in the top 5-7 all season. He competed well today also.”

Women’s 6,000-meters
18. Emma Gordon – 20:37.1
75. Kelli Tosic – 21:33.1
87. Brooke McKee – 21:40.1
100. Ellie Twedt – 21:47.4
124. Amber Aesoph – 21:59.9
134. Maddie Block – 22:11.4
162. Rowan Boulter – 22:42.2

Men’s 10,000-meters
68. Konnor Sommer – 30:48.4
74. Nick Trattner – 30:57.3
98. Miles Sheppard – 31:15.7
99. Aidan King – 31:16.7
122. Ian Geisler – 31:35.2
142. Jack Pendergast – 31:53.2
145. Yohana Yual – 31:55.9