Murphy Shatters School Record at Hawkeye Invite

IOWA CITY, Iowa – University of Iowa men’s and women’s cross country opened its 2023 campaign with a record setting night at the Hawkeye Invitational on Friday. The men won with a team score of 17, and the women took second 37 points behind Illinois State (28).

Junior Max Murphy won and shattered the men’s 6,000-meter school record by nearly 13 seconds, breaking the tape in 17:57.7.

“In the first meet of the season the goal is to just run as a team and see where everyone is at,” Murphy said. “I had a lot of fun running with the squad the first 5k or so and then opened up at the end. We’re definitely in a much better spot than we’ve been in in the past years.”

Sophomores Hayden Kuhn, Miles Sheppard, Will Ryan and junior Ian Geisler helped Murphy and the Hawkeyes rewrite the top-10 record books. Kuhn (18:05.4) and Sheppard (18:07.4) used personal bests to finish right behind Murphy and move up to second and third all-time at Iowa, respectively. Ryan (18:17.4 – 7th all-time) finished fifth, while Geisler (18:17.6 – 8th all-time) crossed the line in sixth.

Freshman Miles Wilson used an 18:21.10 finish to take eighth in his Hawkeye debut, while the trio of sophomore Brayden Burnett (18:33.10 – PR), freshman Luke Knepp (18:33.70) and junior Aidan King (18:35.20 – PR) placed 13th-15th.

The men’s team ran away with the team title, scoring 17 points. Creighton took second place with 46 points.

“I told the men in the huddle before the race that this was the most fit group we’ve had since I’ve been here,” distance and associate head coach Randy Hasenbank said. “They’re all really invested and put in a lot of miles during the summer. The key is keeping the squad healthy because the 6K is one thing, but the 8K and 10K is quite another.”

The women’s 4,000-meter race opened a warm and breezy night at the Ashton Cross Country Course, with the Hawkeyes filling up the top-10 with five personal bests. Junior Amber Aesoph led the women’s squad, finishing third with a new best of 14:19.3. Three more career bests followed with a seventh-place finish for sophomore Jalyssa Blazek (14:34.6), eighth-place for junior Brooke McKee (14:35.5), and ninth-place for sophomore Aleah Tenpas (14:36.0). Freshman Clare Kelly rounded out the top-10 with a 14:40.0 time in her Hawkeye debut.

“We had some really nice improvement from several of our returnees,” Hasenbank said. “It was great to see Amber (Aesoph) run really well tonight. Aleah Tenpas is probably our most improved runner, improving about a minute and twenty seconds from last year. Brooke was her consistent self today,” Hasenbank added.

Senior Grace BookinNosbisch (14:41.2), junior Abby Ryon (14:45.6), senior Katie Moore (14:57.3) and sophomore Rowan Boulter (14:58.5) set collegiate bests in the season opener. Iowa’s freshmen class performed well in their debuts, with Kelly leading the group, followed by Cameron Kalaway (14:42.8) and Ava Rush (15:40.5).

The women’s team finished second overall, earning 37 points. Illinois State’s Claire Fuhlhage won the individual title of 14:02.6 and helped the Redbirds win the team title with 28 points.

UP NEXT: The Hawkeyes travel to Madison, Wisconsin, for the Badger Classic on September 9. The men’s 8,000-meter race begins at 10:30 a.m. at the Thomas Zimmer Championship Cross Country Course, with the women’s 5,000-meter race to follow. The course is also the host to this year’s Big Ten Cross Country Championships in October.

Women’s 4,000-meters:
3. Amber Aesoph – 14:19.3, PR
7. Jalyssa Blazek – 14:34.6, PR
8. Brooke McKee – 14:35.5, PR
9. Aleah Tenpas – 14:36.0, PR
10. Clare Kelly – 14:40.0
11. Grace Bookin-Nosbisch – 14:41.2, PR
13. Cameron Kalaway – 14:42.8
14. Abby Ryon – 14:45.6, PR
18. Audra Soderlind – 14:52.9
21. Katie Moore – 14:57.3, PR
22. Rowan Boulter – 14:58.5, PR
26. Ellie Rathe – 15:08.5
28. Ellie Twedt – 15:12.0
35. Lauren McMahon – 15:36.2
36. Ava Rush – 15:40.5
37. Gabby Cortez – 15:42.8
38. Bryce Gidel – 15:45.6
44. Clare Pitcher – 16:16.1

Men’s 6,000-meters:
1. Max Murphy – 17:57.3, school record
2. Hayden Kuhn – 18:05.4, 2nd all-time
3. Miles Sheppard – 18:07.4, 3rd all-time
5. Will Ryan – 18:17.4, 7th all-time
6. Ian Geisler – 18:17.6, 8th all-time
8. Miles Wilson – 18:21.1
13. Brayden Burnett – 18:33.1, PR
14. Luke Knepp – 18:33.7
15. Aidan King – 18:35.2, PR
19. Flynn Milligan – 18:40.0
20. Nate Harbert – 18:43.8, PR
21. Carson Houg – 18:46.9, PR
24. Yohana Yual – 18:54.2, PR