Sheppard, Aesoph Lead Hawkeyes at Badger Classic

MADISON, Wis. โ€“ University of Iowa menโ€™s and womenโ€™s cross country previewed the Big Ten Championships course at the Badger Classic on Saturday morning.

The menโ€™s 8,000-meter race started the day, with the team earning 98 points and taking fifth place, and the women finished their 5,000-meter race with 164 point to place sixth.

The Iowa men were led by sophomore Miles Sheppard, who sped to a career best 24:38.3 to finish ninth overall. Sophomore Hayden Kuhn also set a new best, crossing the line in 25:02.5. Senior Jack Pendergast made his season debut and was the third Hawkeye across the finish line, clocking 25:10.1. Sophomore Will Ryan (25:20.5) recorded a personal record, while freshman Miles Wilson followed right behind in 25:20.6 to round out the top five Hawkeye finishers. Brayden Burnett shaved five seconds off of his previous best from a year ago, stopping the clock in 25:41.2.

“I was impressed with Miles (Sheppard), he really put himself out there,” Iowa distance and associate head coach Randy Hasenbank said. “He pushed to the front and competed at a high level. Hayden (Kuhn) and Jack (Pendergast) ran solid races. Miles Wilson has a nice run in his 8k debut. As a team, we still have a lot of work to do between now and our return for the Big 10 meet.”

Senior Amber Aesoph led the Hawkeye women for the second-consecutive race, clocking in at 19:09.3. Sophomores Jalyssa Blazek and Aleah Tenpas continued their strong start to the season, finishing in 19:31.1 and 19:32.3, respectively. Tenpasโ€™ mark was a new best. Freshman Clare Kelly once again found herself in the top five amongst Hawkeye runners, crossing the line in 19:40.2. Senior Brooke McKee rounded out scoring with a 19:49.2.

“Today was another great step in the right direction,” Iowa assistant distance coach Shayla Houlihan said of the women’s team. “Amber executed a great race and led our women to the finish line. We have some great depth in our underclassmen Jalyssa, Aleah, and Clare. Each time this group steps up to the start line, they keep learning how to race at this level and what preparation is necessary to be successful. Overall, I am very happy with the way the team executed the race plan and we all were able to identify things to work on in the next three weeks.”

UP NEXT: The Hawkeyes will send a womenโ€™s-only squad to Normal, Illinois, for the Redbird Invite on Sept. 15.

Menโ€™s 8,000-meters:
9. Miles Sheppard โ€“ 24:38.3, PR
17. Hayden Kuhn โ€“ 25:02.5, PR
21. Jack Pendergast โ€“ 25:10.1
25. Will Ryan โ€“ 25:20.5, PR
26. Miles Wilson โ€“ 25:20.6
34. Brayden Burnett โ€“ 25:39.6, PR
37. Ian Geisler โ€“ 25:45.0
42. Flynn Milligan โ€“ 26:00.4
43. Luke Knepp โ€“ 26:02.1
51. Aidan King โ€“ 26:20.7
53. Nate Harbert โ€“ 26:38.4

Womenโ€™s 5,000-meters:
35. Amber Aesoph โ€“ 19:09.3
45. Jalyssa Blazek โ€“ 19:31.1
46. Aleah Tenpas โ€“ 19:32.3, PR
52. Clare Kelly โ€“ 19:40.2
60. Brooke McKee โ€“ 19:49.2
63. Abby Ryon โ€“ 19:54.2
66. Rowan Boulter โ€“ 20:02.4
68. Audra Soderlind โ€“ 20:06.9
69. Cameron Kalaway โ€“ 20:14.0
71. Ellie Rathe โ€“ 20:24.9
72. Ellie Twedt โ€“ 20:26.7