XC Notebook: Joe Piane Invitational

University of Iowa men’s and women’s cross country heads to the Joe Piane Invite in South Bend, Indiana, on Friday morning. Nearly 40 teams will compete at this year’s event hosted by Notre Dame on the Burke Golf Course. The Joe Piane Invite will feature six total races, including the 5,000-meter race for the women beginning at 9:30 a.m. (CT) and the men’s five-mile (8,046 meters) race at 10:15 a.m.

University of Iowa men’s and women’s cross country continued its season with the Badger Classic in Madison, Wisconsin, on Sept. 9. The men’s team earned 98 points and fifth place in the 8,000-meter race, while the women finished in sixth place with 164 points in the 5,000-meter event. The Iowa men were led by sophomore Miles Sheppard, who sped to a career best 24:38.3 to finish ninth overall. On the women’s side, senior Amber Aesoph led the Hawkeyes for the second-consecutive race, clocking a 19:09.3.

The Hawkeyes sent a small group to the Redbird Invite in Normal, Illinois, on Sept. 15. Alli Bookin-Nosbisch set a new career best in the 6,000-meter race with a 19th-place finish of 22:41.8.

The Hawkeye women are led by the veteran core of Amber Aesoph, Brooke McKee, Abby Ryon and Kelli Tosic. Tosic was a top three Hawkeye finisher in each of the races she competed in during the 2022 season, while McKee and Aesoph made their way to the top. Aesoph was the top Iowa finisher at the 2023 Hawkeye Invite, while Jalyssa Blazek, McKee, Aleah Tenpas and Clare Kelly rounded out the top five. The same group led the Hawkeyes at the Badger Classic on Sept. 9. Miriam Sandeen, Rowan Boulter and Ellie Rathe had strong summers and look to break into the top of Iowa’s lineup. The women’s squad is balanced with competitive underclassman, including Blazek and Tenpas, and the freshman trio of Kelly, Cameron Kalaway and Audra Soderlind.

Iowa’s men’s team is led by star junior Max Murphy, who holds two top-10 times in program history. Murphy owns the school record in the 6,000-meter (17:57.7) and ranks sixth in the 8,000-meter (23:44) race. Behind Murphy, the upperclassmen unit of Ian Geisler, Aidan King, Jack Pendergast and Yohana Yual are aiming for a pack mentality in the lineup. Hayden Kuhn, Will Ryan and Miles Sheppard impressed at the Hawkeye Invite, setting career bests and entering the top-10 all-time list at Iowa. Sheppard closed an impressive freshman campaign as Iowa’s fifth finisher at the Big Ten Championships in 2022. At the Badger Classic on Sept. 9, Sheppard led the Hawkeyes to a fifth-place finish, clocking a career best 24:38.3 in the 8,000-meter race.

Junior Max Murphy kicked off the 2023 cross country season in record-setting fashion at the Hawkeye Invite, shattering the program’s six-year 6,000-meter record, previously held by Ian Eklin. Murphy’s 17:57.7 broke the school’s top mark by nearly 13 seconds. Previously, the Hawkeye star had ranked sixth all-time in school history, before the 22-second personal best set at the Ashton Cross Country Course. Four more Hawkeyes moved up the program record list: Hayden Kuhn (18:05.4 – 2nd), Miles Sheppard (18:07.4 – 3rd), Will Ryan (18:17.4 – 7th), and Ian Geisler (18:17.6 – 8th).

The University of Iowa cross country team added seven student-athletes to its 2023 roster. Three men join the Hawkeyes: Luke Knepp, Flynn Milligan and Miles Wilson. On the women’s side, the four newcomers include Cameron Kalaway, Clare Kelly, Ava Rush and Audra Soderlind.

Of the 29 women on Iowa’s roster, 21 hail from the Hawkeye State. Six additional states are represented, including Illinois (3), Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Texas and Wisconsin. On the men’s side, 12 of the 15 members are from Iowa. Illinois is represented by two student-athletes, while Colorado is the home to one Hawkeye.

The Hawkeyes return to action on Friday, Oct. 13, at the Bradley Pink Classic in Peoria, Illinois. Competition begins at 1:30 p.m.

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