Blazek, Murphy Pace Hawkeyes at Joe Piane Invite

SOUTH BEND, Ind. – University of Iowa cross country wrapped up the Joe Piane Notre Dame Invite on Friday morning. Junior Max Murphy led the Hawkeye men against a loaded field, finishing in the top-20 of the five-mile race.

Competing for the first time since the Hawkeye Invite on Sept. 1, Murphy returned to action in strong form, finishing in 23:56.8. Following the first split after mile one, Murphy pushed into the top-20 and held that position throughout the race to take 20th overall. Sophomore Miles Sheppard continued to impress, crossed the finish line at 24:55.6. Senior Jack Pendergast finished with a time of 25:00.8, while freshman Miles Wilson finished in the top five of Iowa runners for the second time in as many races with his 25:04.2. Sophomore Brayden Burnett scored for the first time this season, wrapping up his five-mile race in 25:17.0.

“It was good to have Max back out there on the course,” distance and associate head coach Randy Hasenbank said. “He was about 80th at the mile and moved into the top 20 by mile four. I also thought Miles Sheppard, Miles Wilson and Brayden Burnett competed well. We still have work to do as we head toward the postseason.”

The men’s team placed 17th and scored 400 points.

Of the eight Iowa runners in the women’s 5,000-meter race, the Hawkeyes set six personal bests. Sophomore Jalyssa Blazek was the top Iowa finisher for the first time in her career, clocking a 17:56.2 and crushing her previous best by over 90 seconds. Senior Amber Aesoph was right behind with her personal best 17:59.4, while senior Alli Bookin-Nosbisch was the third Hawkeye to cross the line in 18:01.4 to improve on a career best set back in 2021.

Senior Grace Bookin-Nosbisch (18:04.2) and sophomore Aleah Tenpas (18:06.3 – PR) rounded out the top five for Iowa. Senior Abby Ryon (18:10.6) also registered a personal best on Friday morning.

“Today was a great step in the right direction and it was awesome to see us compete against several teams ranked in the top-10,” Iowa assistant distance coach Shayla Houlihan said of the women’s team. “I thought each of these women executed the race plan almost perfectly. The trust and communication they have amongst each other on the course is something that is special to watch unfold as a coach. We’ll continue to utilize that pack running mentality as we move closer to the championship portion of our season.”

The women’s team finished in 15th place and earned 381 points.

In the women’s open 5,000 meters, freshmen Cameron Kalaway and Audra Soderlind set personal bests of 18:23.4 and 18:38.7, respectively. Senior Kelli Tosic made her season debut and crossed the line in 18:48.4. The men’s five-mile open featured three Hawkeyes (sophomore Nate Harbert – 26:16.4; freshman Luke Knepp – 26:17.4; junior Yohana Yual – 26:32.2).

NEXT UP: The Hawkeyes return to action on Friday, October 13, for their regular season finale at the Bradley Pink Classic in Peoria, Illinois.

Women’s 5,000 (Blue)
70. Jalyssa Blazek – 17:56.2, PR
73. Amber Aesoph – 17:59.4, PR
77. Alli Bookin-Nosbisch – 18:01.4, PR
83. Grace Bookin-Nosbisch – 18:04.2
89. Aleah Tenpas – 18:06.3, PR
97. Abby Ryon – 18:10.6, PR
113. Brooke McKee, 18:31.1
120. Clare Kelly – 18:53.1

Men’s 5-mile (Blue)
20. Max Murphy – 23:56.4
89. Miles Sheppard – 24:55.6
95. Jack Pendergast – 25:00.8
99. Miles Wilson – 25:04.2
111. Brayden Burnett – 25:17.0
117. Aidan King – 25:22.0
118. Will Ryan – 25:22.8
126. Carson Houg – 25:33.2
127. Ian Geisler – 25:34.8

(Women – 5,000 meters)
28. Cameron Kalaway – 18:23.4, PR
33. Audra Soderlind – 18:38.7, PR
39. Kelli Tosic – 18:48.4
84. Rowan Boulter – 20:20.4

(Men – 5 miles)
39. Nate Harbert – 26:16.4
40. Luke Knepp – 26:17.4
44. Yohana Yual – 26:32.2