XC Notebook: Bradley Pink Classic

University of Iowa men’s and women’s cross country wraps up its regular season at the Bradley Pink Classic in Peoria, Illinois, on Friday, Oct. 13. The men’s 8,000-meter race begins at 1:30 p.m. (CT), with the women’s 6,000-meter race to follow at 2:15 p.m.

University of Iowa men’s and women’s cross country traveled to the Joe Piane Notre Dame Invite in South Bend, Indiana, on Sept. 29. Competing for the first time since Sept. 1, junior Max Murphy paced the Hawkeye men with a top-20 finish, coming in at 23:56.8 in the five-mile race. Sophomore Miles Sheppard continued his strong season with a 24:55.6 finish, while senior Jack Pendergast clocked a 25:00.8. The men’s team placed 17th and scored 400 points. Out of eight Iowa runners on the women’s side, six set personal bests. Sophomore Jalyssa Blazek was Iowa’s top finisher for the first time in her career, crossing the line in 17:56.2 and crushing her previous best by over 90 seconds. The women’s team finished 15th overall with 381 points.

The Hawkeye women are led by the veteran core of Amber Aesoph, Brooke McKee, Abby Ryon and Kelli Tosic. Jalyssa Blazek was the top Iowa finisher for the first time in her career at the Joe Piane Invite on Sept. 29. Tosic was a top three Hawkeye finisher in each of the races she competed in during the 2022 season. The senior debuted her 2023 campaign in the open 5,000-meter race at the Joe Piane Invite. Aesoph, Blazek, McKee, Aleah Tenpas and Clare Kelly led the Hawkeyes at the Badger Classic on Sept. 9. The same group led Iowa at the Hawkeye Invite. Miriam Sandeen, Rowan Boulter and Ellie Rathe 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. 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. 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.

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 prepare for postseason competition with the Big Ten Championships in Madison, Wisconsin, on Friday, Oct. 27.

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.