Hawkeyes Close Regular Season with Top-Half Team Finishes

PEORIA, Ill. – University of Iowa men’s and women’s cross country earned top-half team placings in its regular season finale at the Bradley Pink Classic on Friday.

Iowa senior Jack Pendergast guided the Hawkeye men through wet and rainy conditions to an 11th-place finish with his 25:04.4 time in the 8,000-meter red race. Pendergast finished 41st overall and led the men’s team for the first time this season. Junior Aidan King had a strong showing, setting a career best with a 25:18.0 time. Junior Ian Geisler (25:22.1), freshman Miles Wilson (25:28.9) and sophomore Will Ryan (25:33.0) rounded out the scoring for Iowa.

“Jack (Pendergast) and Ian (Geisler) competed well today in pretty sloppy conditions,” Distance and Associate Head Coach Randy Hasenbank said. “Aidan (King) is getting better by the week. Will Ryan was tripped and went to the ground about a mile in and that hurt us a lot. We are still without a couple of top contributors and need everyone ready in two weeks.”

On the women’s side, senior Amber Aesoph was Iowa’s top finisher for the third time this season. Aesoph set a new personal record in the 6,000-meter red event, crossing the line in 21:49.3 and earning 30th-place, overall. Seniors Alli Bookin-Nosbisch (22:00.7) and Abby Ryon (22:07.4) also clocked career bests on Friday afternoon. Freshman Cameron Kalaway finished with a time of 22:26.3 and scored for the Hawkeyes for the first time this season.

“Amber continued her great season, leading the women in the Red Invitational race,” Iowa assistant distance coach Shayla Houlihan said of the women’s team. “The team race was very close and once we mix in the rest of the squad I think we will be right where we need to be. We are looking forward to the championship portion of the season.”

A trio of Hawkeyes began the day with the men’s 8,000-meter white race. Freshman Luke Knepp, sophomore Nate Harbert and junior Yohana Yual implemented a pack mentality during the race and stayed together in the top ten through the first 4,000 meters. Knepp and Harbert wrapped up their day with top-ten finishes and new personal bests, crossing the line in 25:25.0 and 25:31.5, respectively.

“I was really pleased with Luke, Miles (Wilson) and Nate,” Hasenbank added. “They are young guys that are showing a lot of toughness and talent.”

The women’s 6,000-meter white event followed, with senior Kelli Tosic (22:36.4) and freshman Clare Kelly (22:41.0) finishing sixth and seventh, respectively. Sophomore Rowan Boulter (22:54.0) and seniors Ellie Twedt (22:55.9) and Katie Moore (23:06.1) put together strong performances and secured top-20 finishes.

“The women in the white race started us off with a bang,” Houlihan added. “I’ve been mixing and matching the women in different races to ensure they’re ready to go two weeks from now. We have a lot of depth with our young team right now.”

UP NEXT: The Hawkeyes turn their focus to postseason competition, beginning with the Big Ten Championships in Madison, Wisconsin, on October 27.

Men’s 8,000-meters (Red Race)
41. Jack Pendergast – 25:04.4
60. Aidan King – 25:18.0, PR
67. Ian Geisler – 25:22.1
82. Miles Wilson – 25:28.9
87. Will Ryan – 25:33.0
89. Miles Sheppard – 25:36.2
105. Brayden Burnett – 25:46.3
190. Carson Houg – 26:57.5

Women’s 6,000-meters (Red Race)
30. Amber Aesoph – 21:49.3, PR
43. Alli Bookin-Nosbisch – 22:00.7, PR
53. Abby Ryon – 22:07.4, PR
75. Cameron Kalaway – 22:26.3
118. Brooke McKee – 22:51.3
128. Aleah Tenpas – 22:55.8, PR
184. Audra Soderlind – 23:37.9

Men’s 8,000-meters (White Race)
5. Luke Knepp – 25:25.0, PR
8. Nate Harbert – 25:31.5, PR
32. Yohana Yual – 26:13.9

Women’s 6,000-meters (White Race)
6. Kelli Tosic – 22:36.4
7. Clare Kelly – 22:41.0
13. Rowan Boulter – 22:54.0
14. Ellie Twedt – 22:55.9
20. Katie Moore – 23:06.1
58. Kaitlin Knape – 24:17.3
62. Lauren McMahon – 24:25.1