XC Notebook: B1G Championships

University of Iowa men’s and women’s cross country begins postseason competition with the Big Ten Championships in Madison, Wisconsin, on Oct. 27. The Big Ten Championships are hosted by the University of Wisconsin and held at the Zimmer Championship Cross Country Course. The men’s 8,000-meter race begins at 10:45 a.m. (CT), with the women’s 6,000-meter race to follow at 11:45. The races will be streamed on BTN+ (subscription required).

The Hawkeye men claimed seventh place at last year’s Big Ten Championships in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Max Murphy crossed the line in 24:58.8 to earn 37th place overall. Jack Pendergast (25:35.6) and Miles Sheppard (25:36.7) also scored for the Hawkeyes. The women’s team placed 14th at last year’s race. Brooke McKee (22:01.3), Kelli Tosic (22:13.1) and Amber Aesoph (22:31.2) are returning point scorers from the 2022 Big Ten Championships. Across both teams, Iowa returns 14 runners with championship experience.

The Hawkeyes earned top-half team placings at the Bradley Pink Classic on Oct. 13. The men’s team claimed 11th out of 28 teams, while the women placed 11th out of 32. Iowa senior Jack Pendergast guided the Hawkeye men through wet and rainy conditions with his 25:04.4 time in the 8,000-meter red race. 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 scoring for Iowa. On the women’s side, senior Amber 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.

The Hawkeye women are led by the veteran core of Amber Aesoph, Brooke McKee, Abby Ryon and Kelli Tosic. Aesoph paced the women for the third time this season at the Bradley Pink Classic on Oct. 13. Jalyssa Blazek was Iowa’s top finisher for the first time in her career at the Joe Piane Invite on Sept. 29. Tosic 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.

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. Jack Pendergast led the men’s team at the Bradley Pink Classic on Oct. 13. At the Badger Classic on Sept. 9, Miles 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 Sheppard impressed at the Hawkeye Invite, setting career bests and entering the top-10 all-time list at Iowa. Freshman Miles Wilson has been a point scorer in three of four races this season.

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 the NCAA Midwest Regional in Stillwater, Oklahoma, on Nov. 10.