2023 Final Notes

Junior Max Murphy placed 69th at the NCAA Championships in Charlottesville, Virginia, with a 30:13.9 personal best in the 10,000-meter race on Nov. 18. Murphy’s time moved him to fifth in program history. The Bettendorf, Iowa, native was Iowa’s first NCAA qualifier since 2019. Murphy’s finish is the highest since 2010, when Jeff Thode placed 30th. Murphy saved his best race for last, with an average 1,000-meter split of 2:57.4. As he has done all season, the Hawkeye junior kept pace and climbed toward the front of the pack with each passing split. Out of 236 runners, Murphy broke into the top 100 at the 6K mark and continued to push forward to his personal best finish.

Bettendorf, Iowa, native Max Murphy qualified for the NCAA Championships with a ninth-place finish and a 30:27.6 mark at the NCAA Midwest Regional in Stillwater, Oklahoma, on Nov. 10. As a team, the Hawkeyes placed 12th with 368 points. Seniors Aidan King and Jack Pendergast turned in strong performances in their finale wearing the black and gold. King’s 32:14.3 was good for 74th overall, while Pendergast took 82nd with his 32:24.0. Sophomore Brayden Burnett finished his impressive season, scoring once again for the team with a 32:27.0. Senior Ian Geisler rounded out the top five for Iowa with his 32:51.4 mark. The women’s 6,000-meter race kicked off the meet with the Hawkeye women taking 19th-place overall out of 32 teams. Senior Amber Aesoph led the squad for the fourth time this season, clocking a 21:54.6 and finishing 61st overall. Fellow senior Kelli Tosic placed second among Hawkeyes, crossing the line in 22:22.3. Sophomore Jalyssa Blazek made her regional debut and scored with a time of 22:25.8. Senior Abby Ryon (22:31.7) and sophomore Aleah Tenpas (22:46.6 – PR) wrapped up the top five for Iowa.

Junior Max Murphy wrapped up a record-setting cross country campaign on Nov. 18, placing 69th at the NCAA Championships and moving to fifth all-time in program history in the 10K. He began his season by setting the new 6,000-meter school record (17:57.7) on Sept. 1 at the Hawkeye Invite. Murphy led the team at the Hawkeye Invite, Joe Piane Invite, B1G Championships and the NCAA Midwest Regional.

The Hawkeye women were led by the veteran core of Amber Aesoph, Brooke McKee, Abby Ryon and Kelli Tosic. Aesoph paced the Hawkeyes at the Hawkeye Invite, Badger Classic, Bradley Pink Classic and the NCAA Midwest Regional. Ryon led the team at the Big Ten Championships with her 22:49.3 mark. Jalyssa Blazek was Iowa’s top finisher for the first time in her career at the Joe Piane Invite on Sept. 29 and scored in four additional races. Aesoph, Blazek, McKee, Aleah Tenpas and Clare Kelly led the Hawkeyes at the Badger Classic on Sept. 9. The same group scored for Iowa at the Hawkeye Invite.

Iowa’s men’s team was led by star junior Max Murphy, who holds three top-10 times in program history. Murphy owns the school record in the 6,000-meters (17:57.7), ranks sixth in the 8,000-meters (23:44) and fifth in the 10,000-meters (30:13). Murphy qualified for NCAA Championships on Nov. 18 and placed 69th overall (30:13.9). He qualified for the NCAA Championships with a ninth-place finish at the Midwest Regional in Stillwater, Oklahoma on Nov. 10. Murphy was Iowa’s top finisher at the Big Ten Championships on Oct. 27. Senior 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. 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 was 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 Hawkeyes prepare for the start of their indoor track and field season. Iowa opens at the Sharon Colyear-Danville Opener on Dec. 2 in Boston, Massachusetts. The Hawkeyes host the Jimmy Grant Alumni Invitational at the Hawkeye Indoor Track Facility on Dec. 9.

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 X (@IowaXC_TF) and Instagram (@iowaxctf). Follow live results at hawkeyesports.com/tracklive.