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Iowa Women's Cross Country 2018
©Hawkeye Athletics 2018

Hawkeye Men Women Impress at Conference

University of Iowa junior Nathan Mylenek led the men’s cross country team to a sixth-place finish Sunday at the 2018 Big Ten Championships. Mylenek placed 11th overall (24:00.5) in the 8,000 meters, earning second team all-conference honors and leading the Hawkeyes to their best finish since 2009.

Courtesy Hawkeye Athletics, click here! Feature photo: Iowa Women’s Cross Country 2018 ©Hawkwyw Athletics 2018

The women placed ninth in the 6,000 meters, their highest finish since 2011. Senior Andrea Shine led the women, placing 15th overall in a career best 20:35.4.

“A wonderful performance by the men’s team today. Two years ago this group was dead last in the Big Ten. I am very proud of how they competed. Nate [Mylenek] got us going up front with an 11th-place finish, and then the rest of the squad competed like warriors. We wanted to get out and establish ourselves early, and we did that today.

“I am so proud of Dan Soto’s performance. This is a guy who came off a great summer of training, led the squad most of the season, and his IT band flared up on him. I felt terrible for him. Fantastic effort considering he has not run since Wednesday. Many, many athletes would not have gone to the line with this type of adversity. He is a team player in every sense of the word.”

“This was the women’s best finish since 2011 and the men’s best finish since 2009. It is a great marker for how far we have come in just two years. Behind Andie [Shine] and Megan [Schott], we had four freshman across the line. If you look at the clock, you will see that this group improved dramatically from our meet here early in the season.

“What can I say about Andie, 82nd in this meet as a freshman, 66th as a sophomore, 29th last year and now 15th. What a career and what a great message to send to our young team. Her determination has built her into a championship runner. She tried to win the race today and showed tremendous courage. She is quite a story.”

Mylenek improved by 17 places from the 2017 Big Ten Championships, when he placed 28th.
Eight of the men’s nine competitors recorded career best 8,000-meter times, including Mylenek (24:00.5), Brandon Cooley (24:36.9), Ian Eklin (24:58.7), Noah Healy (25:24.5), Bailey Hesse-Withbroe (25:05.2), Daniel Murphy (24:37.0), Spencer Smith (24:59.8), and Karson Sommer (24:40.5).
Shine improved 14 spots from the 2017 Big Ten Championships, placing 15th in 2018.
On the women’s side, four Hawkeyes set 6,000 meters personal bests, including Shine (20:35.4), Ashley Bryja (22:35.3), Kylie Latham (22:52.8), and Jessica McKee(22:11.5).

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 @Iowa XC T&F on Twitter.

Women’s 6,000 Meters Results
Andrea Shine, 15th, 20:35.4
Megan Schott 41st, 21:16.8
Anna Hostetler, 50th, 21:33.9
Grace McCabe, 67th, 21:59.8
Jessica McKee, 74th, 22:11.5
Jordan Winke, 79th, 22:13.8
Ashley Bryja, 89th, 22:35.3
Kylie Latham, 98th, 22:52. 8
Macie Weber, 122nd, 24:15.1

Men’s 8,000 Meters Results
Nathan Mylenek, 11th, 24:00.5
Daniel Soto, 32nd, 24:33.6
Brandon Cooley, 35th, 24:36.9
Daniel Murphy, 36th, 24:37.0
Karson Sommer, 39th, 24:40.5
Ian Eklin, 52nd, 24:58.7
Spencer Smith, 54th, 24:59.8
Bailey Hesse-Withbroe, 60th, 25:05.2
Noah Healy, 75th, 25:24.5

Iowa State Women's  XC 2018
©Cyclones Athletics

Cyclone Men and Women Claim Conference Titles!


The No. 17 Iowa State women’s cross country team captured its seventh Big 12 Championship in the last eight seasons Friday afternoon at the ISU Cross Country Course. The Cyclones made it three consecutive conference titles, winning the 2018 crown with a team score of 35 points, 27 points clear of second place Oklahoma State (52).

Courtesy Cyclone athletic, click here! Feature Photo:Iowa State Men’s XC 2018 ©Cyclones Athletics 2018


Sophomore Cailie Logue was the individual Big 12 Champion. Logue dethroned two-time defending Big 12 Champion Sharon Lokedi of Kansas. Logue found her stride and reeled off a memorable final 1K that carried her across in the finish line in first place in 19:53.8.

Logue becomes Iowa State’s first Big 12 Champion since 2015 when Perez Rotich took home the individual title.

First-year women’s head coach Amy Rudolph‘s team poured in an outstanding group effort. Iowa State accounted for five of the top-11 runners individually,

Senior Anne Frisbie and sophomore Amanda Vestri finished sixth and seventh, respectively. Frisbie finished in a time of 20:26.3, followed closely by Vestri in 20:26.3. This is the third time Frisbie has earned All-Big 12 honors and Vestri’s second time.

Also earning All-Big 12 recognition for Iowa State was senior Kelly Naumann and sophomore Larkin Chapman. Naumann crossed the finish line in 20:51.2 for a tenth-place finish and her second All-Big 12 finish, and Chapman finished 11th with a time of 20:51.3.

To make the Iowa State victory even more significant, the Cyclone men also captured their second-consecutive Big 12 title.

Iowa State turns its focus to the NCAA Regional meet. The Cyclones will head to Peoria, Illinois on Friday, Nov. 9 to defend their Midwest Regional Final and look to qualify for the NCAA Cross Country Championships.

Iowa State Results
1. Cailie Logue – 19:53.8
6. Anne Frisbie – 20:26.3
7. Amanda Vestri – 20:35.8
10. Kelly Naumann – 20:51.2
11. Larkin Chapman – 20:51.3
23. Karly Ackley – 21:08.0
29. Abby Caldwell – 21:23.0
31. Morgan Gigandet – 21:25.5
44. Adriana Krammerer – 21:45.1
45. Gwynne Wright – 21:45.5

Team Scores
1. Iowa State – 35

2. Oklahoma State – 52
3. Kansas – 90
4. West Virginia – 96
5. Texas – 113
6. Oklahoma – 207
7. Texas Tech – 217
8. TCU – 223
9. Baylor – 238
10. Kansas State – 240


The No. 6 Iowa State men’s cross country team brought home its second-consecutive Big 12 championship on Friday morning at the ISU Cross Country Course. The Cyclones captured the 2018 conference title with a team score of 32 points, edging second-place Oklahoma State by eight points (40).

Courtesy Cyclones Athletics, click here!


Junior Edwin Kurgat was crowned the individual Big 12 Champion to become Iowa State’s first-ever Big 12 individual champion. Kurgat was neck-and-neck with Oklahoma State’s Isai Rodriguez for much of the race before eventually pulling away from the Cowboy down the stretch to cross the finish line in 23:21.6.

Just like the 2017 Big 12 Championship performance, head coach Martin Smith received a full team effort from his squad. In total, Iowa State accounted for five of the top-11 finishers in the race.

All-American Andrew Jordan earned his third-straight All-Big 12 honor with a fifth-place finish in 23:45.9. Senior Dan Curts was close behind in sixth place with a time of 23:50.3. This marks the second time that Curts has been recognized as an All-Conference performer.

After an outstanding postseason in 2017, sophomore Milo Greder picked up where he left off. Greder took ninth individually in a time of 24:11.4 to earn All-Big 12 honors for the second-straight season. Cyclone rookie Chad Johnson finished 11th in 24:14.4 to round out the Cyclone lineup.

The men were not alone in claiming a Big 12 Championship. The Iowa State women kicked off the day with a team title as well, and Cailie Logue raced to an individual Big 12 title to give the Cyclones a clean sweep.

Iowa State turns its focus to the NCAA Regional meet. The Cyclones will head to Peoria, Illinois on Friday, Nov. 9 to defend their Midwest Regional Final and look to book a trip to the NCAA Cross Country Championships

Iowa State Results
1. Edwin Kurgat – 23:21.1
5. Andrew Jordan – 23:45.9
6. Dan Curts – 23:50.3
9. Milo Greder – 24:11.4
11. Chad Johnson – 24:14.4

Team Scores
1. Iowa State – 32

2. Oklahoma State – 40
3. Texas – 70
4. Kansas – 79
5. Kansas State – 162
6. Texas Tech – 166
7. Oklahoma – 182
8. Baylor – 217
9. TCU – 246

UNI Men's Cross Country 2018
©Panthers Athletics

Iowans Propel Panthers at Bradley

Ben Ahlrichs-Monticello-UNI ©Panthers Athletics

Ben Ahlrichs-Monticello-UNI
©Panthers Athletics

The UNI Panther men finished 14th overall and the women placed 19th at the Bradley Pink Classic Friday in Peoria at the Newman Golf Course.

Courtesy Panthers Athletics, click here! Feature photo: UNI Men’s Cross Country Team©Panthers Athletics 2018

Wal Khat again performed at a high level. He finished 20th in the field that included some of the top athletes in the Midwest.

Khat ran a 24:58.1, just one-tenth of a second behind the 19th-place finisher and two-tenths behind 18th-place.

Ben Ahlrichs was the second finisher for the UNI men at 25:50.5, good enough for 83rd place. Alex Jackson finished 110th, Andrew Kephart was 130th, CJ Mayclosed the scoring for the Panthers at 133rd.

UNI was third among MVC teams finishing behind host Bradley and Drake, but ahead of Valparaiso, Southern Illinois, Loyola, Illinois State and Western Illinois.

On the women’s side, Gabby Champion finished 69th with a time of 21:56.5. McKayla Cole was 77th with a time of 21:59.1, Gabby Skopec finished 102nd, Alyssa Williams was 156th and Tess Roorda closed the scoring at 170th.
The Panthers were third among Valley teams finishing behind Bradley and Missouri State.

UNI returns to Peoria on Nov. 27 for the MVC Championship on the same course. The NCAA Midwest Regional will also take place in Peoria.

Megan Schott-Roosevelt-Iowa
©Brian Ray 2018

Split Squads For the Hawks Bears Big Results

Megan Schott-Roosevelt-Iowa  ©Brian Ray 2018

Megan Schott-Roosevelt-Iowa
©Brian Ray 2018


University of Iowa senior Megan Schott led the Hawkeyes at the Bradley “Pink” Classic with a 12th place finish (21:02.2) in the 6,000 meters.

Courtesy Hawkeye Athletics, click here! Feature photo: Megan Schott-Roosevelt-Iowa©Brian Ray 2018

The Hawkeyes placed sixth overall in a 39-team field behind three top 30 performances. Andrea shine placed 14th and Anna Hostetlerchecked in at 27th.


“We competed very well today. Sixth against a field of 39 teams. This was a nice test for the ladies and I thought they handled it well. Megan, Andie, and Anna gave us a great 1-2-3 punch. That kind of fire power up front really helps the team score. In addition, I thought Grace McCabe had a great race. We had a lot of young runners in the lineup. They competed very well and ran very solid times in only their second 6k. We also closed the gaps in our line up significantly.”


  • Senior Megan Schott led the Hawkeyes for the first time with a season-best time of 21:02.2, beating her previous best 6,000 meters by a minute.
  • Andrea Shine ran her fastest 6,000 meters of the season in 21:02.2.
  • Freshmen Anna Hostetler (21:25.8), Grace McCabe (21:54.0), Jessica McKee (22:25.6), Ashley Bryja (22:46.9), Kylie Latham 22:57.1and senior Ashley Espinosa 23:37.4 each ran their fastest 6,000 meters of the season. Hostetler finished in third scoring position, McCabe in fourth, and McKee closed out the fifth scoring position for the Hawkeyes.

The Hawkeyes close the regular season in two weeks at the Illini Open on Oct. 19. The postseason begins Oct. 28 at the Big Ten Championships hosted by Nebraska.

Brandon Cooley-Bettendorf-Iowa ©Brian Rey 2018

Brandon Cooley-Bettendorf-Iowa
©Brian Rey 2018


University of Iowa junior Nathan Mylenek led the Hawkeyes’ cross country team in the “Cardinal” 8,000 meters at the NCAA Pre-Nationals on Saturday hosted by Big-Ten Wisconsin.

Courtesy Hawkeye Athletics, click here! 

Mylenek’s 24:39.7 finish is his best time of the season in the 8,000 meters. Following Mylenek in the second scoring position was senior Daniel Soto Junior Karson Sommerwas the third Hawkeye to cross the finish. He raced a career-best 25:08.2.
Senior Bailey Hesse-Withbroe was the fourth (25:19.0) Hawkeye to cross the finish line and junior Brandon Cooley closed out the fifth scoring position (25:25.9).

“Overall, the men came eyed much, much better that we did two weeks ago at Notre Dame,” head coach Randy Hasenbank said. “We did a much better job of establishing the team early in the race. I think we had four men within a couple seconds of each other at 2,500 meters, much better and more assertive early in the race. Nate and Dan led us again up front. I thought Karson competed very well, and Bailey ran very strong on the back half of the course. The gap from 1-5 was much better.”


The Hawkeyes close the regular season in two weeks at the Illini Open on Oct. 19. The postseason begins Oct. 28 at the Big Ten Championships hosted by Nebraska.

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 @Iowa XC T&F on Twitter.

Evelyne Guay, Kelly Naumann, Abby Caldwell-Waverly Shellrock-ISU
©Jim Kirby

ISU Women Run Pretty at the Bradley Pink

Abby Caldwell-Waverley Shell Rock-ISU ©Jim Kirby

Abby Caldwell-Waverley Shell Rock-ISU
©Jim Kirby

The No. 15 Iowa State women’s cross country team took home first place at the 2018 Bradley Pink Classic on Friday afternoon. In total, the Cyclones had five runners finish in the top-25 individually to post a team score of 51, which was 89 points clear of second-place South Dakota.

Courtesy Cyclones Athletics, click here! Feature photo: Evelyne Guay, Kelly Naumann, Abby Caldwell-Waverly Shellrock-ISU©Jim Kirby


Iowa State was led once again by sophomore Cailie Logue. Logue finished first overall in a time of 20:32.6. This was Logue’s second individual title of her career after winning the 2017 Hawkeye Invitational.

Anne Frisbie and Amanda Vestri also posted top-10 performances. Frisbie finished fourth in a time of 20:44.7, closely followed by Vestri, who finished eighth in a time of 20:49.4.

Also crossing the finish line in the top-25 was Karly Ackley and Abby Caldwell. Ackley ran the 6k course in 21:22.6 for 22nd place and Caldwell took 24th with a time of 21:23.1.

The Iowa State women will return to Peoria, Ill. and Newman Golf Course on Friday, Nov. 9 when they take on the field at the NCAA Midwest Regional Championship.

Open Race
Iowa State’s Adriana Kammerer took first place in the Women’s 6k Open Race to begin the day. She ran the 6k course in 21:48.5. Erinn Stenman-Fahey also ran a tough race, taking fourth place in the field of 117 runners in 22:30.4.

Next Up
Iowa State will have next week off as they gear up for postseason action. The Cyclones are set to host the 2018 Big 12 Championship on Friday, Oct. 26 at the ISU Cross Country Course. The women’s race will begin at 10 a.m., followed by the men’s race at 11 a.m.

Individual Results (6K)
1. Cailie Logue, 20:32.6
4. Anne Frisbie, 20:44.7
8. Amanda Vestri, 20:49.9
19. Kelly Naumann, 21:18.9
22. Karly Ackley, 21:22.6
24. Abby Caldwell, 21:23.1
31. Gwynne Wright, 21:29.6
34. Larkin Chapman, 21:31.3
61. Morgan Gigandet, 21:53.8
Team Scores (Top-10 out of 43 Total Teams)
1. Iowa State (51)

2. South Dakota (143)
3. Illinois (147)
4. Grand Valley State (161)
5. Toledo (185)
6. Iowa (234)
7. Butler (241)
8. Bradley (316)
9. Xavier (337)
10. Northern Illinois (341)
Open Race Results
1. – Adriana Kammerer, 21:58.5
4. – Erinn Stenman-Fahey, 22:30.4

Iowa Women Cross Country 2018
©Darren Miller

Schott Finds a New Home

Megan Schott-Roosevelt-Iowa 2018  ©Darren Miller

Megan Schott-Roosevelt-Iowa 2018
©Darren Miller

Megan Schott did the unthinkable for an Iowa native and Iowa State student-athlete: trade in her cardinal and gold Cyclone uniform for a black and gold Hawkeye one. She faced her previous harrier teammates at Iowa’s home invitational in August, her début as a Hawkeye.

Courtesy Hannah Malzenski of the Daily Iowan, for full article click here! Feature photo: 

“The Hawk meet, I was really nervous,” Schott said. “I knew [Iowa State] was going to be there, and I knew I was going to be wearing all black.”

Schott finished fourth that race behind front-runner and teammate Andrea Shine and two teammates from the past, Iowa State’s Abby Caldwell and Karly Ackley.

The senior made her transfer from Ames to Iowa City after not seeing eye-to-eye with the Cyclone coaching staff. Schott devoted her 2018 spring semester to finishing her course work and graduating early. With no academic baggage, the Des Moines native joined Iowa head coach Randy Hasenbank’s squad.

Schott took the summer to transition into the group of Hawkeye harriers so by the time the first practice of the season rolled around, the relative rookie felt as if she had a community.

“I was so psyched to have [Shine] as a training partner,” Schott said. “I felt like we already had that connection, so I walked out to practice and it was really comfortable. I felt like I already had a family.”

The sense of family is already mirrored by the Iowa women.

“[Schott] is a really strong leader,” Shine said. “She helps teach me new ways to approach running as well as the younger girls, so I think that her ability to share her personal experiences and her knowledge of running is impacting the team by giving us all a different and positive outlook on how to approach competitions.”

Schott’s presence has made things happen. The Hawkeye women finished second at the Hawkeye Invitational, third at the Woody Greeno Invitational, and seventh at the competitive Notre Dame Joe Piane Invitational.

At this point last year, the average time between Iowa’s first finisher and fifth finisher was 93 seconds. Now, it’s 83 seconds. When harriers are crossing the finish line within milliseconds, a 10-second shrinkage in the gap counts.

UNI Women's Cross Country
©Panthers Athletics 2018

Iowans All Over Panther’s XC Teams

McKayla Cole=Charles City-UNI  ©Panthers Athletics 2018

McKayla Cole=Charles City-UNI
©Panthers Athletics 2018

UNI cross country’s Wal Khat earned his third top-15 finish of the season to lead the men’s team to an 11th-place finish at the 33rd annual Roy Griak Invitational at the Les Bolstad Course today.

Courtesy Panthers Athletics, click here!  UNI Women’s Cross Country@Panthers Athletics 2018

The women’s team was led by

. The Panthers finished 10th overall. It was the first 6K race for the women this year. Cole placed 48th with a time of 22 minutes, 36.4 seconds. Host No. 23 Minnesota was the team champion.

The women’s team is ranked ninth in the Midwest. Iowa State, No. 2 Minnesota, No. 3 Oklahoma State, No. 4 South Dakota, No. 5

In the men’s 8K race, Khat finished in 12th place in 24:57.60. Junior C.J. May took 69th, leading a tight pack of Panthers. The pack of Ben Ahlrichs, Sam McCool, Alex Jackson and Drake Henrichs finished within 11 seconds from May. The field included 152 finishers.


The Panthers will return to Peoria, Illinois, for the second time this season for the Bradley Classic set for 4 p.m. CT Oct. 12. UNI will finish out its season in Peoria, Illinois, with the MVC Championships and NCAA Midwest Regional.

48. McKayla Cole 22:36.40
52. Gabby Skopec 22:41.10
60. Lucy Conroy 22:51.70
68. Alyssa Williams 23:03.0
70. Tess Roorda 23:05.00
99. Paige Holub 23:42.90
136. Jill Vonnahme 25:10.50


  1. Minnesota 52 – (No. 1 Midwest)
  2. Cal Baptist 82 – (No. 14 in West)
  3. South Dakota 106 – (No. 4 in Midwest)
  4. Harvard 115 – (No. 10 in Northeast)
  5. Montana State 133 – (No. 12 in Mountain)
  6. North Dakota State 173
  7. Cal State Fullerton 173
  8. Rice 184 – (No. 10 in South Central)
  9. South Dakota State 196
  10. UNI 256
  11. North Dakota 290
  12. Creighton 367
  13. Western Illinois 379
  14. Drake 385

12. Wal Khat 24:57.60
69. C.J. May 26:12.60
74. Ben Ahlrichs 26:17.60
75. Sam McCool 26:19. 70
77. Alex Jackson 26:21.20
79. Drake Henrichs 26:23.10
109. Logan Murray 26:54.40
117. Andrew Kephart 27:10.0


  1. Duke 74
  2. Minnesota 77 – (No. 3 Midwest)
  3. Harvard 89 – (No. 10 Northeast)
  4. South Dakota State 132 – (No. 12 Midwest)
  5. Navy 138 – (No. 6 MidAtlantic)
  6. Montana State 145 – (No. 12 Mountain)
  7. Drake 155
  8. Cal Baptist 216
  9. Cal State Fullerton 221
  10. North Dakota State 223
  11. UNI 259
  12. South Dakota 338
  13. Creighton 427
  14. North Dakota 445
  15. Western Illinois 457
Iowa Women Cross Country 2018
©Darren Miller

Soto and Schott Lead Hawkeyes

Daniel Soto-WDM Valley-Iowa ©Hawkeye Athletics-Darren Miller-2016

Daniel Soto-WDM Valley-Iowa
©Hawkeye Athletics-Darren Miller-2016

The University of Iowa cross country teams finished seventh in the women’s “blue” 5,000 meters and ninth in the men’s “blue” five mile races at the Joe Piane – Notre Dame Invitational on Friday.

Courtesy Hawkeye Athletics, click here! Feature photo: Iowa Women Cross Country 2018©Darren Miller

Seniors Daniel Soto and Andrea Shine led the Hawkeyes in their respective races. Soto bettered his personal best five miles time by more than 30 seconds, clocking in at 24:16.19 to finish 14th, overall. Shine finished the women’s 5,000 meters, placing 15th in 17:10.29 to also break her personal best time by six seconds.

On the women…
“I was excited for our women today. I think every spot in the lineup did better. We competed very well. We beat some very good teams from around the country. We were, again, led by Andie, but the most significant aspect of the race is that we closed gaps. Megan had a very good race in the two spot. Anna was close in the three spot, and three other freshmen impressed me in the four, five, and six spots. Grace raced more aggressively and looked confident out there on the course and Jessica McKee and Kylie Latham were not far behind. A lot of youth the lineup and they did a real nice job.”

On the men…
“Dan Soto continues to impress me. He ran with and beat some very good runners today. What I liked most about Dan’s last two outings is just how fearless he has become.
He is establishing himself early at the front of the races and good things are happening for him. I think he has developed in so many ways over the past year. He was really still building strength and stamina last fall. By the indoor and outdoor season, he ran some very good times in his 3,000 and 10,000 meters. This showed me that he was fit and strong. He took it into the summer and is just getting better and better this fall.”

“As a team, we competed well, not great. I thought we had some nice individual races. Brandon was a lot more aggressive early in the race and that gave him a pretty good result. Overall, I think we would all like to see us execute a little better. We need to run as a pack and be far more aggressive in the first third of the race.

“We had some young men make significant improvement in the open race as Spencer [Smith], Konnor [Sommer] and Jeff [Roberts] all ran well and posted big personal best times.”

The women’s team was led for the third time by seniors Shine and Megan Schott (17:28.99) and were once again followed by a strong freshmen class. Anna Hostetler finished in the third scoring position (17:42.71), Grace McCabe in fourth (18:10.29), and Jessica McKee closed out the final scoring position (18:24.47).


  • Junior Karson Sommer broke his personal best five mile time by one minute and five seconds, moving into the fourth scoring position for the Hawkeyes in 25:10.21.
  • Sophomore Noah Healy also broke his best five mile time by over a minute, scoring in the fifth position (25:25.77).
  • Dan Murphy shaved over 30 seconds off his previous best, finishing the five mile race at 25:32.47.
  • In the women’s 5,000 meters open, Wren Renquist and Mary Arch put up personal best performances with times of 19:14.28 and 19:15.65, respectively. In the men’s five mile open, Jeff Roberts bettered his five mile time by over a minute from last season, crossing in 25:53.46.

The Hawkeyes head in different directions in two weeks as the women compete in the Bradley Invite on Oct.  12 and the men compete on Oct. 13 at the Pre-Nationals meet, hosted by Wisconsin.

Anna Hostetler, Grace McCabe, and Jessica McKee 

Iowans Make Waves With Hawks

 Anna Hostetler-Mid Prairie-Iowa ©Darren 2018

Anna Hostetler-Mid Prairie-Iowa
©Darren 2018

The University of Iowa women’s cross country team was in search of roster depth, so head coach Randy Hasenbank added 11 first-year runners in 2018.

Three of them — Anna Hostetler, Grace McCabe, and Jessica McKee — enjoyed success at the highest level in high school…at a variety of distances.
Courtesy Hawkeye Athletics, click here! Feature photo/ 2018
Hostetler, who won the Iowa Class 2A state cross country title as a junior, was runner-up to her younger sister last fall. The Parnell, Iowa, native helped Mid-Prairie to the state championship. McKee navigated a similar trail. She finished third overall and was the No. 2 runner for Johnston (Iowa), which won the Class 4A state title. McCabe, who is from Clarendon Hills, Illinois, finished 23rd overall and Hinsdale Central placed 10th in Class 3A, the largest class in the state.

201819_24_insertNot only is the rookie trio contending for spots on Iowa’s postseason cross country roster, but their range from 800 to 5,000 meters will bolster Iowa’s indoor and outdoor track teams.

“We put an awful lot of work as a staff into emphasizing improving that piece of our roster,” Hasenbank said. “We want to get back to where we are contributing at a high level in cross country, indoor, and outdoor. We tried to put together a dynamic class.”

Hostetler, who intends on majoring in English, won eight Iowa state high school championships in track and field, one Drake Relays title, and one state cross country championship. Parnell is less than a 40-minute drive to the University of Iowa campus.

“It is exciting being close to home, having meets so close, and being able to have my family and friends come support me,” Hostetler said.

Anna Hostetler has a great resume and is a fantastic runner,” Hasenbank said. “We are looking forward to what she brings to the squad. She is very tough and is willing to train and do whatever it takes to be a champion.”

Hostetler showed her range at the state track meet in May, winning the 800-meter run, the 1,500, and the distance medley relay (800 anchor leg), and placing third in the 3,000.

As a true freshman, she enters an unknown as a Division I collegiate competitor.

“It is hard to know what to expect and where I will be, but contributing to the team and doing well as a team and placing well at meets is a big goal,” Hostetler said. “I’m excited to help that way.”

McCabe, an open major, downshifted distances at her final state track meet and competed solely in relays. She ran a leg on Hinsdale Central’s 4×400 relay team and came back the next day as the Red Devils won the 4×800 relay.

“It is exciting to be in the Big Ten because we watch it on TV and it seems very professional,” McCabe said. “I’m excited to be here and the rest of the girls are nice and talented.”

“Grace is a wonderful young lady and has range that is unusual,” Hasenbank said. “She has run 57 (seconds) in the 400 all way up to 10:45 in the 3,200. It is fun to have someone with that dynamic on the roster. It also reminds athletes that you cannot have just one secret in your toolkit. To be able to endure over the long haul and be strong as an endurance athlete and never ignoring the speed, especially in the Big Ten, that factor plays huge — you have to be able to shift gears and run with pretty talented people. She has a broad skillset.”

Hostetler was coached in high school by her father, Mark. McCabe can take that one step further: her junior high coach was her mother, Sarah, and her high school coach was her father, Mark.

“It’s nice to be able to call someone coach and not mom or dad,” McCabe said. “They were good coaches, I was lucky to live that (running) lifestyle, too.”

At this stage of their careers, McKee appears to be the most distance-oriented of the three. She provided senior leadership a year ago as Johnston rolled to a 44-point victory at the state cross country championships in Iowa’s largest class. Then, on the track, she placed third in the 3,000, fifth in the 1,500, and was a member of the sixth-place 4×800 team.

“The longer the distance, the better,” McKee said. “I will like having the 6K this year in (college) cross country. I want to try the 5K and 10K in track.”

There is something else Hasenbank likes about McKee.

“She has been consistent throughout her career,” he said.

After the first two meets of their collegiate careers, the Hawkeye newcomers have raced at 4,000 meters (Hawkeye Invitational on Aug. 31) and 6,000 meters (Woody Greeno Invitational on Sept. 15). Hostetler was 14th at the Hawkeye Invitational and 21st at Woody Greeno and she was the third Iowa runner across the line behind seniors Andrea Shine and transfer Megan Schott. McCabe was 15th and 56th overall in the two races, while McKee finished 29th and 50th.

“You have to make sure you’re patient, it’s exciting to think about the potential,” Hasenbank said. “There is a lot of room for opportunity and growth; what I like for the young gals, they get an opportunity to experience sport at a high level versus waiting one, two, or three years to develop. There is opportunity right now in the program where they can get their feet wet and get a feel for what it’s like to run and compete at the next level.”

Iowa returns to action Sept. 28 at the Joe Piane Invitational hosted by Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana. Racing begins at noon (CT).

Gary Wilson-Minnesota
©Golden Gophers 2018

The One, The Only Coach Wilson, Inducted Into Griak Hall

Coach Gary Wilson-Minnesota ©Jim Kirby

Coach Gary Wilson-Minnesota
©Jim Kirby

The University of Minnesota and Gopher Athletics are proud to announce the 2018 Roy Griak Invitational Hall of Fame class, highlighting four individuals who have made immeasurable contributions to one of the nation’s top cross country meets.

Courtesy Golden Gophers Athletics 2018, click here! Feature photo: Gary Wilson-Minnesota ©Golden Gophers Athletics 2018

This year’s inductees are Hassan Mead, Rasa (Michniovaite) Troup, Dave Percival, and Griak Invitational co-founder Gary Wilson.

The 2018 Roy Griak Invitational Hall of Fame class will be honored during the 33rd annual Roy Griak Invitational, set for Saturday, Sept. 29 at Les Bolstad Golf Course in Falcon Heights, Minn.

Gary Wilson

Gary Wilson served as Minnesota’s women’s cross country head coach for 28 years from 1985 to 2012. During that time, he not only helped establish the annual Roy Griak Invitational but he coached the Gophers to Griak team titles in 1988, 2000, 2007, and 2008. In 1988, all teams ran one race and Wilson’s Gophers scored just 39 points to take home the title. Wilson’s 2000 Gophers scored 98 points for the team title in the Women’s Gold Division I Race, topping runner-up Yale (127 points) and third-place Arizona State (140), as Corinne Nimtz placed fifth and Darja Vasiljeva took eighth to the Maroon & Gold. In 2007, the Gophers again brought home top team honors under Wilson’s direction; Minnesota packed its five scoring runners into the top 30 to score 97 points led by Jamie Cheever in eighth place and Gabriele Anderson in 10th. The Gophers repeated as Griak team champions in 2008 behind top-five individual showings from runner-up Megan Duwell, Anderson (fourth), and Cheever (fifth). Wilson’s athletes’ top performances at the Roy Griak Invitational include individual titles won by Rasa Michiniovaite (1998) and Duwell (2009) as well.

Wilson’s coaching success reaches far beyond the Griak Invitational as he guided the Gophers to 15 consecutive NCAA Championship appearances and coached six different Gophers to nine All-America certificates. The 2007 and 2008 Midwest Region and Big Ten Coach of the Year, Wilson led Minnesota cross country to its first two conference titles (2007 and 2008) and three consecutive Midwest Region crowns (2007, 2008, and 2009). He also served as Gopher women’s track & field head coach for 21 seasons before taking on an assistant role starting in 2007. Wilson was part of four Big Ten titles on the track. He was named Coach of the Year for the Big Ten, Midwest Region, and Midwest District in 2006 when Minnesota won the outdoor conference title and Heather Dorniden became the Gophers’ first-ever national champion. Along with his Griak Hall of Fame induction, Wilson is an inductee of the USTFCCCA, University of Minnesota “M” Club, Drake Relays, and UW-La Crosse Halls of Fame, as well as a recipient of the U of M President’s Award for Service.