All the news from Division I Mens and Womens Track.

Edwin Kurgat-ISU
©Luke Lu 2019

Cyclones Ranked High in Early Season Polls

Thomas Polalrd-Gilbert-ISU ©Michael Scott 2017

Thomas Polalrd-Gilbert-ISU
©Michael Scott 2017

The No. 5 Iowa State cross country team finished third place at the John McNichols Invitational on Saturday. It was a stacked field that the Cyclones ran against as five of the Nation’s top-25 teams were in attendance.

Courtesy Cyclones Athletics, click here! Feature photo: Edwin Kurgat-ISU©Luke Lu 2019


The Cyclones finished with 66 team points behind first-place Northern Arizona (31) and second-place Stanford (51).

The Cyclones were led by All-American Edwin Kurgat. Kurgat ran an outstanding race and finished first individually in a time of 23:47. It was a battle down the last 400 meters, but Kurgat outlasted Stanford’s Thomas Ratcliffe, crossing the finish line four seconds ahead of him.

Transfers Addison Dehaven and Mitchell Day were making their Iowa State cross country debuts on Saturday morning. Dehaven, a two-time All-American, finished 11th individually in 24:19. Day, the 2017 ACC Freshman of the Year, took 15th in a time of 24:35.

Sophomore Chad Johnson and junior Thomas Pollard also posted top-20 performances. Johnson finished 19th in 24:50, followed closely by Pollard who finished 20th in 24:51. Junior Milo Greder was also in that pack, and finished 21st in 24:53.

The Cyclones will be off for a bit before returning to the course on Oct. 18 at the annual Wisconsin Nuttycombe Invitational in Madison, Wis.

Individual Results
1. Edwin Kurgat, 23:47
11. Addison Dehaven, 24:19
15. Mitchell Day, 24:35
19. Chad Johnson, 24:50
20. Thomas Pollard, 24:51
21. Milo Greder, 24:53

Top-10 Team Scores
1. Northern Arizona, 31
2. Stanford, 51
3. Iowa State, 66
4. Purdue, 70
5. Indiana, 174
6. Eastern Michigan, 204
7. Illinois, 226
8. IUPUI, 309
9. Eastern Illinois
10. Central Arkansas

Brittney Brown-Iowa
© 2019

Hawk’s Brown Readies For World Championships

Brittany Brown-Iowa ©Darren Miller

Brittany Brown-Iowa
©Darren Miller

Former University of Iowa All-American Brittany Brown has added red, white, and blue to her wardrobe in 2019.

Courtesy Hawkeye Athletics, click here! Feature photo: Brittney Brown-Iowa © 2019

Brown represents Team USA at the 2019 World Championships next week in Doha, Qatar. She is racing the 200 meters beginning Monday, Sept. 30. The semifinals are Oct. 1, and the finals are Oct. 2.

Brown was an 11-time All-American for the Hawkeyes from 2014-18. She is a Big Ten champion and school record holder in the 200 meters (22.30). She graduated in 2018, and qualified for the World Championships in July at the 2019 World Team Trials.

It is a path she never saw coming.

“When I was here as a student I was just running,” Brown said. “I didn’t think I would be able to reach this level, but now that I am I’m grateful and thankful for all of the support Iowa gave me.”

Since earning a spot on Team USA, Brown has been training in Iowa City and making trips to Europe. Earlier this month, she won the 200 meters at an event billed as “The Match,” a track meet in Belarus pitting Team USA against Europe.

“I am building off of that. A win always makes you a little more confident going into your next race. I felt really good coming off the curve,” Brown said. “It’s always a good feeling to put on that USA uniform and run for your country. It gives you a little bit more confidence going into the World Championships.”

Brown is joined on Team USA by former teammate and NCAA champion Laulauga Tausaga, who will throw discus for Team USA  in the qualifying round Oct. 2.

The 2019 World Championships are Sept. 27-Oct. 6 at Doha, Qatar. More information can be found on

Karson Sommer-PV-Iowa
©Mike Byrnes 2018

Big Efforts For Hawks’ Karson Sommer

Karson Sommer-Pleasant Valley-Iowa ©Mike Brynes 2018

Karson Sommer-Pleasant Valley-Iowa
©Mike Brynes 2018

If it’s a big race, the University of Iowa knows it will receive a big effort from Karson Sommer.

“When the lights go on, I don’t have to worry about who will show up,” said Randy Hasenbank, Iowa’s associate head coach for cross country/track and field.

Courtesy Darren Miller/, click here! Feature photo: Karson Sommer-PV-Iowa©Mike Byrnes 2018

Sommer, a senior from Bettendorf, Iowa, is in his final season of collegiate cross country, but he has two seasons left for both indoor and outdoor track and field. As a senior at Pleasant Valley High School, Sommer placed fifth in the Class 4A state cross country meet and concluded an injury-riddled track season by placing eighth in the Class 4A 1,600 run.

He wanted to stay close to the Quad-Cities for college, and Iowa, with its engineering department, was a good fit. Sommer will earn a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering after the spring semester, then he plans to pursue a master’s in business analytics. He is an Academic All-Big Ten and Dean’s List student.

“My time at Iowa has been great,” Sommer said. “I have developed a lot as a runner, moving more toward distance. Coming out of high school I was lower mileage and now I’m doing probably twice as many miles as I was in high school. Academically, I have learned a lot being in electrical engineering that I can hopefully apply to wherever my career takes me.”

Sommer has completed two internships, the first doing data analytics for the Department of Defense at the Rock Island Arsenal, the second was designing tolerance analysis software for a company called Inventive Engineering.

It is his reputation as a big-race competitor that impresses Hasenbank.

In 2018, when the Hawkeyes placed sixth as a team at the Big Ten Championships in cross country, Sommer was 39th with an 8,000-meter time of 24:40.4. That was 43 spots higher than he finished the previous season. Twelve days later at the NCAA Regional, he finished 35th with a 10K time of 31:47.9. That was 58 spots higher than he finished as a sophomore.

“He is a fearless competitor and doesn’t care what the stat sheet says,” Hasenbank said. “If he is racing sub-4 (minute mile) guys, he is going to race them all. He has a great attitude and is easy to coach. He finishes workouts and sets a high standard.”

Sommer says he is in the best shape of his life as he covers 70-85-mile weeks. In the season opening Hawkeye Invitational on Sept. 6, Sommer was Iowa’s eighth runner (22nd overall) with a 6K time of 19:00.9. Don’t check the final results, it will be confusing. Sommer’s younger brother, Konnor, is also on Iowa’s team, and somehow Karson wore Konnor’s timing chip and vice-versa. While the results say Karson was 25th in 19:09, he actually finished three positions higher.

Having a brother on the roster has advantages, despite an occasional case of misidentification. Konnor is a sophomore, and the duo was used to the sibling running dynamic when they competed together in high school. In college, they have a go-to running buddy.

“It is nice to have a training partner who can be reliable,” Karson said. “Konnor is someone to do workouts with if other people on the team can’t train with you for whatever reason.”

In his first three seasons as a Hawkeye, Sommer has experienced plenty of highlights. None were more memorable than being part of a Big Ten Conference championship track and field team in May; he was 20th in the 1,500 with a time of 3:52.17. Last fall, the Hawkeyes were sixth as a team at Big Ten cross county, their best finish since 2009.

Like he did a season ago, Sommer aims to continue improving his finishes at meets from a year ago, especially in the postseason. He is looking for top 15 individual and top five team placings at Big Ten and regionals.

“For whatever reason, even though I come into the season in good shape, the results at (early) meets don’t show for me because we aren’t tapered,” Sommer said. “At the end of the year is where I have better performances.”

Hasenbank will rely on Sommer’s record of steadiness to lead the Hawkeyes to big results.

“To reach our potential, we need him to be battling in our top three,” Hasenbank said. “He will, he can, and he has.”

The Hawkeyes will compete at the Greeno/Dirksen Invitational on Saturday at Mahoney Golf Course in Lincoln, Nebraska. Last season Iowa finished runner-up with 68 points; Sommer was 28th with an 8K time of 25:53.7.

Panthers' Men Cross Country
©Panthers Athletics 2019

Iowans Propel Panthers in Normal

CJ May-App. Parkersburg-UNI ©Jim Kirby 2017

CJ May-App. Parkersburg-UNI
©Jim Kirby 2017

Wal Khat finished seventh to lead the UNI men to a fifth-place finish, and Katie Nimrod finished 15th to lead UNI to a sixth-place finish at the Illinois State Invite at the Weibring Golf Club in Normal.

Feature photo:Panthers’ Men Cross Country©Panthers Athletics 2019     Courtesy Panthers Athletics, click here!


Khat finished the 8K course in 24:55.3 to lead the way for UNI. CJ May followed up his strong week at the Hawkeye Invite with a 13th-place finish and a time of 25:11.0. Logan Murray finished 31st with a time of 25:47.6, David Holesinger was 37th with a time of 25:57.3 and Drake Henrichsclosed the scoring for UNI with a 45th-place finish and a time of 26:03.9.

On the women’s side, Nimrod finished with a time of 18:14.3. Freshman Cassidy Ihns was just two spots behind in 17th place with a time of 18:19.9. Paige Holub finished 31st with a time of 18:51.8, Tess Roorda finished 45th with a time of 19:057 and Haylee Luna closed out the scoring with a 54th-place finish and a time of 19:17.8. UNI’s top two runners, McKayla Cole and Gabby Champion did not run Saturday.

The Panthers now have two weeks off before returning to action on Sept. 28 at the Roy Griak Invitational hosted by the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.

Mizzou Women
@Tigers Athletics 2019

Kleve and Thomas Lead Mizzou to Victory

Jordyn Kleve-Johnston-Mizzou ©Jim Kirby 2016

Jordyn Kleve-Johnston-Mizzou
©Jim Kirby 2016

Mizzou Cross Country continued the 2019 season in Nashville, Tenn., on Saturday morning, competing in the Commodore Classic. The Tigers had both the men’s and women’s teams post top-5 finishes as the women placed fourth with 141 team points while the men came in fifth with 136. Junior Sarah Chapman (Maidenhead, England) finished 11th overall for the Mizzou women while redshirt senior Thomas George (Gloucester, England) and senior Kieran Wood (Cambridge, England) led the men’s side by both posting top-15 finishes.

Feature photo: Mizzou Women©Tigers Athletics    Courtesy Mizzou Athletics, click here!



The Mizzou women placed a trio of runners in the top 25 as Chapman, redshirt senior Jordyn Kleve (Urbandale, Iowa) and freshman Jenna Schwartz (Waterloo, Iowa) paced the Tigers. In their first 6K races with the Tigers, Chapman and Schwartz put up times of 21:34.3 and 22:00.6, respectively. Meanwhile, junior Lexi Maddox (Riverside, Mo.) set a personal best by posting a time of 22:57.1, topping her 23:18.5 mark at the Bradley Pink Classic on October 12 last season.

On the men’s side, George and Wood led the Tigers to a fourth-place finish overall with George finishing 11th overall with a time of 24:44.8 while Wood came in 14th place at 24:52.7. Redshirt junior Dylan Quisenberry (Wildwood, Mo.) set a personal record with a 26:18.0 finish, his best in the 8,000m topping a 27:00.9 time at the Cowboy Jamboree on September 30, 2017.

With team finishes of fourth and fifth place, the Tigers placed second among all SEC competition at the meet. The Tigers slightly trailed Ole Miss (Women: 1st – 76 points, Men: 4th – 128 points) while finishing ahead of Georgia, Vanderbilt and Auburn.


“Both teams battled hard today,” said Head Coach Marc Burns. “Our men executed the game plan well with Thomas and Kieran up front and Martin, Victor and Oaklee working up over the second half of the race. We were in seventh place midway through the race so we moved up quite a bit.

“Our women showed how deep we are today. Sarah did a great job up front for us and then it got interesting. Jordyn finished strong and had a great kick to be our number two. Jenna, Isabelle, Sophia and Hannah really stepped up to help the team today. We will get better throughout the year as we get some people healthy and our training progresses. I am proud of how both teams battled today in some hot conditions. We are looking forward to the next two weeks of training and opening up our new course on Friday the 27th.”


Mizzou returns home for the Mizzou Cross Country Challenge on Friday, September 27 at the brand-new Gans Creek Cross Country Course in Columbia, Mo. The meet will be the second and final home competition of the 2019 season. The Tigers will then head to the Nuttycombe Wisconsin Invitational and the Bradley Pink Classic on Friday, October 18 before postseason competition begins on Friday, November 1 with the SEC Championships.

For all the latest on Mizzou Track & Field, stay tuned to and follow the team on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram(MizzouTFXC).

MEN’S 8K RESULTS – 5th  Place (132 points, 11-14-31-33-47)

  1. Thomas George, 24:44.8 // 14. Kieran Wood, 25:52.7 // 36. Martin Prodanov, 25:25.1 // 39. Victor Mugeche, 25:28.3 // 55. Oaklee Hauschild, 25:47.5 // 82. Dylan Quisenberry, 26:18.0 // 84. Michael Widmann, 26:20.5 // 104. Marquette Wilhite, 26:53.4

WOMEN’S 6K RESULTS – 4th Place (141 points, 11-20-22-41-47)

  1. Sarah Chapman, 21:34.3 // 21. Jordyn Kleve, 21:58.8 // 23. Jenna Schwartz, 22:00.6 // 42. Sophia Racette, 22:27.3 // 48. Hannah Thomas, 22:31.5 // 49. Isabelle Christiansen, 22:32.5 // 64. Melissa Menghini, 22:48.4 // 74. Lexi Maddox, 22:57.1 // 76. Mikayla Reed, 22:58.5 // 96. Ginger Murnieks, 23:17.7 // 101. Reilly Revord, 23:20.9
UNI Women's Cross Country Team
©Panthers Athletics 2018

Iowans Help Panthers in Season Opener

UNI Men's Cross Country 2018 ©Panthers Athletics

UNI Men’s Cross Country 2018
©Panthers Athletics

UNI cross country opened the season at the Iowa Hawkeye Invitational in breezy conditions at the Ashton Cross Country Course in Iowa City.

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


For the men, senior CJ May led the way, finishing ninth with a time of 18:28.3, a personal record for the senior in the 6,000-meter event. Senior Wal Khat finished 13th with a time of 18:41.8, just seconds behind May. Junior Logan Murray also cracked the top 30 by finishing 29th with a time of 19:14.9.

Freshman David Holesinger made his collegiate debut and finished 39th with a time of 19:49.9. Sophomore Sam McCool finished 42nd with a time of 20:06.8 and Zach Krogmann finished 55nd with a time of 20:52.7. Overall placing the panther men at fifth.

Freshman Cassidy Inhs finished 14th with a time of 14:43.0 to lead the way for UNI. Sophomore Gabby Champion finished 15th with a time of 14:44.9. Fellow sophomore Paige Holub finished 24th with a time of 15:03.7.

Junior Tess Roorda finished 35th with a time of 15:29.5, junior Haylee Luna takes 39th with a time of 15:34.4, sophomore Maddie Block finishes 47th with a time of 16:00.3 and Freshman Abby Rileyfinished at 56th with a time of 16:27.0 to make her collegiate debut. The women finish 4th as a team.

The Panthers travel to Normal, Illinois on Friday, Sept. 15, to race in the Illinois State Cross Country Invitational.

Iowa Men's Cross Country
©Brian Ray/ 2018

Hawks Sweep Their Invitational

Megan Schott-Roosevelt-Iowa  ©Brian Ray 2018

Megan Schott-Roosevelt-Iowa
©Brian Ray 2018

The University of a Iowa men’s and women’s cross country teams opened the season by sweeping team titles Friday at the Hawkeye Invitational.

Courtesy Hawkeye Athletics, click here! Feature photo: Iowa Men’s Cross Country©Brian Ray/ 2018

The men won with 26 points, 25 points ahead of second-place Drake. The women scored 36 points, nine points ahead of Iowa State.

Senior Nathan Mylenek led the Hawkeye men, placing second overall in the 6,000 meters. He finished in 18:16 to jump from sixth to third on Iowa’s all-time top 10 list. Daniel Murphy, Luke Sampson and Spencer Smith also jumped into the all-time top 10 list. Murphy’s 18:19 time ranks fifth. Sampson ranks sixth in 18:22 and Smith ranks seventh in 18:25

For the women, Senior Megan Schott led the group by placing fourth overall and recording a new personal best in 14:14. There were a total of nine women who reached a new career best in the 4,000-meters. Four Hawkeyes finished in the top 10, one of those spots was freshman Leah Kralovetz.

“Each year we are getting better and better. The women went out faster than we planned and that’s an aggressive mistake. The men went out far more                                                  conservative and kept it together. We have a lot of very specific prep and a lot of training left ahead of us. Training trumps races. You have to train well                                                    and train consistent. That will be the big difference if we can take that training to the next level.”

“I was shouting and yelling the entire race. Luke Sampson decided to take the lead so when I passed him, I made sure he wasn’t dropping. He did great. This race wasn’t about winning. It was about executing a run so we’re ready for an 8k. My goal is to eventually run an 18 flat, which is three minutes per K. The goal is hopefully to do that easily. I was just 16 seconds off.”

“We trimmed a little bit today. The course was dry and in great shape. I thought the team worked as a crew, which we haven’t seen in a couple years. We had a good pack with good energy. The girls were ready for a test. We didn’t taper anything. We had a really tough workout on Tuesday, one of the best workouts that we’ve ever had, so we were excited and tired, but we bounced back really well. It was a good start.”


The Hawkeyes return to competition at the Woody Greeno Invite on Sept. 21 in Lincoln, Neb.

Abby Caldwell-Waverley Shellrock-ISU
©Michael Scott

Cyclones’ Caldwell Takes Individual Title

Abby Caldwell-Waverley Shell Rock-ISU ©Jim Kirby

Abby Caldwell-Waverley Shell Rock-ISU
©Jim Kirby

Senior Abby Caldwell-Waverley Shellrock-ISU ran away from the field at the Hawkeye Invitational to claim the individual title, clocking in a 4K time of 14:02.0. As a team, the No. 17 Iowa State women took second place to Iowa.


Courtesy Cyclones Athletics, click here! Feature photo:Abby Caldwell-Waverley Shellrock-ISU©Michael Scott


Last season, Caldwell finished second at this event. At the halfway mark, she sat in the second position again. A kick down the stretch gave the Waverly, Iowa, native an individual victory, outpacing runner-up finisher, Winrose Chesang, of Iowa Central by three seconds.

Two other Cyclones posted top-10 finishes at Ashton Cross Country Course in Iowa City. Gwynne Wrighttook eighth place in a time of 14:27.0, followed closely by Madelynn Hill, making her collegiate debut, crossing the finish line in 14:29.2.

Dana Feyen and Janette Schraft were also running in their first race as Iowa State runners. Feyen took 12th in 14:38.4, while Schraft finished 17th in a time of 14:49.8.

Morgan Gigandet posted a top-25 finish with a 21st-place showing, finishing in 14:54.8. Alexis Gourrier ran a 4K time of 15:22.3, while Brina Kraft ran it in 15:30.6, finishing 32nd and 37th, respectively. Anna Herriott rounded out the Cardinal and Gold lineup with a 53rd-place finish in 16:22.4.

Iowa State will have a few weeks off before returning to the course on Oct. 4 at the Joe Piane Notre Dame Invitational in South Bend, Ind. Race time is set for 1 p.m. that day.

Individual Results
Abby Caldwell – 1st – 14:02.0
Gwynne Wright – 8th – 14:27.0
Madelynn Hill – 9th – 14:29.2
Dana Feyen – 12th – 14:38.4
Janette Schraft – 17th – 14:49.8
Morgan Gigandet – 21st – 14:54.8
Alexis Gourrier – 32nd – 15:22.3
Brina Kraft – 37th – 15:30.6
Anna Herriott – 53rd – 16:22.4

Team Scores
1. Iowa, 36
2. Iowa State, 47
3. Iowa Central CC, 49
4. Northern Iowa, 110
5. Drake, 123
6. Illinois State, 148
7. Hawkeye CC, 225

Jessica Heims-CR Prairie-USA
©Panthers Athletics

Heims Set to Compete at Parapan America Games

Jessica Heims-CR Prairie-USA Olympian and Mike Jay

Jessica Heims-CR Prairie-USA Olympian and Mike Jay

Junior UNI track and field athlete Jessica Heims is set to represent Team USA in the Parapan America Games at the Athletics Stadium in Lima. She will try to improve on her classification world record discus throw of 34.18 meters from the outdoor track season and capture gold for the red, white and blue.

Courtesy of Panthers Athletic, click here! Feature photo: Jessica Heims-CR Prairie-USA ©Panthers Athletics 2019

The event will be her second international event of the year after capturing three golds at the Para Athletics Grand Prix in Grosseto, Italy, in June.

She competed in the 100-meter run, the 200-meter run and the discus in Italy, but in Peru, she will focus on the discus.

Heims will face stiff competition in Cuba’s Noraivis De Las Heras who finished third in the discus in the Rio Paralympic Games in 2016 with a throw of 32.47 meters.

Heims’ f64 classification is scheduled to compete at 5:02 p.m. CT. There will be live stream whip-around coverage of the meet on the streaming page and results are available on the website.

Edwin Kurgat-ISU
©Luke Lu 2019

Pollard set to Lead Cyclones in 2019

Thomas Pollard-Gilbert-ISU ©Michael Scott 2016

Thomas Pollard-Gilbert-ISU
©Michael Scott 2016

Today Iowa State Director of Men’s and Women’s Track and Cross Country, Martin Smith, announced the captains of the 2019 men’s cross country team. Senior Edwin Kurgat and junior Thomas Pollard are set to lead the 2019 men’s squad.

Courtesy Cyclones Athletics. Feature photo: Edwin Kurgat-ISU©Luke Lu 2019


“I am very pleased to announce our co-captains for the men’s cross country team,” Smith said. “Edwin Kurgat and Thomas Pollard personify the leadership skills that are essential for our team to continue to build on our past successes. Both young men are seasoned veterans and possess vital experience at the national level. Those attributes will translate into having a player-coach on the course.”

Kurgat, the 2018-19 Gary Thompson Iowa State Male Athlete of the Year, has already compiled one of the greatest careers in Iowa State Cross Country history. Last season, he became ISU’s first ever individual Big 12 Champion. He followed that up with an individual title at the NCAA Midwest Regional. He was involved in a tight finish at the 2018 NCAA Championships, that ultimately earned him a third-place individual finish. He is the 39th All-American in program history. Kurgat was named the 2018 Big 12 Men’s Runner of the Year and the USTFCCCA Bill Bergan Award Winner.

After sitting out the 2018 season, Pollard rejoins the Cyclone lineup in 2019. In 2017, Pollard was a pivotal piece in Iowa State’s first-ever Big 12 team title. He finished fifth at the Big 12 Conference meet, earning All-Big 12 honors. During his freshman campaign in 2016, Pollard became the first Cyclone to win Big 12 Newcomer of the Year. Off the course, Pollard is a two-time Academic All-Big 12 First Team selection.

The 2019 men’s cross country season will begin on Saturday, Sept. 21 at the John McNichols Invitational in Terre Haute, Ind.