Payton Wensel-Lin Mar-Iowa
©Brian Ray Hawkeye Sports

Many Iowans in Action This Past Weekend

Michelle Carrillo-Storm Lake-GVU ©Doug Wells-2018

Michelle Carrillo-Storm Lake-GVU
©Doug Wells-2018

Teams listed have former Iowa preps on their rosters.

Feature photo: Payton Wensel-Lin Mar-Iowa©Brian Ray Hawkeye Sports
Larry Wieczorek Invitational at Iowa-Iowa, Iowa State, Minnesota, Missouri.
Dutch Athletics Classic at Central College-Truman St, William Penn, Simpson, Central.
Click here!
Sol Butler Classic at Dubuque-Loras, University of Dubuque, Clarke.
Hilltop Invitational at Cornell-Coe, Cornell, Grinnell
Chelsey M. Henkenius Open at Wartburg-Hawkeye Community College, Briar Cliff, NIACC, Wartburg, Waldorf, Buena Vista, Grand View.
Monmouth MW Indoor Invitational at Monmouth-Augustana, Illinois.
Wichaita St. Shocker Prelude-Wichita St.
KU, KSU, WSU Triangular at KU-KU, WSU.
SDSU Jim Emmerich/Alumni Invite-SDSU, ICCC, South Dakota.
Bison Team Cup at NDSU-UNI, NDSU.
2019 NW Missouri Open-NW Missouri, Iowa Western, Missouri Western, Nebraska Kearney.
U of St. Thomas Invite-St. Thomas.
Eau Claire, Platteville, Stevens Point Triangular-Eau Claire, WI.-Wis-Platteville.
Stout Open-UW LaCrosse.
SDSU DII Invitational-Minnesota State, Augustana, SD, Sioux Falls, Morningside, Northwestern, Wayne State, Dordt, SW Minnesota State.
Scott Nisely Memorial Classic at Doane University-Graceland.
Simpson Women's XC
©Jim Kirby 2017

Full Slate of XC Meets This Weekend

Joanna Topham-Griswald-Hawkeye Comm. © Jill Dahlstrom-2017

Joanna Topham-Griswald-Hawkeye Comm.
© Jill Dahlstrom-2017

The 2018 Cross Country season will begin for most Iowa colleges and universities this weekend.

The following is a list of the meets that we are aware of and the Iowa schools listed to attend them.

If you know of changes, please send them our way:

Feature photo: Simpson Women’s XC©Jim Kirby 2017

Friday, August 31:

Hawkeye Invitational at University of Iowa, 6:00 PM: Iowa, Iowa State, Drake, UNI.

Augustana Twilight at Augustana University in Sioux Falls, SD, 8:30 PM: Buena Vista, Morningside, Northwestern College, Briar Cliff,

John Kurtt Opener at Wartburg, 6:00 PM: Wartburg, Hawkeye Comm. College.

Dutch Opener at Central, 6:00 PM: Central, Clarke, Grinnell.

Bill Buxton Invite at Simpson, 5:30 PM: Simpson, Iowa Wesleyan, Graceland, DMACC (women only), Southwestern Comm. College.

Saturday, September 1:

24th Annual Mustang Gallop at Mt. Mercy: Mt. Mercy, Cornell, Coe, Dubuque, Scott Comm. College, Southeastern Comm. College.

St. Mary’s University Open: Luther

Joanna Topham-Griswald-Hawkeye Comm
©Jim Kirby 2017

Junior College National Qualifiers

Joanna Topham-Griswald-Hawkeye Comm. © Jill Dahlstrom-2017

Joanna Topham-Griswald-Hawkeye Comm.
© Jill Dahlstrom-2017

The meet will be March 2-3 at Texas Tech University in Lubock, Texas.

Link to complete meet info click here! 
Feature photo: Joanna Topham-Griswald-Hawkeye Comm©Jim Kirby 2017
MEN and WOMEN representing the state of Iowa:

Hawkeye Community College-Brandon Beard-200M and 400M.  Zack Conger-High Jump. Haile Cook-Shot Put.  Megan Hudson-60H.  Zarreeel Knox-Triple Jump.  Riley Little-60HH.  Konner Roth-800M.  David Thompson-800M.  Joanna Topham-1000M and Mile.

Mens’s 4×400, Men’s DMR, Men’s 4×800, Women’s DMR, Women’s 4×800.
Indian Hills Community College-Tyarra English-200M and 400M.  Colton Lanman-High Jump.  Bernard McCann III-Long Jump.  Raykwon McClenny-200M and 60HH.  Jovan Parks-200M.  Bricon Randle-400M.  Dion Ryan-High Jump.  Shalandra Schilling-High Jump.  Nathan Winters-Shot Put.
Men’s 4×400.
Iowa Central Community College-Monise Barronette-600M.  Marion Bartilol-3K and 5K.  Brian Bell-800M.  Malik Beverly-200M and 60HH.  Akeem Bradshaw-Long Jump and Triple Jump.  Bryant Brown-60M and 200M.  Jhordan Ccope-Mile, 3K and 5K.  Winrose Chesang-3K and 5K.  Adva Cohen-1000 and 3K.  Marjanae Coley-400M.  Ryder Emberton-Shot Put and Weight Throw.  Peter Eskandr-5K.  Nelda Huggins-60M and 200M.  Ronniel Johnson-High Jump and Heptathlon.
Ezekiel Kipchirchir-Mile, 3K and 5K.  Kirsten Leisinger-Weight Throw.  Tyler Lienau-Weight Throw.  Cary Lockhart-60M.  Marta Lukijaniuk-5K.  Agnes Mansaray-800M.  Phemelo Matlhabe-200M.  Eric Maymon-Pole Vault.  India McNeill-600M.  Innocent Murwanashyaka-3K.  Tyreck Newman-60HH.  Isaiah Nicholas-800M.  Vincent Notz-600M.  Travis Petersen-Weight Throw.  Katy Pfile-1000.  Payton Roberts-Shot Put and Weight Throw.  Alex Sanford-1000 and Mile.  Maddie Schmoker-Shot Put and Weight Throw.  Ndiaga Seck-600M.  Za’Quan Singleton-Triple Jump.  Abeba Sullivan-800M.  Chris Thompson-Triple Jump.  Michelle Tomlin-Shot Put and Weight Throw.  Ayanna Whittaker-Pentathlon.  Chris Wignall-1000.  Thomas Zor-600M.
Womens 4×400, DMR and 4×800.
Men’s DMR and 4×800.
Iowa Western Community College-Samiya Abu-Youm-60H.  Jacobi Agee-400M.  Tahlia Arneaud-Triple Jump.  Traci Brown-60M and 200M.  Salome’ Brugier-Pole Vault.  Briyanna Carter-200M.  Dexton Crutchfield-Long Jump.  Denzel Downing-60HH.  David Ejumeta-Long Jump and Triple Jump.  Neri Getraide-1000.  Zarin Goodrich-Pentathlon.  Vincent Gordon-60M and 200M.  Dorcas Gyimah-60M and 200M.  Brian Kitur-3K.  Marcus Klein-Heptathlon.  Jordan Minnis-400M.  Evan Porter-Heptathlon.  Dalton Rhone-200M.  Asshanni Robb-600M and 1000.  Renardo Wilson-400M.
Men’s 4×400 and DMR.
NIACC-Akahnni Delgado-600M.  Brody Goos-60HH.  Brian Jacques-Mile and 5K.  Blake Keller-5k.
Men’s DMR and 4×800.
Southwestern Community College-Ronald Henderson-High Jump.
Joanna Topham-Griswald-Hawkeye Comm
©Jim Kirby 2017

Younger Topham is an All American to!

Joanna Topham-Griswald-Hawkeye Comm. © Jill Dahlstrom-2017

Joanna Topham-Griswald-Hawkeye Comm.
© Jill Dahlstrom-2017

Hawkeye RedTail Cross Country athlete Joanna Topham was named an All-America athlete by the National Junior College Cross Country Coaches Association.

Courtesy Redtail Athletics, click here! Joanna Topham-Griswald-Hawkeye Comm ©Jim Kirby 2017


The award recognizes U.S. athletes who finish in the top 40 at the National Junior College Athletic Association National Cross Country Championships. Topham finished 38th at nationals, which were held November 11, 2017, in Fort Dodge.

“To have an All-America athlete in our first year is huge for our program,” said head coach Micah Ruroden. “For Joanna to achieve this in year one is a credit to her discipline.”

Running comes naturally to Topham. Her father coaches girls cross country and track and field at Griswold High School, where she competed in both sports, and she has a sister currently running for Wichita State University.

“I started running when I was six,” Topham said. “We’re just a very athletic family.”

Last summer, she ran 40-45 miles a week to prepare for her first collegiate season. The extra training gave her an edge early in competition, helping Topham shave 24 seconds off her personal record at the regional time trials held August 26, 2017, at Iowa Western Community College.

“I wanted to improve my time, and I knew I could do that this season,” Topham said. “Breaking your best time isn’t as easy as people think it is.”

She put up solid times all season, but the final regular season contest offered one of the best moments for Topham. She took the Trent Smith Invitational women’s title on October 18, 2017, in Mason City, setting new personal and school records with a 19:20 5K race.

“After I crossed the finish line I was in shock,” she said. “Even 10 minutes later I couldn’t believe I had won.”

Fresh off a top-10 finish at regionals, Topham and the rest of the RedTail women headed into nationals ranked 24th in the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association poll. Topham was the top RedTail at the national meet and the only one to place in the top 50.

“It’s such an honor and privilege to be able to get All-America status,” Topham said. The season is only a few weeks behind her, but she’s already looking forward to track and field in the spring, and how to improve for cross country season next fall. Her goal is to finish in the top 10.

“We think that she’s just starting to scratch the surface of her true potential,” said coach Ruroden. “We can’t wait to see what is in store for her in the upcoming seasons.”

Hawkeye Community College Men's XC Team
©Shannon Hooyer-2017

Redtails Embark on Maiden XC Journey

Joanna Topham-Griswald-Hawkeye Comm. © Jill Dahlstrom-2017

Joanna Topham-Griswald-Hawkeye Comm.
© Jill Dahlstrom-2017

The RedTail Men’s and Women’s Cross Country teams opened their inaugural season at the Region XI Time Trials in Council Bluffs, IA this past weekend. The women took third place out of nine teams while the men placed fourth out of eight teams.

Courtesy Redtail Athletics, click here!  Feature photo: Hawkeye Community College Men’s XC Team ©Shannon Hooyer-2017 

Leading the way for the women was Joanna Topham, who posted a new school record time of 19:59 finishing 6th overall at the meet. “We were very pleaed with her performance, she puts herself out there that first mile and as a result she had a big personal best.”, said head coach Micah Ruroden. Next for the lady RedTails was Shea Dahlstrom (21:17) and Mikki Mundus (21:30), placing 12th and 13th respectively. The surprise finishes of the meet came from first year cross country runner, Atlanta Groeneveld (23:22) and Waterloo East grad, Autumn Weekley (23:51), placing 26th and 31st respectively. “These young ladies seem to impress us a little more each day during training, these girls push themselves each and every day in practice and it has shown in our first meet this year.”, said Ruroden. The final finisher for the RedTails was Divine Washington(31:03) finishing 38th overall.

For the men, Peter Torkelson posted a school record of 16:31 and a 12th place finish at the time trials. “Peter ran a well-rounded race and was patient from the beginning”, said coach Ruroden. Landon Boomsma of Iowa Falls was the surprise runner for the men finishing 15th overall with a personal best of 16:36. Finishing next for the team was Dalton Gosch (16:39, 16th) Isaac Connolly (16:42, 18th), David Thompson (16:45, 20th), Ryan Millikin (16:57, 22nd), and Malcom Myers (17:08, 24th). “These guys really run well together in practices and it showed in how close they were in finishing. We were able to run as a pack and we had a great initial showing for our first meet in program history”, said Coach Ruroden.

Coach Ruroden said, “Overall we felt we we had a great showing of effort from both squads. The men were close to putting themselves in third place, and the women were close to second place. As we continue to get stronger throughout the season, we should be able to shake some things up in our conference on both sides.

Shelby Houlihan-SC East-ASU
©Mike Mahon 2016

Next Level Iowa Podcast For August 1, 2017: Shelby Houlihan

Alex Gouchenour-Logan Magnolia-Arkansas and Kurtis Brondyke-Clinton-Central ©Jim Kirby

Alex Gouchenour-Logan Magnolia-Arkansas and Kurtis Brondyke-Clinton-Central
©Jim Kirby

On this week’s edition of the Next Level Iowa Podcast we talk with Olympian Shelby Houlihan-SC East-ASU (and huge Harry Potter fan!)  as she prepares for the World Championship coming up later this month.

We also talk about how Kurtis Brondyke and Alex Gochenour fared in Germany’s Thorpe Cup last week.

All this and more on this week’s Next Level Iowa Podcast!

Shelby Houlihan-SC EAST - ASU and Karissa Schweizer-Dowling-Mizzou
©Jim Kirby 2017

Missourian: Schweizer Shatters School Record-by Quinn Malloy

Karissa Schweizer-Dowling-Mizzou  ©Darren Miller

Karissa Schweizer-Dowling-Mizzou
©Darren Miller

Three-point-four seconds.

That’s the amount of time that separated Missouri junior Karissa Schweizer, who finished fourth in the women’s 5,000-meter event at the USA Track & Field Championships on Friday in Sacramento, California, and Olympian Molly Huddle, who came in third.

Courtesy The Missourian-Quinn Malloy, click here! Shelby Houlihan-SC EAST – ASU and Karissa Schweizer-Dowling-Mizzou ©Jim Kirby 2017

Huddle is a three-time U.S. national champion in the 5K. Schweizer hadn’t competed against professionals at her signature distance on a national stage before tonight.

Granted, 3.4 seconds is significant in the world of track and field, where runners are measured to the hundredth of a second and shaving several ticks off a race time is considered an accomplishment worth celebrating.

That’s why it’s all the more impressive that Schweizer’s time at the USATF Outdoors — 15 minutes, 18.69 seconds — was a remarkable 20.24 seconds faster than her winning time at the NCAA Championships (15:38.93).

Schweizer’s USATF time also surpassed the internationally recognized World Championship standard for the women’s 5,000 (15:22.00), although she missed automatically qualifying for the August meet in London by that one place.

Earlier in the day, freshman Ja’Mari Ward defended his title in the junior long jump. Ward fouled on his first two attempts before leaping 25 feet, 7½ inches to put himself at the head of the field. He would stay there for the final three rotations and add a second USATF gold medal to his collection.

Freshman Emily Stauffer and former Tiger Tony Carodine also competed Friday.

Stauffer placed 12th in the junior women’s shot put with a mark of 47-0¾, and Carodine’s 52-6½ earned him ninth in the men’s triple jump.

Supervising editor is Pete Bland.

Vanessa Miller-Dowling-Creighton
©Jim Kirby

Miller Plows Her Way Into the Creighton Record Books

Vanessa Miller-Dowling-Creighton ©Jim Kirby

Vanessa Miller-Dowling-Creighton
©Jim Kirby

Strong showings from Emily Martin and Eric Klein paced the Creighton women’s and men’s cross country teams on Saturday morning at the Commodore Classic in Nashville, Tenn.

Courtesy Jayhawk Athletics, Click Here!

Martin finished the 5K Percy Warner Park course in a time of 18:06.9, making her the 12th fastest runner in school history at that distance. She took 52nd of 261 runners to help the Creighton women to a 14th place finish among 25 teams. CU’s score of 369 fell behind meet winner Eastern Michigan (68), which edged Ohio State (87) and host Vanderbilt (124) for event crown.

Vanessa Miller placed 58th, clocking in just behind Martin with a time of 18:10.7. Miller moved from 15th to 13th place in the school record books with the finish.

Megan Paule took 66th with a time of 18:15.2, while Adriana Kammerer (96th, 18:39.9) and Grace Mimmack (124th, 18:54.3) rounded out CU’s scoring contributors. Kammerer’s time was also a personal best in a 5K race as a Bluejay.

The men took 16th in a field of 23 teams, but did beat host Vanderbilt, while finishing with a score of 415. Middle Tennessee topped the field with a score of 63 to edge out Georgia (81), Ohio State (106), Butler (116) and Missouri (150) for the team title.

Eric Klein paced the CU men with a 57th-place finish, clocking a time of 26:01.0. Patrick Reinschmidt was CU’s second-best finisher with a time of 26:20.7 on the 8K course, taking 86th. Nine seconds behind him with a 26:29.3 time was Jacob Ohnstad, who placed 95th. Ty Medd (107th, 26:39.3), Spencer De Jong (116th, 26:42.6), Chase Howard (117th, 26:43.5) and Nicholas Monkemeyer (120th, 26:46.6) rounded out CU’s lead pack.

The Creighton men return to the course next Saturday when it heads to the Roy Griak Invitational in Minneapolis, Minn. The Bluejay women are off until the Chile Pepper Festival in Fayetteville, Ark., on Oct. 1.

Hannah Thomas-Dowling-Missouri, Vanessa Miller-Dowling-Creighton, Grace Gibbons-Dowling/Gilbert-ISU, Karissa Schweizer-Dowling-Mizzou, Jenny Luksan-Dowling-Bradley
©Jim Kirby

Luksan Starts Out Season With Another Great Effort

Jenny Luksan-Dowling-Bradley ©Jim Kirby

Jenny Luksan-Dowling-Bradley
©Jim Kirby

The Bradley University cross country teams swept the 30th running of the Bradley Intercollegiate on Friday at Detweiller Park. In addition, junior Hannah Witczak won the women’s individual title – leading a pack of five Braves at the top of the leaderboard – while junior Michael Ward claimed the men’s crown.

Courtesy Braves Athletics, Click Here! Feature photo; former Dowling runners, Hannah Thomas-Dowling-Missouri, Vanessa Miller-Dowling-Creighton, Grace Gibbons-Dowling/Gilbert-ISU, Karissa Schweizer-Dowling-Mizzou, Jenny Luksan-Dowling-Bradley taken at Iowa Invite
©Jim Kirby

Witczak finished with a time of 16:48.7 to place first in the women’s three-mile race, shaving nearly a minute off her career-best time to claim her first collegiate title. Witczak finished 12 seconds ahead of senior teammate Lauren Cunningham, who posted a time of 17:00.8.

“Hannah Witczak put in a big performance for us today,” said Bradley head coach Darren Gausen. “To record a perfect score after losing so many key contributors last year is outstanding. It shows how good our depth is and that we are ready to compete at Notre Dame.”

Junior Natalie Burant (17:30.5), sophomore Gabby Juarez (17:30.8) and redshirt freshman Bailey Johnson (17:32.1) rounded out the top five for the Braves as Bradley finished with a perfect score of 15 on the afternoon.  Also performing well for the Braves was Jenny Luksan-Dowling-Bradley.

On the men’s side, Ward picked up where he left off last season, finishing first with a time of 24:30.3. The junior finished more than 17 seconds ahead of second-place Kyle Hauser of Illinois-Chicago to earn his first individual title in cross country.

“Michael Ward put together a fantastic performance for him,” Gausen said. “He was controlled and really excelled after putting in a ton of work during the summer. Illinois-Chicago’s Kyle Hauser put together a strong race and it was good to have a challenge up front. It prevented us from having a perfect score but I thought Patrick Campbell, Caleb Beck and Taylor Floyd Mews were all strong as well today. In addition, Jake Hoffert and Will Anderson had really good performances as well.”

Overall, Bradley claimed six of the top seven finishers to earn the team title on Friday with 19 points. Senior Patrick Campbell placed third with a time of 24:48.0 and was followed by classmate Caleb Beck (24:50.8), junior Taylor Floyd Mews (24:59.6), redshirt freshman Jake Hoffert (25:12.4) and sophomore Will Anderson (25:25.6).

Illinois-Chicago placed second on the women’s side with a score of 67 and was followed by Western Illinois and Arkansas State. The Flames also finished second in the men’s race with 45 total points with Arkansas State and Green Bay placing third and fourth, respectively.

The Braves look to continue their winning ways on Sept. 30, traveling to South Bend, Indiana to compete in the Notre Dame Invitational.

Jessica Heims-CR Prairie-USA

“Letters From Rio” by Jessica Heims

Jessica Heims-CR Prairie-USA

Jessica Heims-CR Prairie-USA

Jessica Heims made her debut on the world stage when she qualified for the 2015 IPC World Championships. Heims competed in the discus and the 400 meter dash in Doha last year, and has now qualified to represent the USA in the same 2 events at the 2016 Paralympics, this month, in Rio. Heims, a senior at Cedar Rapids Prairie High School is coached by Cedar Rapids Jefferson’s Bill Calloway.

Heims competes in the T-44 category which is the classification for athletes with a single, below the knee amputation. Due to a birth defect, Heims had her right leg amputated before the age of 1.
Complete Rio Paralympics Games information Click Here!

Jessica agreed to keep us up to date on her experiences as an Olympian from Iowa in Rio

“Letters From Rio”-by Jessica Heims

I’ve been busy training! I was at the Naval Base for a few days, and then went over to the Air Force Academy to train for a day. Now I am training at the Olympic Stadium warm-up track until my events. This morning my teammate and fellow thrower Natalie had a mock-competition training. We woke up at the time we will on Sunday and went through every step we will for the real thing. Afterwords we were able to go into the Olympic Stadium to check it out. I’m still getting goosebumps thinking about it. The track is so wonderful and the stadiums lights and structure is just so overwhelming. Everything about it is so grand, yet so perfect. I cannot wait to compete Sunday. The rest of the day for me today will consist of a light track workout and lots of rest. It’s been a blast so far, and it’s only just begun!