Men harriers bounce back, place third


Brooklynn Kascel

Sophomore Michael Melchert and Senior Anthony Gregorio of Iowa move to the front of the pack after the start of their 6k race on Friday, Sep. 4, 2015 at the Ashton Cross Country Course in Iowa City, Iowa. (The Daily Iowan/Brooklynn Kascel)

Adam Hensley, [email protected]

The Iowa men’s cross-country team finished third at the Bradley Pink Classic on Oct. 16. Illinois won the meet, finishing with 70 points and three of its six runners in the top 10. Nebraska came in second with 107 points.
Iowa finished 5 points behind, placing two runners in the top 10 for only the second time this season.

Michael Melchert placed third with a career-best time of 24:14.1 in the 8,000 meter run.

“It was a good feeling to get a big [personal record], but there’s still a lot of work to do for the championship season coming up,” Melchert said.

His finish ranks as the top place overall for a Hawkeye this season.

Senior Anthony Gregorio and junior Ben Anderson also ran career best times (24:19.7 and 24:20.6).

“It’s all about a commitment to run together, and we did [that],” Anderson said.

Gregorio placed 10th and Anderson 11th.

“Ben, Anthony, and I had a game plan going in, and we executed it almost to perfection,” Melchert said. “None of us gave up the whole way.”

The trio worked to stay with each other and keep each other motivated.

“Once we top three locked in and saw each other, we fed off each other,” Gregorio said. “Each move we threw, the others followed. It was great to know I had those guys by my side.”

Taylor Soltys and Kevin Docherty finished fourth and fifth for the Hawkeyes, running times of 24:58.2 and 25:01.2. Overall, they placed 42nd and 46th. Freshmen Ian Eklin and Daniel Soto placed 49th and 55th.

Going into Bradley, failure to run as a pack while keeping up with the competition was Iowa’s glaring issue.

“Bradley showed us that we are actually the team we train like,” Gregorio said. “We still have work to do, but it was a big confidence-builder for us and a step in the right direction.”

The Hawks turned things around, and it could not have come at a better time. The team’s next meet is the Big Ten Championship on Nov 1.

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