Men harriers are harried


Brooklynn Kascel

Junior Kevin Docherty keeps his place in the front of the pack next to unattached Freshman Bailey Hesse-Withbroe during the men's 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 10th in the Big Ten Championships on Sunday. Michigan won the meet, followed by Illinios and Minnesota. Matt McClintock of Purdue won the meet, finishing the 8,000-meter run in 23:12.1.Sophomore Michael Melchert was Iowa’s top runner, finishing 17th with a time of 23:57.5. His time ranks 10th all-time in program history.

“[It] means a lot to me,” he said. “Iowa is a great program, and I can’t be thankful enough for all the people who have supported me so far throughout my journey.”

For the Hawkeyes, Anthony Gregorio came in at 46th. The senior improved upon his 50th-place finish in last season’s Big Ten meet.

Freshmen Daniel Soto and Ian Eklin placed 69th and 74th, and Ben Anderson finished 75th.

“My race did not go too hot at all,” Anderson said. “I think if anything stood out to me, it was Melchert. He ran his butt off and did an amazing job. I’m proud of him, and he deserves it.”

In Iowa’s last two spots, Kevin Docherty and Taylor Soltys finished 84th and 87th.

Iowa’s 265 points put it ahead of only Nebraska and Rutgers.

Michigan, which ranks fifth in the country, placed three runners in the top nine.

Wolverine head coach Kevin Sullivan said prior to the meet that he wanted his runners to focus on the little things.

“We are hoping they get better and better at paying attention to the things they have control of and keeping things uncomplicated,” he said.

The Wolverines did just that.

Sunday marked Iowa’s first time running against Michigan this season.

Melchert enjoyed the chance to compete with one of the top programs in the nation and took away a valuable lesson.

“I learned that to run with the best, you really have to have the guys to put yourself out there and rely on your training and your coaches to guide you through the race,” he said.

Illinois came into the meet unranked in the top 30 nationally but third in the Midwest Region. The spotlight fell on teams such as Michigan, Michigan State, and Wisconsin, the traditional powerhouses.

However, the Illini proved that they can hang with the top teams. Head coach Jake Stewart’s squad placed six runners in the top 30. Dylan Lafond finished third for the llini.

“We have been a consistent and steady group,” Stewart said.

Their running kept them together for the meet, giving them second place. The average gap between the runners was five spots.

Most of Iowa’s runners stayed close together, but they could not keep up.

“I think we got into good position; we just weren’t able to keep up with the pace,” Gregorio said.

Compared to the 2014 Big Ten meet, in which six of Iowa’s runners placed between 30th and 70th, five Hawks placed between 60th and 80th on Sunday.

Last season, Iowa finished eighth in the championship meet. Melchert finished 64th in that race.

“Overall, my strength as a runner is better this year, my nutrition is better, and overall I just feel healthy and strong,” he said.

The Hawkeyes have a week off before they run again. On Nov. 13, the Hawkeyes will travel to Lawrence, Kansas, for the NCAA Midwest Regional meet.

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