Cross-country record breakers dazzle in opener

Four Hawkeyes broke into Iowa’s top-ten places for the men’s 6k and 4k in the team’s opening meet.

Madison+Waymire%2C+right%2C+and+Andrea+Shine+run+up+a+hill+at+the+Hawkeye+Invitational+Cross+Country+meet+on+Friday%2C+September+1%2C+2017.+%28David+Harmantas%2FThe+Daily+Iowan%29

David Harmantas

Madison Waymire, right, and Andrea Shine run up a hill at the Hawkeye Invitational Cross Country meet on Friday, September 1, 2017. (David Harmantas/The Daily Iowan)

By Hanna Malzenski
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Hawkeye cross-country opened the 2017 season with record-breaking performances in the Hawkeye Invitational on Sept. 1.

Both the men’s and women’s teams dominated in the dual-meet format at the Ashton Cross-Country Course. The women won four out of five duals over Drake, Illinois State, Iowa Central, and Northern Iowa, and the men won four out of six duals over Creighton, Drake, Illinois State, and Northern Iowa.

Both squads had changes to the program’s top-10 places in the 6,000 and 4,000 meters.

Ian Eklin, a junior from Plymouth, Minnesota, set a record in the men’s 6K at 18:10.7, surpassing teammate Michael Melchert’s 6K record at 18:12 from the 2016 Hawkeye Invitational.

“I’m proud of it,” Eklin said. “I just know I could’ve run faster there. It’s bittersweet to say the least.”

Despite his accomplishment, Eklin was disappointed with his overall performance running against Iowa State at the meet.

“I underperformed,” he said. “I knew that this Iowa State pack was going to go together, work together, and push that second lap.”

Nathan Mylenek also made it in the record book for the 6K with the fifth-best performance in school history. The sophomore from Clarkston, Michigan, finished 15th at the invitational with a time of 18:26.4.

For the women’s team, two returning runners cracked the Hawkeyes’ top-10 spots in the 4K.

Crystal Lake, Illinois, native Andrea Shine earned the seventh all-time spot at 13:58.7.

“It feels great to be in the top 10,” she said. “It solidifies the fact that my hard work and efforts are paying off, because it’s not an easy feat.”

Shine hopes to continue her momentum throughout the season.

In her season goal, she needs to stay with the top of the pack, rather than falling into the crowded middle.

“I would like to see my place in the rankings go up every meet,” she said.

Joining Shine in Iowa’s top-10 4K places is teammate Madison Waymire.

The senior from Grimes finished the meet at 14:03.3, placing her 9th in Iowa’s record book.

“It’s a really big honor to be placed up there with the great individuals that were here in the past,” said Waymire. “It’s great to have my name share that accomplishment.”

The Hawkeye Invitational was a shorter race than the norm for both teams.

The women generally train for the course length of 6K, and the men work their way up to an 8K as the season progresses.

“I used this race as a rust-buster to get the season going,” said Waymire. “I wanted to get into the competitive mindset again.”

Head coach Randy Hasenbank was pleased with the team’s competitive performance at the meet.

“I like the way [Andrea] and Madison started the race out,” he said. “We’ve got to have the courage to get out there, push ourselves early, and not be afraid to set that hot pace.”

With the Hawkeye Invitational being the first meet of the season, Hasenbank uses it as a benchmark for the rest of the year.

“It gives me the chance to assess their fitness and see how they did with their summer training,” he said.

Up next for the Hawkeyes is the Woody Green Invitational. The meet will take place in Lincoln, Nebraska, on Sept. 16 (the start time has yet to be announced).

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