Returning Iowa record breakers for cross-country

Six Hawkeyes return for the 2018 season after claiming spots in the All-Time Iowa Top 10.


Joseph Cress

Iowa sophomore Andrea Shine rounds a turn during the Border Battle indoor track meet in the UI Recreation Building with Iowa, Missouri and Illinois competing on Saturday, Jan. 7, 2017. The Hawkeye women defeated Missouri and Illinois, 105-33 and 96-51 respectively, while the men defeated Missouri, 107-27 and fell to Illinois, 85-74.

Hanna Malzenski, Sports Reporter

The Iowa Top 10 displays the best of the best in history among Hawkeye cross-country runners, and this year’s team holds its own in some of the top spots. 

The 2018 season will welcome back six athletes who have staked their claim on a spot in the  Iowa Top 10. For the men’s team, juniors Brandon Cooley, Nathan Mylenek, and Daniel Soto and seniors Ian Eklin and Michael Melchert make the list. On the women’s side, the returner on the list is senior Andrea Shine.

Of the five men, four entered Iowa’s Top 10 during their sophomore year. Melchert ran the 8,000 meters in 25:57 at the 2015 Big Ten Championship, placing him at the No. 10 spot in the rankings. Cooley, Mylenek, and Soto all entered Iowa’s best rankings in the 10K. Mylenek holds the top spot with a time of 29:33, which he ran in the 2017 NCAA regional. Soto has the No. 3 spot with a time of 30:04, and Cooley slides in at No. 10 spot with a time of 30:32. Like Mylenek, Soto and Cooley entered Iowa’s Top 10 with their performances in the 2017 NCAA regional.


During his junior season, Melchert made his second appearance in the Top 10 in the 2016 Hawkeye Invitational 6,000 meters. His time of 18:12 held the No. 1 spot until Eklin broke it with a time of 18:10 during the 2017 Hawkeye Invitational. Similar to Melchert, Eklin broke the record during his junior season.

On the women’s team, Shine established herself during the 2017 season by placing in the all-time best for the 4,000 meters and 6,000 meters as a junior. Shine’s 4,000 in the 2017 Hawkeye Invitational resulted in a time of 13:48, landing her No. 7 in Iowa’s Top 10. Shine claimed the ninth slot in Iowa’s 6K with a time of 20:46 at the 2017 NCAA regionals.

Before Shine’s titles, the last woman to grab a spot in Iowa’s Top 10 was Madison Waymire with 10:21 in the 3,000 meters during the 2016 Hawkeye Invitational. Waymire traded her black and gold uniform for alumna status in 2018. 

Hawkeye cross-country enters the 2018 season with a roster that has depth and experience while also being very young. Shine is one of two seniors on the team, with only seven upperclassmen joining her; 19 underclassmen dominate the squad. The men’s team is much smaller, with eight of the 13 runners being upperclassmen.

The Iowa Top-10 record book is always ready for change, especially with young talent emerging, and this fall season is no exception.

Hawkeye cross-country will open the 2018 season at the Hawkeye Invitational on Aug. 31 at the Ashton Cross-Country Course. The women’s 4,000 meters will begin at 6 p.m. and the men’s 6,000 meters at 6:45 p.m.