Senior cross-country Hawkeyes lead the pack into the 2018 season

Andrea Shine won the Hawkeye Invitational, as Iowa finished second overall behind Iowa State.


Katie Goodale

Hawkeyes regroup after the Hawkeye Invitational at Ashton Cross Country course on Friday, Aug. 31, 2018. The Hawkeyes were defeated by Iowa State 24-56.

Hanna Malzenski, Sports Reporter

Iowa cross-country, hosting its first meet of the season on Aug. 31 at the Ashton Cross-Country Course, saw a race led by the Hawkeye seniors.

Five schools ran against the Hawkeye men and women: Illinois State, Iowa State, Iowa Central, Drake, and UNI. Both the Iowa men and women’s teams finished second behind Iowa State.

“I have been eagerly awaiting the start of the season,” senior Andrea Shine said. “There’s just a buzz of energy throughout the team. I think we were all really excited for this, and it showed on the course.”

It certainly did. Shine dominated, winning the women’s 4,000 meters with a time of 14:07.5. The senior from Crystal Lake, Illinois, who has been a consistent leader for the Hawkeyes, sees each race as a chance to push herself.

“I have the girls training next to me every day, so I really think it’s anyone’s race once we get to the starting line,” Shine said. “I just try to focus on myself and run for myself to help the team.”

Four other Hawkeye women joined Shine in the top 25: sophomores Megan Schott (4) and Jordan Winke (22) and freshmen Anna Hostetler (14) and Grace McCabe (15).

“I was really pleased with our newcomers on the women’s side, because we have a lot of new faces,” head coach Randy Hasenbank said. “It’s a pretty talented group. They did well today. I wasn’t that surprised, because that’s what we’ve been building for, as far as every year getting that roster a little bit better and a little bit deeper. We’ll just keep bringing them along, get them a little more seasoned each week.”

Even with the finish, one of the biggest challenges for Iowa women will be closing the gap between the lead runner and the rest of the pack.

“You got to have some top people up front to get those low team scores going,” Hasenbank said.

The Iowa men had seven finishers in the top 25, led by seniors Dan Soto and Ian Eklin, who both finished with a time of 18:44 for the 6,000 meters.

“I really like where our team is at all together,” Soto said. “The No. 1 goal today was just to get better.”

Freshman Spencer Smith was close behind the upperclassmen, finishing No. 12 with a time of 18:49. Daniel Murphy (19), Nathan Mylenek (21), Karson Sommer (23), and Bailey Hesse-Withrobe (25) closed out.

With two weeks until their next competition, the Hawkeyes’ focus is on tweaking the training.

“Once we get this first race in, it gives me an idea of if we’re training them too fast or too slow,” Hasenbank said. “They see it as a race; I see it as a fitness test.”

Iowa cross-country will travel to Lincoln, Nebraska, for the Woody Greeno Invitational on Sept. 15.





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