Iowa cross-country to test strides at Notre Dame Invitational

Hawkeye cross-country will race in Notre Dame’s Joe Piane Invitational against a large field of competition that includes regionally ranked teams.


Katie Goodale

Bystanders look on as Senior Andrea Shine runs through the finish line during the Hawkeye Invitational at Ashton Cross Country course on Friday, Aug. 31, 2018.

Hanna Malzenski, Sports Reporter

Hawkeye cross-country will head to South Bend, Indiana, to race in Notre Dame’s Joe Piane Invitational today. The women’s 5,000 meters will begin at noon, men’s five mile at 12:45 p.m., and the men’s and women’s open races will follow at 1:30 p.m.

Iowa will run against a large field — harriers from 33 men’s teams and 36 women’s teams, including regionally ranked squads. From the Midwest Region, the women will face No. 3 Oklahoma and No. 5 Northwestern. The men will face No. 8 Illinois State and No. 13 Oklahoma.

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The Iowa women are ranked No. 13, and the men sit at No. 9 in the Midwest Region.

But Hawkeye harriers on both sides have proven that the rankings mean little.

Andrea Shine won the first two races of the 2018 season against highly ranked teams. At the Woody Greeno Invitational, she outran racers from No. 2 Minnesota and No. 4 South Dakota, finishing the 6,000 meters in 21:15.

At the 2017 Joe Piane, she ran a personal-best time of 17:16 and finished fifth. The senior has been a consistent leader for the Hawkeye women and will have the chance to continue that today.

Megan Schott usually joins Shine at the front of the pack. The senior traded in an Iowa State uniform for a black and gold Iowa uniform and has proven to be a valuable Hawkeye. Schott has been the second finisher for Iowa women, with a fourth-place finish at the Hawkeye Invitational at 14:23 and 16th at the Woody Greeno at 22:03.

The Iowa women have faced the challenge of filling their front lineup, and Schott offers the potential to be a consistent finisher behind Shine this season.

On the men’s side, Daniel Soto has been the top finisher for Iowa so far. The senior finished ninth in 18:44 at the Hawkeye Invitational and third at the Woody Greeno at 24:45. Like Shine, Soto ran a personal-best time of 24:55 during the 2017 Joe Piane 5-mile race.

Nathan Mylenek has steadily followed Soto.

The junior led races during the 2017 season for the Hawkeye men, but he has fallen lower in the lineup this season. Mylenek placed 21st in 19:03 at the Hawkeye Invitational and sixth in 25:08 at the Woody Greeno. At the 2017 Notre Dame Invitational, Mylenek finished the men’s 5-mile race in 24:32 and was Iowa’s top finisher.

Unlike the women, the men have a consistent, deep lineup. Ian Eklin, Bailey Hesse-Withbroe, Brandon Cooley, Spencer Smith, Daniel Murphy, and Karson Sommer have been interchangeable in the scoring positions for Iowa this season. Iowa has a lineup of harriers that have placed in the top 25 for the two races so far.

The Iowa harriers will have the opportunity to rise above the rankings yet again against respectable teams today, and they will continue to test their strides.

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