The Daily Iowan

No. 2 Hawkeye cross-country runner proves valuable after transfer from Iowa State

Iowa State transfer Megan Schott has taken on the role as the No. 2 runner for Iowa cross-country.

Sophomore+Megan+Schott+approaches+the+finish+line+during+the+Hawkeye+Invitational+at+Ashton+Cross+Country+course+on+Friday%2C+Aug.+31%2C+2018.+The+Hawkeyes+were+defeated+by+Iowa+State+24-56.+Schott+came+in+4th+in+the+Women%27s+4K.+
Sophomore Megan Schott approaches the finish line during the Hawkeye Invitational at Ashton Cross Country course on Friday, Aug. 31, 2018. The Hawkeyes were defeated by Iowa State 24-56. Schott came in 4th in the Women's 4K.

Sophomore Megan Schott approaches the finish line during the Hawkeye Invitational at Ashton Cross Country course on Friday, Aug. 31, 2018. The Hawkeyes were defeated by Iowa State 24-56. Schott came in 4th in the Women's 4K.

Katie Goodale

Katie Goodale

Sophomore Megan Schott approaches the finish line during the Hawkeye Invitational at Ashton Cross Country course on Friday, Aug. 31, 2018. The Hawkeyes were defeated by Iowa State 24-56. Schott came in 4th in the Women's 4K.

Hanna Malzenski, Sports Reporter

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Megan Schott did the unthinkable for an Iowa native and Iowa State student-athlete: trade in her cardinal and gold Cyclone uniform for a black and gold Hawkeye one. She faced her previous harrier teammates at Iowa’s home invitational in August, her début as a Hawkeye.

“The Hawk meet, I was really nervous,” Schott said. “I knew [Iowa State] was going to be there, and I knew I was going to be wearing all black.”

Schott finished fourth that race behind front-runner and teammate Andrea Shine and two teammates from the past, Iowa State’s Abby Caldwell and Karly Ackley.

The senior made her transfer from Ames to Iowa City after not seeing eye-to-eye with the Cyclone coaching staff. Schott devoted her 2018 spring semester to finishing her course work and graduating early. With no academic baggage, the Des Moines native joined Iowa head coach Randy Hasenbank’s squad.

Schott took the summer to transition into the group of Hawkeye harriers so by the time the first practice of the season rolled around, the relative rookie felt as if she had a community.

“I was so psyched to have [Shine] as a training partner,” Schott said. “I felt like we already had that connection, so I walked out to practice and it was really comfortable. I felt like I already had a family.”

The sense of family is already mirrored by the Iowa women.

“[Schott] is a really strong leader,” Shine said. “She helps teach me new ways to approach running as well as the younger girls, so I think that her ability to share her personal experiences and her knowledge of running is impacting the team by giving us all a different and positive outlook on how to approach competitions.”

With just three meets as a Hawkeye in the books, Schott has proved to be not only a valuable asset but a necessary one. It has been a prominent challenge for the women to close the gap between the No. 1 to No. 5 scoring positions in races.

Shine has filled the No. 1 spot. As for the No. 2 spot? Schott has been the answer.

“That role was kind of an expectation I had for myself,” Schott said. “It was actually a huge draw when I was deciding to come here. In my conversations with Randy, we talked about how this is an opportunity to really build a new team and make some things happen.”

Schott’s presence has made things happen. The Hawkeye women finished second at the Hawkeye Invitational, third at the Woody Greeno Invitational, and seventh at the competitive Notre Dame Joe Piane Invitational.

At this point last year, the average time between Iowa’s first finisher and fifth finisher was 93 seconds. Now, it’s 83 seconds. When harriers are crossing the finish line within milliseconds, a 10-second shrinkage in the gap counts.

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