Cross country has big day at Woody Greeno Invite

Both the men’s and women’s cross country teams claimed first in Nebraska behind strong performances from Kralovetz and Mylenek.

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Cross country has big day at Woody Greeno Invite

Iowa’s Nathan Mylenek picks up speed as he approaches the finish line of the men’s 6k during the Hawkeye Invitational at Ashton Cross Country Course on Friday, September 6, 2019. Mylenek finishd second with a time of 18:16.0. The Hawkeyes defeated six other teams to finish first overall for both men’s and women’s races.

Iowa’s Nathan Mylenek picks up speed as he approaches the finish line of the men’s 6k during the Hawkeye Invitational at Ashton Cross Country Course on Friday, September 6, 2019. Mylenek finishd second with a time of 18:16.0. The Hawkeyes defeated six other teams to finish first overall for both men’s and women’s races.

Jenna Galligan

Iowa’s Nathan Mylenek picks up speed as he approaches the finish line of the men’s 6k during the Hawkeye Invitational at Ashton Cross Country Course on Friday, September 6, 2019. Mylenek finishd second with a time of 18:16.0. The Hawkeyes defeated six other teams to finish first overall for both men’s and women’s races.

Jenna Galligan

Jenna Galligan

Iowa’s Nathan Mylenek picks up speed as he approaches the finish line of the men’s 6k during the Hawkeye Invitational at Ashton Cross Country Course on Friday, September 6, 2019. Mylenek finishd second with a time of 18:16.0. The Hawkeyes defeated six other teams to finish first overall for both men’s and women’s races.

Ben Playa, Sports Reporter

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The Iowa cross country team picked up where it left off from the Hawkeye Invitational, with both the men’s and women’s teams finishing first overall at the Woody Greeno Invite in Nebraska on Sept. 21.

This is the first time that both teams have come out on top at the meet, with the men winning it previously in 2017.

Running conditions were not ideal for the Hawkeyes, but the uncomfortable, sticky conditions didn’t seem to affect the team. 

“The humidity was very, very high making race conditions difficult. Considering the weather, they executed pretty well,” head coach Randy Hassenbank said.

Both teams put on a dominant performance. The men won by 32 points, and the women by 26. 

The men’s team was once again led by senior Nate Mylenek, who came in at fourth overall and kept a steady pace throughout. 

“Nate ran a very smart race and is training well, maybe not as sharp as he would like, but he is fit,” Hassenbank said.

RELATED: Cross country boasts impressive history at Woody Greeno Invitational

Two other men’s runners placed in the top 10 alongside Mylenek, with seniors Daniel Murphy and Luke Sampson finishing in sixth and eighth place overall, respectively. 

“I thought Dan Murphy looked great, really proud of where he is at. We need to keep him healthy and he will make a big difference. Luke, Brandon [Cooley] and Noah [Healy] all ran smart races,” Hassenbank said.

It was once again the depth of the men’s team that propelled it to victory, with Iowa’s top six all finishing inside the top 20.

The women’s side also put on a dominant performance, with the team finishing at 53 points — well ahead of second-place Iowa Central’s 79 points.

It was freshman Leah Kralovetz who led the way for the Hawkeyes yet again, with the Wisconsin native continuing her strong start to the season with a fourth-place finish overall in her first collegiate 5k.

Sophomore Anna Hosteler and senior Megan Schott also stood out for Iowa, with the pair finishing inside the top 15 for the Hawks.

It was a similar story for the women, with the top six all placing in the top 20 in the race. Junior Elyse Prescott also had a strong night, finishing ninth overall and third for the Hawks.

The team is still running high miles in training right now, but it will be a matter of time before the team really starts to stand out when the training becomes more about quality than quantity.

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