Iowa women’s cross country team features strong, local incoming freshmen class

The 2020 cross country team’s eight-person women’s freshmen class features seven of the state’s top preps.

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Emily Wangen

The University of Iowa womenÕs cross country team huddles up prior to the 4000 meter race during the Hawkeye Invitational on Friday, Sept. 6, 2019 at the Ashton Cross Country Course. The Hawkeyes prevailed over six other teams to win first place overall in the menÕs and womenÕs races. Iowa State University runner Abby Caldwell finished in first place with a time of 14:02.

Jordan Winke, Sports Reporter


The Iowa women’s cross-country team will boast many new, yet familiar, faces this fall. Of the eight incoming freshmen on the women’s team, seven attended high school in Iowa.

The team will gain multiple Drake Relays and state track medalists, as well as a diverse range of talents.

Amber Aesoph

Aesoph is a Bishop Heelan Catholic graduate from Sioux City, Iowa. At the 2019 Drake Relays, she placed seventh in the 800-meter run and second in the 1500-meter run. At the 2019 3A high school state track meet, she placed fifth in the 800 and third in the 1500.

She is also an accomplished long-distance runner, having placed sixth at the 2019 high school state cross country meet. She enters her freshman year at Iowa with personal bests of 2:12.41 in the 800, 4:42.45 in the 1,500, 10:44.49 in the 3,000, and 18:39.28 in cross country for the 5k.

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Grace Bookin-Nosbisch

Bookin-Nosbisch brings state-leading speed to the cross-country team. She and her twin sister, Allie Bookin-Nosbisch (who will be running middle-distance at Iowa) are Ottumwa High School graduates.

Grace was 12th at the 2019 4A high school state track meet in the 400 and fourth in the 800. She also placed eighth in the 800 at the 2019 Drake Relays. She brings personal bests of 59.39 for the 400 and 2:12.44 in the 800 to Iowa.

Claire Edmondson

Edmondson is a well-rounded distance runner who has consistently been in the top five in the state in multiple events. She is a Dubuque Senior High School graduate and placed fourth at the Drake Relays and third at the 4A high school state track meet in the 1,500 in 2019.

She placed third at the Drake Relays and fourth at the high school state track meet in the 3,000. Edmondson was a first team all-state cross-country runner, placing fifth at the 2019 4A state cross-country meet. She enters Iowa with personal bests of 2:15.64 for the 800, 4:43.07 for the 1,500, 10:03.12 for the 3,000, and 17:55.2 in the cross-country 5k.

Bryce Gidel

A Humboldt High School graduate, Gidel has been recording state place-winning times for years and will be a valuable contributor to the team. She placed fifth at the 2019 3A high school state track meet in the 3000. Bryce enters Iowa with personal bests of 1:04.11 in the 400, 4:48.08 in the 1,500, 10:29.3 in the 3,000, and 18:50.6 for 5k in cross country.

Brooke McKee

McKee is from Johnston, Iowa, and will be joining her sister, junior Jessica McKee on the Iowa cross-country team. The sisters experienced great success together during their prep careers at Johnston High School, including a 4A state cross-country team title in 2017. Brooke brings personal bests of 4:43.47 in the 1,500 and 10:20.55 in the 3000, as well as 17:55.0 for the cross-country 5k.

Abby Ryon

Ryon is a Mount Pleasant High School graduate and saw great improvement in each of her first three high school seasons and was primed for a breakout senior year. She placed fourth at the 2019 3A state track meet in the 3000 and seventh in the 2019 3A state cross-country meet. She enters Iowa with personal bests of 2:31.92 in the 800, 4:54.93 in the 1,500, 10:33.03 in the 3,000, and 18:53.6 in the cross-country 5k.

Kelli Tosic

Tosic, who is from Grayslake, Illinois, is the only member of the 2020 class not from Iowa. She had a strong prep career at Grayslake North High School, placing fourth in the IHSA 3A Antioch Sectional meet in the 3,200, one place out of qualifying for the state finals in Illinois’ largest class. She enters Iowa with personal bests of 2:26.1 in the 800, 5:10.63 in the 1600, 11:01.15 in the 3200, and 18:24.40 in the cross-country 5k.

Ellie Twedt

A Ballard High school graduate from Elkhart, Iowa, rounds out the 2020 freshman class. Twedt placed 13th individually and was the third-place scorer on Ballard’s 2019 3A state cross-country championship team. She enters Iowa with personal bests of 5:12.93 for the 1,500, 11:05.46 for the 3,000, and 19:00.2 for the cross-country 5k.

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