Trattner, Healy leading Hawkeye men’s cross country

Sophomore Nick Trattner and senior Noah Healy have paced Iowa this season, with three consecutive top-10 finishes.


Ayrton Breckenridge

Iowa runners Nick Trattner (left) and Noah Healy (right) compete in the Hawkeye Invite meet at the Ashton Cross Country Course on Friday, Sept. 3, 2021.

Jake Olson, Sports Reporter

Iowa men’s cross country sophomore Nick Trattner set high expectations for himself this season.

The Hawkeye cross country teams were limited to just one meet in the 2020-21 season — the Big Ten Championships.

While Trattner did not have the chance to compete at the Big Ten Championships, he participated in Hawkeye track’s indoor and outdoor seasons in 2021.

Trattner led the Hawkeyes in the 5,000-meter race with a time of 14 minutes and 18.11 seconds at the 2021 Big Ten Indoor Track and Field Championships Feb. 25-27.

“I think I worked pretty hard last year, and I think I would have had a similar result, maybe not as fast, as last year,” Trattner said. “And I knew coming in as a junior this year, technically a sophomore, I knew I wanted to be really fast.”

Now, as cross country competes in its first full season in two years, coach Randy Hasenbank tabbed Trattner as a Hawkeye leader.

Both Trattner and senior Noah Healy have been pacing the Hawkeyes in the 2021 cross country season, as the pair have recorded three consecutive top-10 finishes.

“This past weekend I kind of gave them the green light because they are pretty fit and can help us up front in races more,” Hasenbank said. “We tried to be really controlled for the first two contests, and this past weekend I wanted them to run with the top guys.”

Trattner and Healy have undergone a mentality change since the beginning of the season. Once the pair got comfortable after the first couple of races, their approach changed.

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“Coming off of having no season, it was good to get the confidence going after the first couple of meets,” Healy said. “It was good to tear through the first couple of meets, and after that, I got a lot more confidence going forward like I can be with these top guys.”

Past Trattner and Healy, the Hawkeye men’s cross country team has struggled to start the season.

Other than a first-place finish in the Hawkeye Invitational Sept. 3, the Hawkeye men have not seen the top of the leaderboard.

Iowa men’s cross country finished third at the Dirksen-Greeno Invite Sept. 18 and fifth at the Gans Creek Classic Oct. 1.

At the Gans Creek Classic, sophomores Jack Pendergast and Kal Lewis finished 39th and 44th, respectively, while senior Jeff Roberts finished 46th.

“The two top guys have done all they can do, the difference to be made on the clock and the scoreboard is the rest of the squad,” Hasenbank said. “The rest of the team has the potential to impact the team the most.”

Hasenbank added that the Hawkeye men will need to close the gap, so Iowa is more competitive throughout the roster.

Trattner said the newfound mentality will help the Hawkeyes for the rest of the season.

“Mentality has changed a bit, now that I know that I am up there and me and Healy can compete with the top guys,” Trattner said. “I think every race is just building confidence, and we just got to have the teammates come up there as well. We have a shot of doing something special this season.”

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