Iowa cross country to wrap up regular season at Bradley Pink Classic

The Bradley Pink Classic is the last regular season event on the Hawkeyes’ schedule.


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

The Iowa men’s and women’s cross country teams will travel to Peoria, Illinois, Friday for the Bradley Pink Classic. The event will begin at 1:30 p.m. and feature women’s 6,000-meter and men’s 8,000-meter races.

The Hawkeye men are currently the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association’s 10th-ranked team in the Midwest. The Iowa women were ranked eighth in the Midwest region in the latest USTFCCCA Poll.

The Bradley Pink Classic is the last event Iowa will run before the postseason begins. The next event on the Hawkeyes’ schedule is the Big Ten Championships in University Park, Pennsylvania, Oct. 29. The men’s and women’s conference championships will be held on the same day and at the same location.

“It’s just one last time to get out there,” Hawkeye sophomore Nick Trattner said. “When Big Tens come, it’s gonna be a fight. We are trying to get another good race in there to calm the nerves and settle in.”

The Hawkeye men will face some stiff competition on Friday, as event participants like Bradley and Loyola-Chicago are all ranked in the Midwest Region in USTFCCCA’s latest poll.

“We know we gotta bring it,” Trattner said. “Bradley is a good team. They beat us in the last race. The goal is to take down Bradley. A goal is more me and Healy is to be up and in front of their one guy again and we will need our three, four, five to be up there and close the gap.”

While the Hawkeye men try to take down some highly-ranked opponents, the Iowa women will try to carry the momentum they gained at the Gans Creek Classic in Columbia, Missouri, to Peoria.

RELATED: Iowa men’s and women’s cross country finish in top five at Gans Creek Classic

“I think we need to continue to build,” senior Emma Gordon said. “Continuing to build on our workouts and on the positive momentum of our past meets. We are pretty excited and hungry and there is a lot left we can improve on from top to bottom.”

Hawkeye head coach Randy Hasenbank wants to see a heightened level of focus from both the Iowa men’s and women’s squads. Hasenbank added that both squads have to be dialed in this weekend to compete with quality opponents like Bradely and Loyola-Chicago.

With just one event separating the Hawkeyes from the Big Ten Championships, postseason anticipation is starting to build on Iowa’s roster.

“We have been looking at conferences since the beginning of the season because [cross country doesn’t have] that long of a season,” Gordon said. “We have always kept that at the forefront of our minds, but it’s definitely getting more real as it gets closer.”

After the Big Ten Championships, Iowa will only have two events remaining on its schedule: the NCAA Midwest Regionals and the NCAA Championships.

The 2021 NCAA Division I Men’s and Women’s Cross Country Midwest Regionals will be held Nov. 12 in Iowa City with the NCAA Championships to follow Nov. 20. The men’s and women’s cross country championships will both be run in Tallahassee, Florida.

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