Nick Trattner ready to lead Iowa men’s cross country team

Following the departure of Noah Healy, the senior is looking to step up for the Hawkeyes.


Jenna Galligan

Runners compete in the NCAA Midwest Regional on Friday, Nov. 13, 2021 at the Ashton Cross Country Course.

Jake Olson, Sports Reporter

Last season, Nick Trattner burst onto the scene for the Iowa men’s cross country team.

The Naperville, Illinois, product placed second in the 2021 season-opening Hawkeye Invite and set a personal best in the 6,000-meter race.

Trattner continued his success throughout the fall and was Iowa’s top performer in four of the six races. In his first full cross country season, Trattner showed he has what it takes to compete with the nation’s best.

In his four races leading the Hawkeyes, Trattner ran to marks of 18:22.1 at the Hawkeye Invite, 24:34.1 in an 8,000-meter race at the Dirksen Greeno Invite, 24:14.8 at the Bradley Pink Classic, and 25:54.3 at the Big Ten Championships.

“Nick is a guy that is just a great competitor,” coach Randy Hasenbank said. “As a runner, he has grown every year he has been here. He has just gotten better and better and better. He’s a big part of our success.”

Trattner is one of only two seniors — alongside Konnor Sommer — on the Hawkeyes’ roster this season, and Hasenbank said Trattner stepped up to help the less-experienced runners.

“Nick obviously has the most experience here,” Hasenbank said. “This fall he has already taken on a more leadership role as far as giving directions about what our goals are and by helping the young guys along.”

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Last season, it was Noah Healy in that leadership role. But now that Healy has graduated, Trattner said he is helping the younger runners with mindset and attitude.

“I have just been trying to make the young guys more comfortable,” Trattner said. “Cross country is a very difficult sport. I am just making sure everyone stays positive and that the team chemistry is high.”

Even with his success last season, Trattner, who also competes for the Hawkeye track and field team after cross country concludes, said he’s hungry to improve his marks from a season ago.

During the 2022 spring indoor track season, Trattner placed eighth in the 5,000 meters at the Big Ten Championships. His collegiate-best 14:00.69 ranks sixth all-time at Iowa.

During last season’s outdoor track season, Trattner ran a collegiate-best 10,000 meters at the Stanford Invite. Trattner’s mark of 29:39.83 is good enough for number six all-time in Hawkeye history.

Now, Trattner is setting high goals for himself ahead of the 2022 cross country slate.

“I would like to score an All-Big Ten [selection] this season,” Trattner said. “Individually at the regionals, I would like to get top four, which is very doable. I am just trying to get as many points for my team as I can.”

The Iowa men’s cross country team will kick off the season on Friday, Sept. 2 at the Hawkeye Invite at the Ashton Cross Country Course. The Hawkeyes’ lone home event of the year begins at 5:45 p.m.

The Hawkeyes will compete in seven regular season meets this fall before heading to The Big Ten Championships, NCAA Regionals, and NCAA Championships on Oct. 28, Nov. 11, and Nov. 19, respectively.