Iowa men’s, women’s cross country team set for 2022 season

Experience and leadership will be important factors for both Hawkeye teams this fall.


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 are set to begin their respective fall schedules tomorrow at the Hawkeye Invite at the Ashton Cross Country Course in Iowa City. 

As the Hawkeyes gear up for their second full season after the COVID-19 pandemic, both teams are hungry to make the most of the 10-race fall slate.

“I think the team is finally on the right track,” senior Konnor Sommer said. “We are really motivated this season. Just overall every single race, hit it hard and not to miss any opportunities.”

The men’s team is young but has a lot of familiar faces coming back from the 2021 season. The Hawkeyes will return seven of the nine runners that competed in the Big Ten Championships last year. 

With only two seniors on the roster, Nick Trattner and Konner Sommer, the Hawkeyes will lean heavily on the younger runners to make immediate impacts.

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

“We have some good leadership with Nick Trattner and me,” Sommer said. “We have a lot of young guys. They have been training really well the last few weeks and it looks like they will be able to contribute.”

Twelve roster spots for the men’s team are filled by underclassmen.

“The combination of old guys and young guys together poises us to do well,” Sommer said.

On the women’s side, it is all about experience this season.

Senior Emma Gordon and juniors Kelli Tosic and Brooke McKee are returning from a 2021 team that showed consistency throughout the fall. 

In last year’s campaign, the Hawkeyes placed third or higher in all four regular season races and took home first place in the Dirksen-Greeno Invite. 

“This year we are just building off our success from last year,” Tosic said. “The workouts we have done already, we have all been in a pack and doing really great work. I think overall we are just going to be really strong as a team.”

The women’s team is also returning seven of the nine runners who represented Iowa at the conference championships in 2021.

The season opener for the Hawkeyes will also be their only home meet of the season. 

“The goal is to assess the newcomers,” coach Randy Hasenbank said. “I’m looking forward to our returnees that have come back with improved fitness and are a year older, stronger, smarter, and wiser. I’m most excited for seeing the young runners in the freshman class and see how they perform.”

This is also an opportunity for the athletes to get some fan support, as both teams will compete on the road for the rest of the schedule.

“We will finally have a rare opportunity to have a lot of fans come out,” Hasenbank said. “It is not always a sport that has a lot of fanfare. We have a big track team that will come out and supports us so it will be nice.”