Iowa cross country sweeps season-opening Hawkeye Invite

Senior Emma Gordon and freshman Miles Sheppard were the top runners for the men’s and women’s teams, respectively, on Friday night.


Jenna Galligan

University of Iowa runner Miriam Sandeen climbs the hill toward the finish line behind teammates Lauren McMahon and Emma Gordon at the Ashton Cross Country Course on Friday, Sept. 3, 2021. Sandeen finished 22nd in the 4K with a time of 14:28.8.

Jake Olson, Sports Reporter

The Iowa men’s and women’s cross country teams kicked off the 2022 season with two victories at the Hawkeye Invite on Friday night at the Ashton Cross Country Course in Iowa City.

Iowa placed first overall in men’s and women’s out of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Iowa Western Community College. The men recorded 21 points, and the women had 15.

Individually, senior Emma Gordon led the charge for the women, placing first overall and getting a personal best of 14:12.86. But she wasn’t alone, as the Hawkeyes’ counting runners occupied the first through fifth spots in the event.

Overall, the Hawkeye women took up the first 16 spots in the race. The women also had eight runners set personal bests in the first 4,000-meter race of the year.

“I feel like a lot of girls had a really good summer and got to show off their fitness a little bit,” Gordon said. “We definitely have some big goals for Big Tens, regionals, and the postseason and we know we can accomplish that through some pack running.”

The Iowa men had multiple runners not competing today, including senior Nick Trattner and junior Max Murphy. With some of their top runners out, the underclassmen carried the load for Iowa, with three freshmen finishing in the top six.

Freshmen Miles Sheppard, Will Ryan, and Hayden Kuhn all finished third, fifth, and sixth respectively. Sophomore Aidan King finished fourth.

“That is the first 6,000-meter race I’ve done,” Sheppard said. “Overall, I am super happy to be on this team and super happy to be pushed to have longer races.”

Big Picture

Both the Iowa men and women looked crisp in their season debuts.

“The big plus on the day were the three freshmen up there in the top six.” coach Randy Hasenbank said. “They just all need some opportunities to grow. It is nice to see that we have some depth and to see young guys that are capable.”

Gordon and junior Kelli Tosic led the Hawkeye women to victory, as there was a lot of Black and Gold bunched together to finish the race.

“Overall, we have a really good group,” Hasenbank said. “I think we will be able to put together a good squad in the end.”

Up Next

Iowa cross country will travel to Ann Arbor, Michigan, on Sept. 9 to compete in the Michigan Open.