Hawkeye cross country notebook | Iowa prepares for Gans Creek Classic

After two weeks off, Iowa will head to the University of Missouri for the Gans Creek Classic.


Jenna Galligan

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

Jake Olson, Sports Reporter

The Iowa men’s and women’s cross country teams will head to Columbia, Missouri, on Friday to compete in the Gans Creek Classic. Hosted by the University of Missouri, the Hawkeyes will be racing at the Gans Creek Cross Country Course.

The men will run an 8,000-meter route starting at 9 a.m., while the women will follow on a 6,000-meter track 45 minutes later.

The Hawkeyes haven’t raced since Sept. 16 when they competed in the Redbird Invite. Most of Iowa’s top runners, including junior Kelli Tosic and senior Nick Trattner, didn’t compete after head coach Randy Hasenbank decided to send a younger team to Illinois. 

For the Hawkeye men’s top runners, this is not only their first race in three weeks but their first race at 8,000-meters.

“I think all the guys are ready to get back out there and race the first 8K of the season,” Trattner said. “I think the boys will be able to run fast and show what we are made of. I think we can really turn some heads so that’s the goal.”

The competition in this race will stiffen for the Hawkeyes as they will face multiple teams in the latest United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Midwest Regional Rankings. Iowa will be going head to head with  Missouri, Bradley, and Iowa State, which are all within the top-15 in the Midwest.

The Iowa men’s cross country team is currently ranked seventh in the USTFCCCA Midwest Regional rankings. 

“We are going to be seeing three of the best teams in the region,” Hasenbank said. “We will have the Minnesota, Iowa State, and Northwestern women, so some very good competition there. And then with the men, we have Iowa State which is a perennial powerhouse.”

Last time out

While competing on the Weibring Golf Course in Normal, Illinois, during the Redbird Invite, the men’s team placed 7th while the women’s team was 6th. 

The freshman tandem of Nate Harbert and Eli Naumann led the Hawkeye men in scoring, placing 27th and 34th, respectively. Junior Kal Lewis also competed, placing 37th Freshman Brayden Burnett and sophomore Eli Ward rounded the top five for Iowa, placing 53rd and 56th, respectively. 

For the women, Ana Barroso placed 22nd overall in her 6,000-meter debut. Senior Maggie Gutwein placed 39th, second for Iowa. Sophomore Kaitlin Knape, freshman Aleah Tenpas, and sophomore Chloe Skidmore all rounded off the top five for the Hawkeyes, joining Barroso in their first race at 6,000-meters.

“We gave them all a pretty clear plan on how to execute because it was their first 8,000-meter race,” Hasenbank said. “We gave them all splits to hit and they executed.”