The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

Iowa cross country notebook | Badger Classic recap, Redbird Invite preview

The Iowa cross country programs got a taste of the Big Ten Championship site, and the women look forward to the Redbird Invite hosted by Illinois State University.
Theodore Retsinas
Runners compete during the Hawkeye Invite at Ashton Cross-Country Course in Iowa City, on Friday, Sep. 1, 2023. The Iowa men’s team won the invite with the women coming in second second.

The University of Iowa men’s and women’s cross country programs competed at the Badger Classic in Madison, Wisconsin, on Saturday.

The meet gave the Hawkeyes a foretaste of the Big Ten Championship, which will be hosted by Wisconsin on Oct. 27.

Iowa’s competition included Illinois, Marquette, Michigan, Minnesota, Northwestern, Ohio State, and Rutgers.

The men began the day at 10:30 a.m. with the 8000-meter race, and the women followed with the 5000-meter race.

The Iowa men’s team, led by Miles Sheppard, finished fifth out of six competing teams at the Badger Classic.

“There is still potential to get better,” Sheppard said. “We [finished] second to last as a team, and I know that’s not going to happen again.”

Related: Iowa women’s soccer notebook | Hawkeyes finish non-conference slate undefeated

Sheppard finished ninth overall and ran a personal best in the 8000-meter race at 24:38.3. Fellow sophomore Hayden Kuhn followed in Sheppard’s footsteps, placing 17th and earning a personal best at 25:02.5. Senior Jack Pendergast ran his first meet of the season and finished 21st  at 25:10.1. Two young runners filled out the top five for the Hawkeyes — and they did so by running in a pack. Separated by one-tenth of a second were sophomore Will Ryan at 25:20.5, his personal best, and freshman Miles Wilson at 25:20.6. 

Brayden Burnett also finished with a personal record in Madison with a time of 25:41.2.

The men’s team finished with four personal bests and 98 points.

On the women’s side, Iowa was led by senior Amber Aesoph, who led the Hawkeyes to sixth place out of seven competing teams.

Aesoph ran a team-best 19:09.3, putting her in 35th place overall. Sophomores Jalyssa Blazek at 19:31.1 and Aleah Tenpas at 19:32.3, a PR, ran in a pack behind Aesoph and crossed the line in 45th and 46th place, respectively. 

Freshman Clare Kelly made her collegiate 5000-meter debut and finished with a time of 19:40.2. Senior Brooke McKee crossed the line as the fifth and final scoring Hawkeye at the 19:49.2 mark.

Despite the Hawkeyes’ competitiveness, Aesoph still sees room for improvement after the season’s first two meets.

“These last two meets have shown us where we are at and where we need to work toward,” Aesoph said. “We are definitely not where we want to be.”

Looking ahead

A small squad from the Iowa women’s cross country team will compete in Normal, Illinois, at the Redbird Invite on Sept. 15.

The athletes competing include mid-distance seniors Alli Bookin-Nosbisch, Katie Moore, and Clare Pitcher as well as sophomore Gabby Cortez and freshman Ava Rush.

The Hawkeyes will have the opportunity to compete against Illinois State after just nine points separated the two teams on Sept. 1 at the Hawkeye Invitational. The Redbirds were led by sixth-year Claire Fuhlhage, who won the meet and claimed her first collegiate victory. Fuhlhage also set a personal best during the race.

The women’s 5000-meter race is set to start at 5 p.m. at the Weibring Golf Club.

More to Discover
About the Contributors
Mia Boulton
Mia Boulton, Sports Reporter
Mia Boulton is a freshman at the University of Iowa majoring in Journalism & Mass Communication, as well as exploring a possible double major in Sports Media. She works at the Daily Iowan as a sports reporter. Outside of the Daily Iowan, Mia has been a photographer for her hometown newspaper, The Record.
Theodore Retsinas
Theodore Retsinas, Photojournalist
Theodore Retsinas is a freshman at the University of Iowa studying Neuroscience.