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 | Bradley Pink Classic recap, Big Ten Championships preview

The Hawkeye men’s and women’s cross country programs closed out their regular season at the Bradley Pink Classic. Next on the agenda is one of the biggest meets of the year– the Big Ten Championships in Madison, Wisconsin, on Oct. 27.
Theodore Retsinas
The Iowa women’s cross country team competes 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 Iowa men’s and women’s cross country programs both earned 11th-place team finishes at the Bradley Pink Classic in Peoria, Illinois, on, Oct. 13.

Leading the pack once again for the Iowa women was fourth-year Amber Aesoph. She earned 30th place as an individual in the 6,000-meter race, as well as a new personal-best time (21:49.3). Fellow fourth-year teammates Alli Bookin-Nosbisch and Abby Ryon also earned career-best times of 22:00.7 and 22:07.4, respectively. 

“I think it was a confidence boost knowing we are still able to get those [personal records],” Aesoph said. “We all just went out there and gave it what we could.”

Rounding out scoring for the Hawkeye women were first-year Cameron Kalaway (22:26.3) and fourth-year Brooke McKee (22:51.3). The women’s finishes earned the team an 11th-place finish with 306 points. 

On the men’s side, fourth-year Jack Pendergast led the Hawkeyes for the first time this season. He crossed the line with a time of 25:04.4, which earned him a 41st overall placement. 

Although Pendergast was the first Hawkeye finisher, he still believes there is room for improvement. 

“I was pretty happy, but it wasn’t my greatest race by any means,” Pendergast said. “There were definitely moments in the race where I felt like I could have pushed harder.”

Third-year Aidan King followed closely behind Pendergast, setting a new personal-best time (25:18.0). 

“Throughout this season [King] has just slowly been getting better, which is really good,” Pendergast said. “Overall, he’s a great guy, and I’m really happy it’s paying off for him.”

Rounding out the scoring for Iowa in the 8,000-meter race were third-year Ian Geisler (25:22.1), first-year Miles Wilson (25:28.9), and second-year Will Ryan (25:33.0).

The Hawkeyes scored 340 points and earned an 11th-place finish out of 28 teams. 

Championship season

Next up, the Hawkeyes will compete in the Big Ten Championships in Madison, Wisconsin, on Oct. 27.

The Iowa women hope to improve a “disappointing” last place finish in 2022. Aesoph notes the team may need to step out of their comfort zones to achieve their goal. 

“I think it is easy to get caught in the middle or in the back of the pack and just get comfortable,” Aesoph said. “We have to push ourselves the entire time. That’s something we need to cling to.”

Iowa assistant distance coach Shayla Houlihan anticipates the team utilizing their experiences in practice to pull them through the Big Ten Championship meet. 

“When they get in a tough spot in a race, I want them to think back to practice and feel calm,” Houlihan said.  

For the men, the goal is to make even more improvement. In last year’s Big Ten Championship meet, the men’s squad made a jump from 11th place (2021) to seventh place (2022). This year, the goal is an even better team finish. 

The key to success for the Iowa men’s team is to have all runners on deck. Distance head coach Randy Hasenbank notes the impact of injuries, which the team hopes to avoid for the Big Ten Championship meet. 

“We are still without a couple of top contributors,” Hasenbank told Hawkeye Sports. “[We] need everyone ready in two weeks.” 

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.