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 leaders learn from Big Ten Championship competition

The Hawkeyes were led by third-year Max Murphy and fourth-year Abby Ryon.
Iowas+Max+Murphy+closes+in+on+the+lead+during+the+Hawkeye+Invitational+at+Ashton+Cross-Country+Course+in+Iowa+City+on+Friday%2C+Sept.+1%2C+2023.+Murphy+broke+the+University+of+Iowa+mens+6%2C000-meter+record+at+the+invite.+The+Iowa+mens+team+won+the+invite+with+the+women+coming+in+second.
Theodore Retsinas
Iowa’s Max Murphy closes in on the lead during the Hawkeye Invitational at Ashton Cross-Country Course in Iowa City on Friday, Sept. 1, 2023. Murphy broke the University of Iowa men’s 6,000-meter record at the invite. The Iowa men’s team won the invite with the women coming in second.

The Iowa men’s and women’s cross country programs competed on Oct. 27 at the Big Ten Championship meet in Madison, Wisconsin. Both teams finished in the bottom half of team competition — the men’s squad in 10th and the women in 14th.

Individually, the Hawkeyes were led through the rainy, mud-covered race by third-year Max Murphy and fourth-year Abby Ryon.

It isn’t uncommon for Murphy to lead the pack. During the season’s first race, Murphy broke the 6,000-meter school record by 13 seconds on Iowa’s home course. Murphy is the first Hawkeye to finish every race he’s competed in so far this season.

“Consistency is really important in running,” Murphy said. “It comes from having consistent training for years and years.”

In the less-than-ideal course conditions, Murphy crossed the line in 34th place with a time of 25:21.3. As Murphy and the rest of the Hawkeyes forge forward into the rest of their challenging postseason schedule, they recognize there is room for improvement.

“In the sport in general, there are a lot of highs and lows,” Murphy said. “You just can’t get too high or too low and put in the work no matter what.”

On the women’s side, Ryon was the first Hawkeye finisher, running her 6,000-meter race in 22:49.3 and earning 68th place.

“I was really pleased with what I was able to do, but I wouldn’t have gotten to where I am without everybody else,” Ryon said.

After finishing last in the conference for the second year in a row, the Hawkeye women’s team believes the scoresheets do not reflect its success in the meet.

From the Big Ten race, Ryon and the Hawkeye women learned to have more confidence in their training. This will be key to earning better team results at their next meet — NCAA Midwest Regionals on Nov. 10.

“We need more speed and reactiveness, but also to realize the pace will slow down in the middle,” Ryon said. “It was good to get back in the heightened level of competition and hopefully build some confidence for some people.”

Similarly, first-year Iowa assistant distance coach Shayla Houlihan highlighted the importance of getting out quickly to make strides toward a better team placement.

“We will be looking for a more aggressive start at regionals to set us up for a position in the field that we are more deserving of,” Houlihan told Hawkeye Sports.

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About the Contributors
Mia Boulton, Sports Reporter
she/her/hers
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, Photojournalist
(he/him/his)
Theodore Retsinas is a freshman at the University of Iowa studying Neuroscience.