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 concludes, track and field season commences

Since the end of the cross country season, Iowa distance runners have adjusted their focus to the track and field season.
Ayrton Breckenridge
Iowa’s Amber Aesoph competes in the 800-meter run during day three of the 2023 Drake Relays at Drake Stadium in Des Moines on Saturday, April 29, 2023. Aesoph finished third with a time of 2:08.93.

For the Iowa cross country squads, the end of one season marks the beginning of another.

The distance runners compete as multi-sport athletes in cross country and track to continue competing, make improvements, and increase endurance.

Mere weeks after the team’s final race of the cross country season, the distance runners will run an indoor track meet in Boston, Massachusetts, for the Iowa track and field program. The Sharon Colyear-Danville Open hosted by Boston University will take place on Dec. 2.

Following the opening competition, the Hawkeyes will stay in Iowa City for four meets in a row. These include the Jimmy Grant Alumni Invitational on Dec. 9, the Hawkeye Invitational on Jan. 13, 2024, the Larry Wieczorek Invitational & Multi on Jan. 19-20, 2024, and the Black and Gold Invite on Jan. 27, 2024.

“We are always looking to compete against the best in the country,” Iowa Director of Track and Field Joey Woody told Hawkeye Sports. “This schedule allows us to do that and to hit NCAA qualifying marks throughout the season.”

While Iowa track and field is widely known for its hurdling and sprinting All-American honors, the distance squad achieves success of their own.

On the women’s side

As a team, the women’s track and field team finished third at the 2022 Big Ten Indoor Championships.

Coming off a last-place finish in the conference cross country meet this year, the distance squad is looking to make strides on the track.

Though the team results failed to show much growth during cross country season, fourth-year distance runner Amber Aesoph argues most of their advancements were made in practice.

Aesoph notes the importance of “trusting the process” to give the women’s team the results they deserve.

“It’s just hard to see [our growth] on the stats sheet,” Aesoph said. “We’ve made so many improvements that will help us down the road, but it is just going to take time.”

On the track, last season was a year of rearranging the top 10 for the women’s mid-distance and distance squad.

Fourth-year mid-distance and cross country runner Alli Bookin-Nosbisch broke the school record in the outdoor 800-meter race with a time of 2:04.28.

Her twin sister Grace Bookin-Nosbisch ranks fourth in the outdoor 800-meter race with a time of 2:05.49. Aesoph ran the fifth-best indoor 1,500-meter race with a time of 4:41.58. Finally, fourth-year Brooke McKee clinched the sixth-best 3,000-meter steeplechase time with a 10:39.88.

While the women hope to achieve more record board top-ten finishes this year, the team also looks forward to another season to compete alongside their best friends.

“The whole Iowa team is just awesome,” Alli Bookin-Nosbisch said. “It makes the experience so much better to do it with your teammates.”

On the men’s side

Third-year Max Murphy is the Iowa top all-time performer in the 1,500-meter race and 5,000-meter race. Last year, Murphy also recorded the fourth best time in the 10,000-meter race.

During the 2023 cross country season, Murphy qualified for the NCAA Championship meet and finished 69th in the nation.

“[Murphy’s NCAA Championship qualification] validates what we are doing here at the University of Iowa in our cross country and distance track programs,” second-year distance runner Will Ryan said. “Having a guy like [Murphy] do so well makes us believe more in ourselves and the training we put in.”

The track season is expected to be a break-through season for Ryan as well. Last year, Ryan represented the U.S. in the U20 USATF Championships where he earned a bronze medal in the 5,000-meter race with a time of 14:57.87.

Another top distance crew is ranked seventh in Iowa history in the 6,400-meter relay with a time of 17:11.68. The quartet consists of second-year Hayden Kuhn, third-years Yohana Yual and Ian Geisler, and fourth-year Jack Pendergast.

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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.
Ayrton Breckenridge
Ayrton Breckenridge, Managing Visuals Editor
Ayrton Breckenridge is the Managing Visuals Editor at The Daily Iowan. He is a senior at the University of Iowa majoring in journalism and cinema. This is his fourth year working for the DI.