Sept. 13, 2013
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The University of Iowa men's cross country team took the title at the Black and Gold Invitational on Friday. The Hawkeye men tallied a team score of 18 to beat Alabama (53 points) and Iowa State (57 points) in an impressive fashion. The Hawkeye women took fourth with a total of 97 points. The Black and Gold Invitational was held at the Ashton Cross Country Course.
Kevin Lewis took the men's 6,000-meter title. The junior clocked a personal-best time of 18:33 in his first race of the 2013 season. His time ties for sixth all-time at Iowa.
"It was really good," said Lewis. "I was pretty surprised going through the first mile. I didn't really know how fast we were going yet. I looked at my watch and I knew I was on a PR pace. It was good that it was that relaxed. It felt really good. Now, I need to bump that up to an 8K. If I keep this pace for another 2K that is a pretty good time, and it would definitely be another PR."
Junior Ben Witt and senior Sam Chaney finished second and third, respectively, each recording personal bests. Witt crossed the line in 18:50, while Chaney posted a time of 18:53. Freshmen Kevin Docherty (5th; 18:56) and Quentin Shaffer (7th; 18:58) rounded out the scoring for the Hawkeyes.
"It was a very encouraging debut for Kevin Lewis and Ben Witt," said head men's coach Larry Wieczorek. "Lewis really tested and asserted himself there at the end. We had two freshmen among our top five finishers, which bodes well for the future. We had so many solid individual performances that I'm really excited about the overall result."
Samantha Zishka was the top finisher for the Hawkeye women. The freshman clocked a time of 14:34 to finish 14th.
"It felt good," said Zishka. "It felt steady. I was just working my way through the race. You can't get out too hard or else it will kick you in the butt later. Coach Anderson trains us to work as a pack. I kind of worked with Lena (Placzek) and then when I felt ok I made my move and then cruised down the hill. Overall it felt strong."
Freshman Katie Adams followed close behind Zishka, finishing 15th with a time of 14:37. Senior Lena Placzek (21st; 14:44), and sophomores Rachel Price (23rd; 14:45) and Courtney Martin (25th; 14:47) rounded out the scoring for the Hawkeyes.
"Individually, I thought we got a good effort from freshmen Sam Zishka and Katie Adams," said head women's coach Layne Anderson, "but we're still looking to get five girls across the line, and with the youth and physical obstacles we've been dealing with that has been a challenge. We'll keep working and striving to improve."
The Hawkeyes travel to Minneapolis to compete in the Roy Griak Invitational on Sept. 28.