Nov. 12, 2011
DeKalb, Ill. -- Hawkeye juniors Jeff Thode and Nick Holmes, senior McKenzie Melander and freshman Kayla Beattie earned all-region honors at Saturday's NCAA Midwest Regional Cross Country Meet at the NIU North 40 cross country course in DeKalb, Ill. The University of Iowa women's team placed fourth out of 28 teams with 146 points, while the Hawkeye men placed ninth out of 25 teams with 278 points.
Thode, who placed eighth in the men's 10,000-meter race with a time of 31:23.67, earned an individual automatic bid to the NCAA Championships Nov. 22 in Terra Haute, IN. It is the third straight season he has earned all-region honors. Holmes finished 18th with a time of 31:41.50 earning him all-region honors.
Melander placed 11th with a time of 21:17.17. It is her first all-region honor. Beattie finished 17th in her first NCAA Midwest Regional. She crossed the line in 21:32 earning her first all-region honor.
Iowa State won the women's 6K race with 64 points, while Oklahoma State won the men's 10K race with 42. The Oklahoma State women's team (119 points) and the Oklahoma men's team (45 points) also earned automatic NCAA Championship team bids with their runner-up finishes.
Senior Brooke Eilers (22:10.32) and graduate student Mareike Schrulle (22:10.33) finished 37th and 38th respectively, while seniors Betsy Flood (22:15, 43rd) and Jackie Laesch (22:17, 44th) followed close behind. Megan Ranegar rounded out the Hawkeye line-up. The sophomore finished 65th crossing the line with a time of 22:39.
"We had some highlights with McKenzie and Kayla running well," said women's head cross country and track and field coach Layne Anderson. "But for whatever reason we continued to not run to our ultimate potential. We finished fourth out of 28 teams which is an outstanding team finish, but this team had bigger goals than that. We fell short of our potential for no apparent reason."
Kevin Lewis finished third for the Hawkeyes. The freshman finished 71st with a time of 33:12. Freshman Ben Witt (33:46) and sophomore Jon Michael Brandt (33:51) placed 90th and 96th respectively. Sophomore Cameron Reiger crossed the line in 34:33 to finish 128th, while sophomore Nick Young (35:25) finished 152nd to round out the Hawkeye line-up.
"I was really happy with the team finishing 9th out of 25 teams," said men's head cross country and track and field coach Larry Wieczorek. "I was most happy with Jeff qualifying for the NCAA Championships. He has the potential to do really well there. Nick Holmes was another great story. He just missed qualifying, but he received his first NCAA all-region honor."
NCAA at-large individual bids will be announced Sunday. The NCAA Championships will take place Nov. 21 in Terre Haute, Ind.