Aug 28, 2013
The University of Iowa men's and women's cross country teams kick off the 2013 season hosting the Hawkeye Early Bird Invitational on Friday. Action at the Ashton Cross Country Course begins at 6:45 p.m. with the women's 3K. The men's 4K event will follow.
SCHEDULE AT A GLANCE
The Hawkeyes open the season with consecutive home meets on Aug. 30 and Sept. 13. They'll compete at the Roy Griak in Minneapolis on Sept. 28 before beginning postseason preparations at the Pre-National Invitational (Oct. 20). The Big Ten Championships are Nov. 3 at Purdue, two weeks before the NCAA Regional in Ames, Iowa. The NCAA Championships are hosted by Indiana State in Terre Haute, Ind., on Nov. 23.
IN THE RANKINGS
Both the men's and women's cross country teams are ranked in the USTFCCCA Regional rankings. The women's team is ranked 10th in the Midwest Region, while the men are ranked 11th.
KEY RETURNERS -- MEN
Jon Michael Brandt returns to the course for his senior season. Brandt was the top finisher for the Hawkeyes at the 2012 Bradley Open (8K, 25:17; 4th), Roy Griak Invite (8K; 25:20; 24th) and the NCAA Midwest Regional (10K; 31:57; 62nd). Kevin Lewis also returns for the Hawkeyes. The junior took the title at the 2012 Western Illinois Early Bird Invitational when he crossed the 6,000 meters line in 18:35. Lewis also won the 2011 Iowa Invitational (8K; 25:31).
KEY RETURNERS -- WOMEN
Sophomores Cindy Saliba and Lisa Gordon both competed at the Big Ten and NCAA Regional Championships last season. Saliba recorded a 6,000-meters personal best of 21:48 at the 2012 Wisconsin Adidas Invite, while Gordon owns the 10th best 4,000-meters time (14:17) in school history following her performance at the 2012 Toledo Bubble Buster.
BRANDT NAMED CAPTAIN
Larry Wieczorek named Jon Michael Brandt the 2013 Cross Country team captain. Brandt has competed at the Big Ten and NCAA Midwest Championship in each of the last two seasons.
Six newcomers will make their Hawkeye debut on Friday. They include: Katie Adams, Tess Wilberding, Samantha Zishka, Ben Anderson, Kevin Docherty and Brook Price.
The Hawkeyes host the Iowa Black & Gold Invite on Sept. 13. The meet features teams from Iowa State, Alabama, Baylor, Florida A&M.