Oct. 25, 2011
The University of Iowa men's and women's cross country teams are set to compete in the Big Ten Championships this weekend. The event will be held Sunday in Champaign, Ill. The championships will be tape-delay televised Friday, Nov. 11, at 11 a.m. (CT). Jay Wilson will have the call.
BIG TEN CHAMPIONSHIPS
The 2011 Big Ten Championships will be hosted by the University of Illinois.The men's 8K race is scheduled to begin at 10:45 a.m. before the women's 6K race at 11:45 a.m.
2010 BIG TEN CHAMPIONSHIPS
The men's squad finished ninth at the Big Ten Championships last year, while the women's team finished eighth. The Hawkeyes were led by sophomore Jeff Thode on the men's side and junior Betsy Flood on the women's. Both were named second team All-Big Ten. Michigan State is the defending Big Ten women's champion, while Wisconsin is the defending men's champion.
IN THE RANKINGS
Both the men's and women's cross country teams are ranked in the USTFCCCA Regional rankings. The men's team is ranked 10th in the Midwest Region, while the women are ranked second. Nationally, the Iowa women's team is ranked 27th overall. The women will face three nationally ranked foes this weekend. Those teams include Michigan State (15), Michigan (19) and Penn State (26), while the men's team will race against five nationally ranked teams including Wisconsin (two), Indiana (seven), Minnesota (12), Michigan (21) and Ohio State (26).
VARIETY OF FRONTRUNNERS
The Hawkeye women's team has had three different top finishers over its last four meets. Kelsey Hart finished first for the Hawkeyes at both the 4K Iowa Open (3rd, 14:42) and the 3K Iowa Invitational (1st, 10:22). Freshman Kayla Beattie was Iowa's top runner at the 5K Loyola Lakefront Invitational posting a time of 17:29, and McKenzie Melander crossed the line first at the Wisconsin adidas Invitational. The senior finished the 6K in 20:51.
THODE CONTINUES STREAK
All-American Jeff Thode returned to action at the Chile Pepper Festival on Oct. 15. The junior continued his personal streak which now stands at nine straight meets as Iowa's top finisher. Thode will try to continue his streak this Sunday at the Big Ten Championships.
The men's and women's cross country teams head to DeKalb, Ill., for the NCAA Midwest Regional. The meet will be held on Nov. 12.