Women's cross-country finishes 18th

BY DI STAFF | OCTOBER 17, 2011 7:20 AM

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The Iowa women's cross-country team scraped the top half of the Wisconsin Inter-Regional Meet on Oct. 15, finishing in 18th place out of 44 teams with an overall team score of 489.

Senior McKenzie Melander lead the Black and Gold with a 44th-place finish and a time of 20:51, trailing first-place runner and defending NCAA champion Sheila Reed of Villanova by 1:09.

Freshman Kayla Beattie followed close behind in 47th place with a time of 20:53, and Betsy Flood and Brooke Eilers finished in the thick of the pack at 93rd and 127th with times of 21:12 and 21:27, respectively.

Coach Layne Anderson said he purposefully kept expectations low heading into the Inter-Regional meet, telling his runners not to expect peak performances this early in the season. He did say a 70th- or 80th-place finish would be a strong showing for junior Kelsey Hart or sophomore Megan Ranegar, but the pair fell short of the mark. Hart and Ranegar finished 178th and 208th with times of 21:56 and 22:16.

The Hawkeyes did manage to meet one of their goals for the Inter-Regional, however, in overcoming some of their regional rivals on the race course. The Black and Gold edged Big Ten competition at the meet, including Wisconsin (21st place), Northwestern (31st), and Ohio State at (38th).

"I thought it was a solid outing," Anderson said in a release. "We were a bit off in a few spots, but we are certainly still optimistic about the races ahead.

The first of those races is the Big Ten championships on Oct. 30 in Champaign, Ill.

— by Eldon Giannakouros

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