Fourth-place not enough for women's harriers

BY DI STAFF | NOVEMBER 14, 2011 7:20 AM

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Not even a top-five finish could lift the spirits of the Iowa women's cross-country team, as it narrowly missed a berth in the NCAA meet.

The Black and Gold finished fourth at the Midwest Regional in DeKalb, Ill. Two Hawkeyes received all-region honors for their performances at the meet: McKenzie Melander for her 11th-place performance (21:17.1) and Kayla Beattie for her 17th-place finish (21:32).

But those two performances weren't enough to extend the squad's season.

"We got some good individual performances, but … we couldn't get everybody to run well on the same day," coach Layne Anderson said.

Brooke Eilers, Mareike Schrulle, and Betsy Flood rounded out the scoring for the Black and Gold. Eilers and Schrulle finished just moments apart in 37th and 38th with times of 22:10.32 and 22:10.33. Flood finished in 43rd with a time of 22:15.

The race was a reprise of the key stumbles and missed opportunities that plagued the Hawkeyes over the majority of the season.

"Our season was literally a game of inches," Anderson said. "We just couldn't get the inch we needed."

The Hawkeyes' only hope for a presence at the NCAA championships now lies with Melander, and Anderson said that chances of an individual bid for the senior are slim at best.

At-large individual qualifiers will be announced on Nov. 20.

— by Eldon Giannakouros

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