Iowa women's cross-country wins first meet of the year

BY DI STAFF | SEPTEMBER 04, 2012 6:30 AM

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The Iowa women’s cross-country team got off to a fast start in its first race of the season on Aug. 31, winning the Early Bird Open hosted by Western Illinois.

The Hawkeye team was represented well, with the team’s five competing runners —Brooke Bierhaus, Jocelyn Todd, Katherin Rehn, Lena Placzek, and Rachel Price — all finishing in the top eight.

The women dominated the 4K race — a shortened distance because of the high temperature —with Rehn taking first place with a time of 14:51. Placzek took second with a time of 15:05, Todd finished fourth in 15:41, Price finished sixth at 15:52, and Bierhaus wrapped up the day for the Hawkeyes, finishing in eighth place with a time of 16:10.

 “It went well,” head coach Layne Anderson said. “We won the meet, and we had the individual event winner … the ladies ran well.”

The meet was fairly low-key, he said, but the team will compete in much larger events this month. In particular, the Toledo Bubble Buster will likely be a meet that will boost the Hawkeye’s strength of schedule on Sept. 21.

“It’ll be unique, running a little more competitively earlier on this season,” he said. “Last year, we were supposed to go to Toledo but ended up going to Loyola, where we ran well, but it didn’t factor into the at-large process at the end [of the season].”

Anderson noted the importance of running well this month, especially in the next two meets, the Bradley Open in Peoria, Ill., and the Bubble Buster.

“Running against San Francisco and Arkansas and some of these teams that are outside of our region, and traditionally strong teams, should go well for our team,” he said. “So if we run well at Toledo, then it could help us at the end of the season in terms of getting us into the national meet if we don’t qualify automatically.”

by Levi Lynott

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