Iowa women's cross-country team battles sickness, bug bites


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Sophomore Kayla Beattie, one of the Iowa women’s cross-country team’s best runners, can’t compete in the Griak Invitational this weekend. She doesn’t have stress factures or pulled muscles — injuries common for distance runners — and she doesn’t have any respiratory illness.

She was bit by a bug.

Anderson said that he expects a bug bit Beattie’s foot while she was sleeping on Sept. 21, a bite she didn’t notice until the next day. The head coach said Beattie hasn’t been able to run until Thursday.
Beattie said she will not be able to compete this weekend because of the bug bite.

“I got a bug bite or spider bite over the weekend, and I had a pretty bad reaction to it,” she said. “I haven’t been able to do a lot of running, and actually today was the first day I’ve been able to put a shoe on my foot due to the swelling. It’s been an unfortunate week.”

Minor health issues have affected the women’s cross-country team during the past week, and although the runners aren’t battling serious injuries, the team will only send three harriers to participate in the Roy Griak Invitational in Minneapolis on Saturday.

“More than anything, we’re just sick,” Anderson said. “We’ve just incurred more than our fair share of illnesses. Stomach bug, head cold, chest cold.”

The team had five or six harriers sidelined during the week, he said, although none of them had serious injuries or illnesses.

“Nothing that will compromise our thoughts as far as the season, like a stress fracture or an Achilles injury, but certainly these are not things you want to happen,” Anderson said. “The overall volume is alarming.”

The Hawkeyes, who have never run in the Griak Invitational, will only send three runners, and they hope that the rest of the team can recover from illnesses over the weekend.

Freshman harrier Cindy Saliba, who will not attend the meet this weekend, noted that the expectations for the team at the Griak Invitational will be more individualized, with fewer Hawkeye runners participating.

“For the older girls, I think that they definitely want to go get good times and finish well as individuals,” she said. “Less focused on how the team would score because it’s just the three of them.”

The team’s three participants will most likely be seniors Kelsey Hart and Megan Ranegar, as well as graduate student Mareike Schrulle.

Anderson seemed confident about his three competing runners, even amid the team’s setbacks this week.

“Those three ladies are older and have had good races,” he said. “They haven’t had any complications or setbacks, so they are good to go.”

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