Women's XC may lose top runner to injuries, redshirt


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One of Iowa’s top women’s cross-country runners, Kayla Beattie, may redshirt this season because she has been staggered by several injuries. Beattie has fallen behind on training, but as the Big Ten meet approaches, she hasn’t used her official eligibility yet this season.

Beattie injured her hip in early September and then was kept out of training after a bug bite swelled her foot too much to fit into a shoe later that month.

Her redshirt became likelier on Monday, when she was injured again while getting ready for the Big Ten meet.
Head coach Layne Anderson said Beattie was beginning to train for the upcoming meet with top Hawkeye harrier Mareike Schrulle when she suffered a quadriceps injury.

“We were hoping to use this week to gauge where she was,” Anderson said. “She ran last week and got a few good workouts in, and things appeared to be going well again, and she was getting back into a rhythm.”

Anderson said it’s tough that this has happened to the usually upbeat runner.

“It’s frustrating,” he said. “She’s extremely disappointed because she was off to such a great start in the fall and was optimistic.”

But with the latest injury sidelining Beattie once again, it isn’t looking like Anderson will have her run at the Big Ten meet. Instead, he’ll seemingly redshirt the early season favorite.

“The last thing we should do is throw away a year of eligibility in order for her to go finish 36th at the conference meet.” Anderson said. “It may help us a little bit at the meet, but at the end of the day, it isn’t the better for the team tradition moving forward.”

Beattie was the top finisher for the Hawkeyes in their first two meets this season, and given her talent, the team seems to have found a very good replacement for their top runner. Graduate student and current Big Ten Runner of the Week Schrulle will be the most likely finish first at meets for the Hawkeyes moving forward.

Schrulle took 12th place with a sub-20 minute finish at the Adidas Invitational in Wisconsin, a 6K race.

“Her performance this past weekend certainly makes her one of the favorites to win the Big Ten,” Anderson said. “It’s just a matter of execution over the 20 minutes on the course. She’s in good health and training well.”

Beattie’s injury will force three freshmen into the lineup. Lisa Gordon, Courtney Martin, and Cindy Saliba have competed well this season, junior Megan Ranegar said, but tougher meets lie ahead of the team.

If Beattie’s injury spirals into a red-shirt situation, the women’s cross-country team may be left with a thought of what they could have accomplished. With Beattie and Schrulle both running, Iowa’s limits would have had a much higher ceiling at the Big-Ten and national events.

“You have to think that if she was ahead of Mareike at those [previous] meets, she would be there with Mareike at the Wisconsin meet,” Anderson said. “There could have been a dramatically different team outcome.”

The runners aree aware the rest of the season will be tough without Beattie.

“Losing our best runner is going to have a big impact on us at the Big Ten Tournament,” redshirt freshman Shannon Maser said.

Anderson said Beattie’s absence from the lineup is noticed every day.

“Nobody is saying, ‘I can step in there for Kayla, and the team won’t miss a beat,’ ” he said.

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