Iowa’s Mareike Schrulle to run at NCAA championships
Mareike Schrulle will head to Louisville, Ky., this weekend for the NCAA championships and a shot at becoming the Hawkeyes’ first women’s cross-country All-American since 2008.
Schrulle was one of two Iowa harriers to receive all-region honors last week. Her success throughout the season has been a model for teammates who have been able to watch her progress since her arrival at Iowa last year. She came to America’s heartland from Germany with a slate of injuries that hampered her previous season.
“As Coach [Layne Anderson] keeps saying, she’s having a historical season,” said teammate and all-region honoree Megan Ranegar. “She’s had to deal with injuries and surgeries and having to adapt to a program in a foreign country. She’s overcome so much in one year, and she deserves [to run at the NCAAs] more than anyone.”
Staying true to her preparation routines all year, Schrulle will be without the comfort of competing teammates, as she qualified for the meet upon her individual accolades. The absence of teammates is something that she hasn’t experienced while running for Iowa.
“Not having people around you that you are familiar with and can talk to will be different,” she said.
But thanks to a friendly teammate, Schrulle will be able to warm up for the race in good company. Ranegar, who is confident that Schrulle will be unfazed by the absence of her team, is going to make the drive to Louisville to watch Schrulle.
“She will perform the way she has all season, and it’s going be great,” Ranegar said. “I’m sure the rest of the team will be at home anxiously waiting [to hear how high Schrulle placed].”
Head coach Anderson is excited about Schrulle’s NCAA berth and hopes that the feat can have a snowball effect in the program.
“We feel really good about our representation and having Mareike there,” Anderson said. “This gets us back to the national meet for the first time in a couple of years as a program, so hopefully, we can build on this and next year get the entire team back to the national meet.”
Ranegar also noted the importance of showcasing a national appearance and the success it can allow for the future of the program.
“That’s something that recruits will look at— are we getting girls to the NCAA’s? Are the girls on the team happy with their improvements?” she said. “It’s a big deal.”
To receive All-American honors, Schrulle would have to finish in the top 40 at the national meet.
But Schrulle, who finished 3rd at the all-region meet, doesn’t let the intensity of the national meet affect her. In fact, she said she hasn’t let the pressure of performing at a high level bother her throughout the season.
“It’s going to be easy for me to stay relaxed, because at the beginning of the season I wasn’t focused on making it to nationals,” Schrulle said. “I just wanted to run as well as I could and see what happened.”
Schrulle knows the importance of this meet and is also aware that it will be her last race in a Hawkeye uniform.
“I know that there are so many other good runners out there,” Schrulle said. “I just want to go into the race and see what’s possible.”
In today's issue: