Hawkeyes look to make impact in X-C season opener

BY DI STAFF | AUGUST 30, 2013 5:00 AM

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The Iowa cross-country team will kick off the season tonight as the Hawkeyes host the Early Bird Invitational at the Ashton Cross-Country Course.

This is the first of two consecutive home meets the Hawks will host this season, the second being the Black and Gold Invitational on Sept. 13.

The Hawkeyes open the season ranked No. 10 in the U.S. Track & Field and Cross-Country Coaches Association women’s rankings, and the men’s team comes in ranked No. 11.

Iowa returns a few key runners this season. For the women, sophomores Cindy Saliba and Lisa Gordon would both like to improve on their Big Ten and NCAA regional appearances last season, and seniors Shannon Maser and Lena Placzek both want to start off their final season on a high note.

Senior team captain Jon Michael Brandt will lead the men’s squad into action, followed by junior standout Kevin Lewis.

While the men’s team returns six upper classmen, including three seniors, the women field one of the youngest teams in school history. Bolstered by a strong recruiting class, this incarnation of the women’s team features 12 incoming freshmen who will run in their first meet as Hawkeyes, including standouts Katie Adams, Tess Wilberding, and Samantha Zishka. For the men, recruits Ben Anderson and Kevin Docherty hope to make an impact.

Head coaches Layne Anderson and Larry Wieczorek lead the Hawks into their season-opener at 6:45 p.m.; the starting time has been pushed back 45 minutes because of the heat. The women’s 3K will start at 6:45, and the men’s 4K will start shortly after.

— by Ryan Rodriguez and Jordan Hansen

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