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Men’s harriers finish second

BY MARIO WILLIAMS | SEPTEMBER 19, 2014 5:00 AM

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The Iowa’s men’s cross-country squad had yet another strong showing at the Big Ten Preview with four runners finishing in the top 15. As a team, the Hawkeyes finished second, led by Kevin Lewis. This is the second time the senior has led his team to a strong finish. Lewis finished with a time of 24:44 to earn third place.

The senior believes he ran well but wanted his outcome to be better.

“I felt pretty good until 1,000 meters to go, but then I fizzled out a little bit," Lewis said in a release. "My goal was to win, which didn’t happen. Hopefully, I can get them next time."

Sophomores Ben Anderson, Anthony Gregorio, and senior Ben Witt earned places in the top 15. Anderson finished in eighth place with a time of 25:17.52, Gregorio finished in 12th place at 25:21, and Witt finished in 11th place at 25:17.81.

Iowa head coach Layne Anderson thought his runners performed well and was pleased with their efforts. However, he found the Ashton Cross-Country Course to be a bit challenging, citing the early start time and high humidity level.

“We did a good job of packing up,” Anderson said. “The course and weather today was a little bit more challenging than last week.”

Anderson also believes the Big Ten Preview prepped his team well for the Big Ten championship in November, which will also be held in Iowa City.

“Now that we’ve raced on the course, we have a little bit more familiarity with it.” Anderson said.

Sophomore Ben Anderson thought the Big Ten Preview was enjoyable, along with being in the top 15. Although he said it was a tough week of practice, he believed he ran better than he expected at 8,000 meters.

“Being top 15 is cool,” he said. “I guess summer work just keeps showing itself, and hopefully, the workouts we’ve been doing keep progressing.

“I enjoyed the race, and it’s always fun to get out there. It’s a tough week, and I ran a lot better than I thought I would at a higher mileage.”

The sophomore believes the preview has prepared him for the Big Ten championships as well.

“It got me used to the course and to set a time standard to run better at the Big Ten championships,” he said. “I want to improve from what I did today to the Big Ten championships not only in time but where I’m at in the race.”

Outside of the top 15, sophomore Taylor Soltys finished in 25:54, earning 20th place. Although the sophomore felt a bit disappointed with his personal effort, he thought overall his teammates ran well together.

“Yesterday was personally disappointing,” he said. “I was much farther back from our main pack than I  should have been, though as a whole, our team performed very well.”

The Naperville, Illinois, native also believed the preview was a good prep for the Big Ten championships.

“The meet was a good sense of the course and how it will run come November,” he said.

Follow @marioxwilliams on Twitter for news, updates, and analysis about the Iowa cross-country team.


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