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Hawkeye harriers come back with mixed bag

BY MARIO WILLIAMS and SHELBY STITES | OCTOBER 06, 2014 5:00 AM

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Men’s team

The Iowa men’s cross-country squad may have not met expectations at the Notre Dame Invitational. As a team, the Hawkeyes finished 16th, led by Kevin Lewis, who finished with a time of 23:54 to earn 31st place. The squad competed against 23 teams in the Blue Division running in the 5-mile race.

Iowa head coach Layne Anderson believes his team missed out on an opportunity to compete against top-level competition.

“Every meet for us is a learning experience, and we know that next meet we need to be better,” harrier Ben Anderson said. “…We are a high-quality team, and the results of [Oct. 3] did not show that. We know that for the next meet we need to be on our A game, and I am confident that we will all be ready.”

Eight other players competed in the race. Sophomores Ben Anderson (63/24:18), Anthony Gregorio (102/24:33), Kevin Docherty (114/24:39), Taylor Soltys (117/24:40), Nate Ferree (25:00), and Daniel Huff (25:54). Senior Ben Witt finished with a time of 24:47 to earn 127th place, and freshman Michael Melchert finished with a time of 25:17 to earn a 117th place.

Melchert believes there’s still room to improve despite his performance at the meet.

“I didn’t run very well Friday, and I didn’t get out quick enough, so there are still many improvements to do against high competition,” he said.

Docherty, who ran in his first full meet of the season, said the competition was crazy.  

“The race was pretty chaotic,” he said. “Numerous times, I had to hurdle over guys who had been tripped up, and a couple times I had to keep my teammates from falling.”

The sophomore believes he’s still not at his top fitness level after competing in Friday’s meet.

“My race results showed me that I’m getting fit, but not quite where I should be,” he said. “It was a good checkpoint for me.”

Women’s team

The Hawkeye women’s cross-country team came back from South Bend, Indiana, better than they left the Big Ten Preview on Sept. 20.

The Iowa women competed against twenty-six other teams in the Gold division running in the 5,000-meter race. Iowa finished seventh overall with a team score of 211 points.

Sophomore Carolyn Newhouse was the first Hawkeye to cross the finish line at the Notre Dame Invitational on Oct. 3 with a time of 17:39 to place 35th in the Gold division.

Alongside Newhouse was freshman Marta Bote Gonzalez (17:43/43) and Tess Wilberding (17:44/45). Sophomore Katie Adam’s (17.47.3/48), leader at Illinois State Invitational, and junior Jocelyn Todd (17.47.8/49), leader at Big Ten Preview, came in seconds apart.

Juniors Courtney Martin (17:52.2/56) and Lisa Gordon (17:54.8/58) finished toward the end of the Hawkeye pack with sophomore Samantha Zishka (17:58.6/64) crossing the finish line shortly after.
“The team did a really good job working together to move the pack up,” Gonzalez said. “We have to work harder to feel stronger and improve our position as a team.”

Gonzalez improved her personal best time on the 5,000-meter course and is proud of her accomplishment.

“I’m really happy because I’m seeing the results of my practices,” she said.

Both the Hawkeye men and women will compete in the Pre-National Invitational on Oct. 18 in Terre Haute, Indiana.

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


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