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Iowa cross-country squad finishes the season off with a mixed bag

BY MARIO WILLIAMS AND SHELBY STITES | NOVEMBER 17, 2014 5:00 AM

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Men’s team

The Iowa men’s cross-country squad traveled to Peoria, Illinois Nov. 14 to compete at the Midwest Regional, which was the last meet of the season. As a team, the men in Black and Gold finished seventh, led by senior Kevin Lewis, who finished with a time of 30:35 to earn 19th place.

Lewis didn’t meet his expectations in qualifying for the NCAA Championships, but is pleased with the rest of his efforts in his last year of running cross-country. The Ottumwa native was named All-Conference and All-Region this season.

“I’m pretty disappointed that I wasn’t able to qualify for the NCAA Championships my senior year,” he said. “But after having my injury I am happy I was able to fight back.”

Twenty-eight other teams ran alongside the Hawkeyes including Big Ten opponents, Minnesota and Illinois. The Gophers earned fourth place, while the Fighting Illini took fifth. Oklahoma State took the crown, with senior Kirubel Erassa earning first place crossing the line at 30:09.

Six other runners competed in the race. Sophomores Ben Anderson (105/31:48), Kevin Docherty (46/30:58), Nate Ferree (79/31:20), and Anthony Gregorio (70/31:11). Freshman Michael Melchert earned 127th place, crossing the line at 32:11, and senior Ben Witt finished at 30:59 to earn 47th place.

Docherty, who was the squad’s second-fastest runner, found it satisfying knowing he was able to make up-ground in his last meet of the season.

“Everything came together,” he said. “Being able to contribute to the team was very satisfying for me. Couldn't help but smile.”

The squad may have not finished where it wanted, but the Hawkeyes did better than their regional ranking. The men’s harriers entered the Midwest Regional ranked eighth.

“It was nice to perform well,” Iowa head coach Layne Anderson said. “It’s always a disappointment when the season ends and you don’t advance to the NCAA Championships. But we accomplished a lot and made a lot of progress. It was for sure a lot more positives to take out of the year.”

Women’s team

The Iowa women’s cross-country team competed at the NCAA Midwest Regionals with the hopes of advancing to the NCAA Championships.

Iowa placed 13th out of 32 teams. Iowa State came in first for the second year in a row.

Top runner for the Hawkeyes was sophomore Samantha Zishka running a 21:23 and coming in 58th place. Freshman Marta Bote Gonzalez was able to finish 67th with a running time of 21:27.

Sophomores Carolyn Newhouse and Tess Wildberding crossed the finish line together at 21:37 earning 79th place and 80th place.

Katie Adams was unable to reach her goal of running under 21 and placed 118th (21:25) and only improved last year’s time by a small margin.

There were no Iowa runners selected to advance to the NCAA Championships, but the selection process is coming up to decide the remaining runners that will compete next weekend.

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


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