Cyclone Harriers Ranked; Head for Midwest Regional
AMES, Iowa – The Iowa State cross country teams continue post season action Friday at the NCAA Midwest Regional in Springfield, Mo. The women's 6,000-meter race is scheduled to begin at noon CDT on the Missouri State University Golf Course. The men's 10,000-meter race will start at 1:15 p.m. The Cyclone women are running for a third straight regional title.
The top two finishing teams will receive automatic bids to the NCAA Championship Nov. 17 in Louisville, Ky. The third- and fourth-place finishing teams will likely earn at-large berths that will be announced Saturday. Additionally, the top four individual finishers from non-qualified teams will advance to the NCAA meet.
The Iowa State women have won the Griak Invitational, the Wisconsin adidas Invitational and a second straight Big 12 title. Iowa State is ranked second nationally behind Florida State. The Cyclones are ranked first in the Midwest Regional and will face a challenge from Oklahoma State, Minnesota, Tulsa, and Northwestern, which are ranked second through fifth, respectively.
"The regional meet is something which the women's team must get get through and move on," Ihmels said. "There was a little more pressure for the Big 12 meet. Friday you want to get in and get out."
Betsy Saina, the Big 12 champion and fellow All-American Meaghan Nelson will lead Iowa State's effort. Saina, who was the Midwest Regional runner-up for the second straight season in 2011, joins Nelson and Morgan Casey as returning All-Region performers.
The Iowa State men finished fifth at the Big 12 Championship and are ranked seventh in the Midwest Region behind Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, Tulsa, Illinois, Missouri and Kansas.
"The men have more at stake in this meet," Ihmels said. "If we finish in the top four I think we will go to the national championship. The men will have to be aggressive."
The Iowa State men finished sixth in last year's Midwest Regional.
Both the men's and women's components of the Iowa Corn Cy-Hawk Series in cross country will be contested Friday, with Cyclone-Hawkeye points given to the teams that finish ahead of their rival squad in both races.