Cyclones Head South to Big 12 Championships
AMES, Iowa – The Iowa State men’s and women’s cross country teams will head south to Stillwater, Okla. Saturday for the Big 12 Cross Country Championships. The women’s 6,000-meter race is set to begin at 10 a.m. followed by the men’s 8,000-meter race at 11 a.m.
“We’re looking forward to seeing where we stand,” Iowa State head coach Corey Ihmels said. “We’ve had a good fall so far with both groups. It’ll be a challenging course, but I think it sets up well for us. It’s been pretty dry there so it will be a fast course, pretty similar to what we’ve been running on.”
The women’s side enters the weekend ranked first in the Midwest region and 11th nationally by the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association. They will compete against nationally-ranked Big 12 teams Texas Tech (4) and Colorado (7). The women head into the weekend coming off of a third place finish at the Pre-Nationals Invitational in Terre Haute, Ind. two weeks ago.
The Cyclone women will look to four veteran Big 12 competitors to lead them in the 6,000-meter race. Betsy Saina, Aliphine Tuliamuk, Semehar Tesfaye and Dani Stack all competed in last year’s Big 12 Cross Country Championships, with Betsy Saina finshing 17th (22:15) and Aliphine Tuliamuk finishing 20th (22:19), respectively. Five of Iowa State’s women will be making their first appearance at the Big 12 Cross Country Championships.
“It’s going to be a battle up front on the women’s side,” Ihmels said. “I looked at what we did last spring on the track with some of our young ladies. We’re going to take some confidence in that and know that they can run up near the front with some of the other teams.”
The men’s squad heads into the weekend’s race ranked sixth in the Midwest region. They will see competition in the 8,000-meter race from nationally ranked programs Oklahoma State (2), Oklahoma (5), Colorado (9) and Texas (30).
The men will be led by senior Hillary Bor, who finished eighth at last year’s Big 12 Cross Country Championships, contributing to the Cyclone men’s fourth place team finish. Five of the nine men’s competitors have previously seen action at the Big 12 level and will lead the way for this year’s conference newcomers.
“On the men’s side, it’s going to be a tough race,” Ihmels said. “We’re looking forward to trying to be in top three or four on the men’s side. Once the race starts, anything can happen, so we’re going to run aggressively and see where we end up.”
Results will be posted on cyclones.com at the conclusion of the meet.
Men Competing: Hillary Bor, Clayton Carper, Isaac Chelimo, Joel Limo, Rico Loy, Ben Murphy-Baum, Dan Murray, Charlie Paul
Women Competing: Kellien Oettle, Dani Stack, Semehar Tesfaye, Betsy Saina, Bethany Olson, Taylor Petersen, Aliphine Tuliamuk, Morgan Casey, India Lee, Lucy Kennedy