Cyclone Women Seek Big 12 Title Defense; Men Ready
AMES, Iowa - The Iowa State cross country teams head to the Big 12 Championships at the Jimmy Clay Golf Course in Austin, Texas Saturday. The Cyclone women are heading in as the reigning champions. Currently the women are ranked first in the Midwest Region and second nationally. The Iowa State women are coming off a big win over a national field at the Wisconsin Adidas Invitational Oct. 13.
"I think anytime we come off of a meet where we really hit all cylinders, especially in Wisconsin, you're a little nervous about doing it again," Ihmels said. "That's what we have to guard against this weekend. We have to be aggressive and make it happen."
The Cyclone women, the highest ranked Big 12 team, are a target for other teams.
"Our women are in a position that they have never been before, defending the Big 12 Championships," Ihmels said. "I think everyone is gunning for you versus the other way around. We are in a good place and excited about the opportunity that's ahead of us."
The Iowa State men's team is ranked fourth in the Midwest Region and 26th nationally.
"The men just need to keep the momentum moving forward," Ihmels said. "The Big 12 is one of the best if not the best conference in the nation with Oklahoma State, Oklahoma and Texas all nationally ranked. It's going to be tough to crack those top three."
Ihmels says his men's squad is ready.
"The men have to go in hoping someone has an off day and they can knock someone off that they were not expecting to beat," Ihmels said. "The women understand that there are going to be teams behind us wanting to knock us off. Both teams need to be aggressive and go in and execute their race plan."
The women's 6,000-meter race will start at 10 a.m. CDT. The men's 8,000 race follows at 11 a.m.