Ihmels looks to NCAA Championship
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - Iowa State's second-rated women's cross country team is seven days from the biggest race of the season and the premier event in the career of runners who will toe the line at the NCAA Championships, Nov. 17 in Louisville, Ky. The Cyclones advanced by repeating as NCAA Midwest Regional champions in Springfield, Mo. Friday.
The second-ranked Iowa State women's cross country team placed five runners among the top 30 finishers, led by Betsy Saina's first-place finish, as the Cyclones won their second-straight NCAA Midwest Regional Friday on the Missouri State University Golf Course. The performance gives the Iowa State women an automatic team berth in the Nov. 17 NCAA Championship in Louisville, Ky. The Iowa State men finished eighth.
"We did what we had to do to make it to the NCAA stage," Iowa State head coach Corey Ihmels said. "Betsy was in top shape and our effort was good enough that no one was on our heels as a team. We have been aiming for the (NCAA) big race since the summer. Florida State is No. 1 and having not run against (the Seminoles) it is difficult to get a the best handle on them beyond the fact that they have a great team and great runners with similar goals to ours."
Saina, covered the 6,000-meter course in 19:51.46 to lead the Cyclones. Nelson finished in fifth-place in 20:36.23.
"Betsy ran an extraordinary race," Iowa State head coach Corey Ihmels said. "The time she ran on the regional course was very fast. It was truly one of the best races of her career."
It was a team effort as the Cyclone women's top five all finished among the top 30 placers. Freshman Crystal Nelson was 17th in 21:14.14 and junior Samantha Bluske was 18th in 21:15.34. Cyclone Katy Moen rounded out the top five with a 26th-place effort, finishing in 21:32.58.
The Iowa State men, ranked 25th nationally, were led by 21st-place finisher Edward Kemboi (30:51.85). Mohamed Hrezi finished right behind Kemboi in 22nd with a time of 30:53.17.
"The men looked look good early in the race but couldn't sustain that level of performance to the end," Ihmels said.
Both the men and women finished higher than Iowa, earning a total of four points in the Iowa Corn Cy-Hawk Series and increasing Iowa State's lead to 9-2.
Women's Team Scores
1. IOWA STATE, 63; 2. Oklahoma State, 95; 3. Minnesota, 96; 4. Northwestern, 204; 5. Tulsa, 218; 6. Iowa, 220; 7. North Dakota State, 232; 8. Illinois State, 278; 9. Illinois, 291; 10. Saint Louis, 292
Womens Individual Results
1. Betsy Saina, IOWA STATE, 19:51.46; 5. Meaghan Nelson, IOWA STATE, 20:36.23; 17. Crystal Nelson, IOWA STATE, 21:14.14; 18. Samantha Bluske, IOWA STATE, 21:15.34; 26. Katy Moen, IOWA STATE, 21:32.58; 29. Taylor Petersen, IOWA STATE, 21:36.38; 51. Colleen Riley, IOWA STATE, 21:59.35
Men's Team Scores
T1. Oklahoma, 45; T1. Oklahoma State, 95; 3. Tulsa, 47; 4. Illinois, 154; 5. Missouri, 173; 6. Kansas, 194; 7. Minnesota, 221; 8. IOWA STATE, 227; 9. Southern Illinois, 248; 10. Loyola (Ill.), 326.
Men's Individual Results
1. Chris O'Hare, Tulsa, 30:25.87; 21. Edward Kemboi, IOWA STATE, 30:51.85; 22. Mohamed Hrezi, IOWA STATE, 30:53.17; 49. Falko Zauber, IOWA STATE, 31:31.91; 61. Charlie Paul, IOWA STATE, 31:54.58; 74. Brian Llamas, IOWA STATE, 32:19.33.