Cyclones Excited To Host NCAA Midwest Regional
AMES, Iowa - The Iowa State men’s and women’s cross country teams are set to compete at the NCAA Midwest Regional cross country meet Friday. The meet is hosted by Iowa State University and will be held at the Iowa State Cross Country Course.
The No. 7 Cyclones are the favorites in the women’s race and are the top-ranked team in the region. The women are reigning champions, taking home three-consecutive Midwest Region titles. No. 16 Minnesota is the only other nationally ranked opponent in the women’s field.
Iowa State women’s cross country head coach Andrea Grove-McDonough is very pleased to have everyone healthy heading into the regional meet.
“The team came out of the conference meet in very good shape and everyone is healthy,” Grove-McDonough said. “They came out of it unscathed and healthy and you can’t really ask more than that this time of year.”
Iowa State is coming off a dominating performance at the Big 12 Championships, where the team won the women’s race by 69 points, the second largest margin of victory in Big 12 history (73 – Colorado, 2002). Crystal Nelson (2nd), Katy Moen (4th), Bethanie Brown (5th), Perez Rotich (9th) and Ejiro Okoro (15th) each earned All-Big 12 honors.
“We’re excited to run the regional on our own course,” Grove-McDonough said. “That gives us a great advantage. We’re very excited to go out and show our fans how good this team really is. The girls are very relaxed. We aren’t feeling a lot of pressure going into the race.”
On the men’s side, No. 24 Iowa State is the third-highest ranked team in the field. The Cyclones join No. 3 Oklahoma State and No. 13 Tulsa as the only ranked programs in the race.
Iowa State director of track and field and cross country Martin Smith has been encouraged by his team's continued improvement.
“The team has continued to show strong improvement through their training and their confidence has continued to grow because of their performance at the Big 12 meet," Smith said. "I think they are extremely excited to get a chance to compete at home and are looking forward to not only improving on their Big 12 showing, but also to establishing consistency in championship competition.”
The Cyclones are coming off a great performance at the Big 12 Championships, placing second. The Cyclones defeated two ranked opponents in then No. 27 Oklahoma and No. 29 Texas. Seniors Mohamed Hrezi and Martin Coolidge led the charge, earning All-Big 12 accolades with seventh and 14th place individual finishes.
The Iowa State men hit the course first at 12:00 p.m. CT, followed by the women’s race at 1:15 p.m.