Cyclone Women Three-Peat at Big 12 Championships
WACO, Texas – The talent of the No. 8 Iowa State women’s cross country team was on display today at the Big 12 Championships. The Cyclones took home the program’s third-consecutive conference title, winning the team race by an impressive 69 points over second-place West Virginia.
Cyclone sophomore Crystal Nelson led the charge with a runner-up finish, completing the 6K race in 19 minutes and 49 seconds. The Cyclones placed three runners in the top-5, four in the top-10 and five in the top-15. All Cyclone scorers earned All-Big 12 recognition.
Iowa State director of track and field and cross country Martin Smith was very happy with the women’s showing today.
“Today was a very special day for the women, winning their third consecutive title,” Smith said. “Winning three in a row is no easy task. They showed that they are a championship caliber program. They were extremely well coached, showed poise and were able to repeat as Big 12 champions.”
Iowa State women’s cross country head coach Andrea Grove-McDonough was quick to echo Smith’s comments about composure.
“It was a really solid day all around for us,” Grove-McDonough said. “They were composed throughout the race and were very tough down the stretch. Our squad ran like one of the top-10 teams in the country.”
Cyclone co-captain Katy Moen ran one of her best races of the season and was the second Iowa State runner to cross the line in fourth, finishing in 20:33. Freshman Bethanie Brown finished fifth in 20:36.2 en route to winning the Big 12 Newcomer of the Year award. Perez Rotich (ninth) and Ejiro Okoro (15th) rounded out the Cyclone scoring effort, finishing in 20:52.1 and 20:55.1 respectively.
The Cyclone ran a one minute, 18 second spread across scoring runners and placed seven runners in the top-20.
Grove-McDonough was also impressed by the team’s leadership during the race.
“We saw strong leadership from multiple girls throughout the race, even from those who hadn’t been in that type of a situation before,” Grove-McDonough said. “That is always something you like to see as a coach.”
Iowa State joins Texas Tech as the only current Big 12 members to capture back-to-back-to-back conference titles.
Texas senior Marielle Hall won the individual crown, finishing the race in 19:38.3.
The Iowa State men finished second, tying the program’s highest finish at the Big 12 meet. Click here to read the full release.
1. Marielle Hall (Texas) 19:38.3; 2. CRYSTAL NELSON (Iowa State) 19:49.3; 4. KATY MOEN (Iowa State) 20:33.0; 5. BETHANIE BROWN (Iowa State) 20:36.2; 9. PEREZ ROTICH (Iowa State) 20:52.1; 15. EJIRO OKORO (Iowa State) 21:07.7; 16. ANDREA TOPPIN (Iowa State) 21:14.6; 26. COLLEEN RILEY (Iowa State) 21:34.8; 31. ANNA BUENNEKE (Iowa State) 21:40.7; 55. MAGGIE GANNON (Iowa State) 22:25.1
1. Iowa State - 35
2. West Virginia - 104
3. Oklahoma State - 116
4. Texas - 121
5. Baylor - 123 (tie break)
6. Kansas State - 123
7. Kansas -138
8. Texas Tech - 173
9. Oklahoma - 212
10. TCU - 330