Cyclones Staying Relaxed For NCAA Championships
AMES, Iowa – The No. 7 Iowa State women’s cross country team travels to Terra Haute, Ind. Saturday to compete at NCAA Championships. The Cyclones are coming off a strong performance on their home course at the NCAA Midwest Regional, capturing the program’s fourth-consecutive regional title.
Iowa State has grown accustomed to competing at the Wabash Valley Family Sports Center, qualifying for five-straight championships and notching three-straight top-15 finishes.
Iowa State women’s cross country head coach Andrea Grove-McDonough knows what her team is capable of and is looking forward to the race on Saturday.
“I’m excited,” Grove-McDonough said. “I’m a little anxious, as always. That doesn’t go away, no matter how many times you’ve been through this. I know what the girls are capable of and I’m excited to see them realize that potential on the course.”
The Iowa State women have continued to improve throughout the season, getting better and better with each race. The Cyclones have consistently risen in the national polls, moving up over 20 places during the 2013 campaign.
The Cyclones will look to improve on last year’s 11th-place finish at the NCAA Championships, and to do that, Grove-McDonough has preached the importance of staying relaxed to her runners.
“The girls are very excited,” Grove-McDonough said. “I’ve continued to talk to them about having the mindset of relaxed focus. As an athlete, I always knew that I would run fast and that I would do well. As long as we’re out there on the start line, we’re going to run well. We won’t know exactly what that means until the scores are tallied, but we will run well. When you stay focused and stay relaxed, good things happen.”
The women’s team has not been intimidated by the nation’s elite, defeating 16 ranked opponents throughout the season, including several of the nation’s top-10 programs.
Mohamed Hrezi will also represent Iowa State in the men’s race. Hrezi qualified as an individual after placing fourth at the NCAA Midwest Regional. The Naugatuck, Conn., native will become the first Cyclone from the men’s team to compete at the championships in three years (Hillary Bor, 2010).
The men’s race is slated to begin at 11:00 a.m. CT, followed by the women’s race. Race time has not yet been set for the women, but the race will likely start around 12:15 p.m. CT.
For live results of the NCAA Championships, click here.
To watch the live broadcast of the races, click here.