ISU women’s cross-country feels prepared for Adidas Invitational


Redshirt sophomore Margaret Gannon runs middle of the pack in her leg of the women’s 4X1600 relay at the Drake Relays on April 25, 2013, at Drake Stadium. The relay finished in first place, giving the Cyclones their first win of the Drake Relays with a time of 19:16.69.

Ryan Young

After two weeks off from outside competition, the ISU women’s cross-country team is headed back to the course.

The Cyclones will be competing in the Wisconsin Adidas Invitational on Saturday, Oct. 19, with hopes of winning their second Adidas Invitational title in two years.

“It’s a whole different race up in Wisconsin,” said ISU captain Maggie Gannon. “It’s a much bigger race with tons of teams, and it is a lot more like nationals, which will help us prepare for the bigger meets later on.”

The field will feature some of the highest ranked teams in the nation this weekend. Twenty-six nationally ranked teams or teams receiving votes in the national poll will be competing in the meet, as well as seven of the top-10 teams.

In facing a field of that caliber this weekend, ISU coach Andrea Grove-McDonough knows her team will need to stay focused, and not worry so much about the other teams.

“There are so many good teams at this meet. The one thing we don’t want to do is to get too focused on beating a certain team,” Grove-McDonough said. “We need to stay focused on competing all-around and running our race.”

No. 28 Iowa State is coming off a fifth-place finish at the Roy Griak Invitational on Sept. 28, where sophomore Crystal Nelson finished third. It was a feat that earned her the Big 12 Runner of the Week award.

Nelson isn’t focusing much on her performance at the Griak, however. All she is worried about is continuing to get better.

“This meet is all about seeing what our team can do at this point in the season,” Nelson said. “Individually, I hope I can do better than last year both physically and mentally.”

With regionals just less than one month away, Gannon knows how important it is for the Cyclones to stay focused on what really matters.

“The most important meet for us is the regional meet, so that we can qualify for nationals,” Gannon said. “This weekend is important, but we need to keep it in perspective with what really matters.”

The runners will start their 6-kilometer race at noon Saturday at the Thomas Zimmer Championship Cross-Country Course in Madison, Wis.

Grove-McDonough said she feels her team has put in lots of extra work these last two weeks, and thinks the runners have made all the proper adjustments to be successful this weekend.

“I just want us to take a step forward. That’s all I’m looking for every time,” Grove-McDonough said. “The girls’ confidence seems to have taken a step forward, and now it’s just time to see how everything plays out in the race.”