ISU women’s cross-country tops Bulldog 4K Classic


Brian Achenbach/Iowa State Daily

Redshirt junior Erin Valenti powers up a hill at the Bulldog 4K Classic cross-country meet on Aug. 30 at Ewing Park in Des Moines.

Ryan Young

DES MOINES — The ISU women’s cross-country team can add another victory to its list of accomplishments. The two-time Big 12 Conference champions won the Bulldog 4K Classic on Friday in Des Moines.

Sophomore Erin Valenti won the meet with a time of 12:56 to lead the way for the Cyclones. Iowa State’s Ana Buenekke, Taylor McDowell and Julie Wiemerslage came in third, fourth and fifth, respectively.

“It feels pretty good. This is the first win I have ever had in my collegiate career, so I’m pretty stoked about that,” Valenti said. “We just went out pretty chill since it was so hot out, and that was a good race strategy for me.”

The event was scored as two dual meets. The Cyclones beat Drake 21-34 and Northern Iowa 23-32.

For some members of the team, it was one of the hottest meets they can remember. By race time, it was 103-degrees on the course, but Valenti feels they adjusted well to the hot weather.

“We drank a lot of water and really cut back on things today,” Valenti said. “We only went on a 1-mile warm up and just kind of cut things in half.”

The Cyclones brought several young members of their team to the meet. Six of the seven ISU runners were underclassmen.

ISU coach Andrea Grove-McDonough feels her team’s performance with the younger runners showed the team’s depth and what kind of team it can be in the future.

“We left a lot of the girls at home, and some of the girls were racing for the first time in a Cyclone jersey today,” Grove-McDonough said. “I’m really excited about it. It’s a nice way to start off the season with a win for Iowa State.”

Grove-McDonough knows the first meet can help propel some of the younger runners into positions where they can make an impact this season.

“We have a ton of depth. The girls who ran today aren’t the top girls. These are a bunch of women who are trying to get into that top group,” Grove-McDonough said. “I think that there are some girls in this group who can do that by the end of the season. We have a lot to be excited about.”

The Cyclones’ next meet will be the Iowa Black & Gold Invite on Friday, Sept 13, in Iowa City.