ISU cross-country pleased, but not satisfied with finish at Black and Gold Invite


ISU sophomore runner Steve Dado finished fourth overall with a time of 18:54.66 at the Black and Gold Invite in Iowa City on Friday, Sept. 13. The ISU men’s cross-country team finished third as a team.

Ryan Young

IOWA CITY — The ISU men’s and women’s cross-country teams have another meet under their belts after competing in the Black and Gold Invite on Friday in Iowa City.

The ISU women’s squad took home second, and the men’s team finished third.

“Every time my team lines up, I always am trying to win,” said ISU women’s head coach Andrea Grove-McDonough. “But I think they still did really well [Friday]. They did everything that I asked them to do, and I saw some really tough running down the stretch.”

Senior Ejiro Okoro was the first Cyclone to finish the race and took fifth overall with a time of 14:18.18. Okoro, who is traditionally more of a 800-meter runner, is making a good transition into longer distances well, Grove-McDonough said.

“She is really starting to get her confidence. She’s always just thought of herself as more of a track runner,” Grove-McDonough said. “But she is really developing well and I think she can help us come November.”

Senior Maggie Gannon came in right after Okoro, taking sixth in the race. The two worked together during the race, passing several other runners during the final stretches.

“That’s a really big difference from this year’s team to last year’s. Our team chemistry is what we have really been focusing on,” Gannon said. “So it’s really great to have someone running with you that can push you when you start to struggle. It was awesome.”

The ISU women’s team took second overall with 44 points, beating Baylor and Iowa with Alabama winning the meet.

Sophomore Steve Dado led the ISU men’s team, coming in fourth overall with a time of 18:54.66. Dado, who is recovering from surgery this summer, has had two top-five finishes in the first two meets. Even though he finished highly Friday, he still isn’t content with where he is.

“I’m actually kind of disappointed. I’ve raced with Iowa several times now, and should be with their top guy,” Dado said. “I just need to focus on finishing strong in races from now on.”

The men took third overall, finishing with 57 points. Iowa won the meet with 18 points, and Alabama came in second.

Even though the men’s squad didn’t win the meet, it is still trying to remain focused and get better for its next competition.

“I hope to see that the team keeps improving and really embraces their training well,” said ISU men’s assistant coach Jeremy Sudbury. “I want them to be able to trust themselves more and really just keep improving throughout the year.”