Women’s cross-country hopes to ‘surprise’ competition in Des Moines


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 long weeks of practice, the ISU women’s cross-country team will finally kick off its season. The team will travel to Des Moines on Friday to compete in the Bulldog 4K Classic at Drake University.

The Cyclones are coming off their second consecutive Big 12 title last season and are looking for a third — something only one other Big 12 team has ever done.

“We did lose our top two guns, and the rankings aren’t really expecting us to do much this year,” said junior captain Maggie Gannon. “So we just want to show up every time we run and really do our best to surprise people.”

The Bulldog 4K Classic is a triangular meet between Iowa State, Drake and Northern Iowa. Since it is a smaller meet, some of the Cyclones’ top runners won’t be competing. ISU coach Andrea Grove-McDonough said it’s still an important meet for her team.

“This meet is really a chance for some younger girls to gain some experience, to get a jersey on and see what they are capable of,” Grove-McDonough said. “We have a lot of young kids, and I want to get as many experienced as possible and just see what happens.”

Since it is the team’s first real competition of the season, it can be difficult for them to set logical team goals for the season. Junior captain Katie Moen knows, though, they will have a better understanding of where the team is after this meet.

“I’m excited to see where everyone is at personally and see what we can do as a team,” Moen said. “After this, we can kind of base our goals for the season off of how we do, and see what we need to really focus on to improve. Then we can go from there.”

The 2.5-mile race will start at 6:15 p.m. Friday at Ewing Park in Des Moines.