ISU women’s cross-country team wins while men place fifth at Big 12 Championships


Meaghan Nelson and Betsy Saina practice on Monday for the upcoming cross-country meet behind the Lied Recreation Athletic Center. Saina and Nelson got second and fourth places respectively in the Wisconsin Adidas Invitational. 

Daily Staff

The ISU women’s cross-country team won its second straight Big 12 title, led by All-Americans Betsy Saina and Meaghan Nelson as the one-two punch at the Big 12 Championships on Saturday, Oct. 27, at Austin, Texas.

This is the first time the women have won consecutive conference titles since winning from 1975-79 Big Eight titles.

With a time of 20:06.8, Saina became the first individual conference titlist for Iowa State since Dorthe Rasmussen won a Big Eight title in 1981.

“There was not anybody on our team that felt really good going into the race, and even afterward, everybody said they felt less than 100 percent,” said coach Corey Ihmels in a news release. “Still, I am out of adjectives to use for Betsy and Meghan: They are our leaders as they showed again today. Crystal Nelson did really well for a freshman today, and I thought our depth was impressive today all the way through the team.”

Freshman Crystal Nelson finished eighth and Samantha Bluske finished ninth for the Cyclones, followed by Katy Moen to round out the top five for the Cyclones.

The men’s team finished fifth overall, led by Mohamed Hrezi (14th), Alex Dillenbeck (27th) and Edward Kemboi (29th).

“I was a little disappointed about the men today,” Ihmels said. “We let Kansas get in there ahead of us, but this is a day that we can build on heading into the Midwest Regional.”

The teams will now move on to the NCAA Midwest Regionals, which will be Nov. 9 in Springfield, Mo.