Former redshirts compete in first race at Bulldog Classic

Caitlyn Diimig

DES MOINES — Many of the women’s and men’s redshirt freshmen participated in their first cross country race in over a year on Sept. 2 at the Drake Bulldog Classic held at Ewing Park in Des Moines.

The Iowa State women formed a strong pack and the top four placed first, second, fourth and fifth. The fifth scorer for Iowa State was junior Emily Meese, who placed 14th and finished in the top half of the race.

The women beat Drake for first place, 19-36, and also beat Northern Iowa, 20-35. The invite was unique as each team is given two scores. One against Drake and another against Northern Iowa. Drake and Northern Iowa were also scored against each other. 

“The goal today was just to stay as a pack and run under control and so that’s what we did,” said sophomore Maggie Gannon.

Gannon placed first in the race and ran a 15:15.63 for the 4000-meter course.

“It was great to see Maggie [Gannon] get a chance to wear the Iowa State uniform and do well in the women’s race,” said coach Corey Ihmels.

Gannon redshirted last year for both cross country and track and field and this was her first time wearing the ISU cross country uniform.

“I waited a long time for it and it was really awesome to finally represent my school with that on,” Gannon said.

The men’s team also tried to pack together during its 4000-meter race. The top three for Iowa State were Nick Schulze, Alex Dillenbeck and Stephen Saylor placing eighth, ninth and 10th, respectively.

The men’s team lost to UNI 27 – 28. Drake University also defeated the Cyclones with a score of 15 – 40.

“We stayed pretty controlled as a pack and we tried to keep everybody together,” Dillenbeck said.

At the final stretch Dillenbeck came from behind Schulze and Saylor to try to catch a Drake runner and push his teammates.

“I’m a pretty competitive person, so whatever you throw me in, I’m going to compete to my max,” he said.

Ihmels felt both teams did a good job packing together.

“We had a game plan to go out really conservative and easy and they all executed that game plan well,” Ihmels said. “I thought we got out of the meet the way we wanted to get out of it.”

The showing of many of the runners at the invite was good enough that Ihmels felt they could all have a shot at varisty.

“That’s absolutely my goal is to be on the line at nationals,” Gannon said.