Men’s, women’s teams cross the finish line together for first place

Caitlyn Diimig

Finishing in a large group of 10, the ISU women’s cross-country team placed first, crossing the finish line together with one exception.

Cheers of “Come on, Maddy, get up here,” could be heard from fellow teammates.

Redshirt freshman Madeline Becker finished the 5,000-meter course first for the Cyclones with a time of 18:57.20.

“We decided since I have the next birthday coming up that I would get to finish first,” Becker said, who will turn 20 on Sept. 27.

Both the men’s and women’s teams easily finished first at the Iowa Intercollegiate meet on Saturday in Ames at the Iowa State cross-country course. The Cyclones were treating the race as more of a controlled workout.

On the men’s team, 11 members crossed the finish line of the 8,000-meter course together. Sophomore Besufekad Shannon-Tamrat ran unattached but finished first in 26:35.20.

ISU coach Corey Ihmels said he has yet to decide who the top seven will be for both teams moving forward into the season.

On the men’s side, there were two standout freshmen including Edward Kemboi and Steve Dado, who ran in 26:36.80 and 26:35.00, respectively.

Ihmels also said there were some veterans who are stepping up for the team, such as junior Charlie Paul.

“[He] is one that hasn’t really been a difference maker for us in the past, but he’s going to be this fall,” Ihmels said. “He’s somebody that’s worked hard for three or four years and is now going to be in the limelight a little bit.”

Paul, originally from LeClaire, Iowa, placed fourth with a time of 26:35.50 on Saturday.

“It goes with getting older and taking on some of the more leadership responsibilities of the team,” Paul said. “It’s the natural progression. This year fits, and I was trying to step in and get everyone on the same page and moving in the right direction.”

The Cyclones have just one week left until their first big test of the season. The teams are gearing up for the Roy Griak Invitational in Minneapolis on Saturday.

“We’re just optimistic and excited to run some more competitive races,” Becker said.

At the 2010 Roy Griak Invitational, the ISU women placed third, and the men placed seventh.

Paul thinks the men are confident and well prepared for Griak.

“A lot of people really had to hold back today from running too fast, which is a good problem to have,” Paul said.