Cyclone women win title by one second, men place sixth

Caitlyn Diimig

The ISU women’s cross-country team edged out California for first place by just one second at the Roy Griak Invitational held Saturday in Minneapolis.

Iowa State and California were tied for first place on the 6,000-meter course with 128 points. The tiebreaker went in favor of the Cyclones as their fifth-fastest runner, sophomore Morgan Casey, placed 48th with a time of 21:44.90 to beat California’s fifth-fastest runner, freshman Elissa Karhu, who placed 50th with a time of 21:45.50.

“I didn’t feel like anyone really ran a great race,” said coach Corey Ihmels. “Dani [Stack] and Betsy [Saina] and Meaghan [Nelson] all looked solid, but I think all three of those ladies are capable of being further up.”

Stack, Nelson and Saina placed eighth, 13th and 15th in the race.

Fourth place on the women’s team and 44th overall was senior India Lee, who ran a time of 21:41.10, but almost wasn’t cleared by the NCAA to race.

“They had to put a waiver in to get me another year because when I came from England last year, I only had one year to compete,” Lee said.

Lee found out the Thursday prior to the race that the NCAA accepted the waiver.

“I was so excited,” Lee said. “It was a bit of a relief.”

Lee had been waiting for four months to hear an answer from the NCAA about whether or not she could have two total years of eligibility in America. Having raced last year, Lee will have one year left to compete in cross-country and track.

Senior Rico Loy placed first for the men’s team and placed 13th overall with a time of 24:29.9 on the 8,000-meter course.

“I had kind of a bad workout two weeks ago, and so I didn’t expect to race as well, but I also knew it’s my last cross-country season,” Loy said.

The Cyclone men placed sixth overall, up one place from last year’s race.

“There was a lot of guys who were really disappointed in the way they ran today,” Ihmels said. “But I think for a lot of them, too, it was their first time running [8,000 meters] in cross-country.”

Using his experience, Loy was able to stay calm in the middle of the race.

“There’s so many people in a race … and sometimes difficult to find the right pace, especially in the beginning because everyone’s going out really fast,” Loy said.

No. 11 North Carolina State placed first at the invite for the men’s race, while host Minnesota, ranked 24th, placed third overall.