ISU cross country team off to comfortable start

Mark Pawlak

The ISU women’s cross country team got its first taste of competition this season at Saturday’s Simpson Buxton Open at Simpson College.

The Cyclone women faired well with three runners finishing in the top ten.

Kelly Brinkman placed first, finishing the 5000-meter course in 18:24.

Head coach Dick Lee said he was happy with the performance of his top runner.

“Kelly looked like she’s picking up where she left off at,” he said.

Junior Cara Van Eck was the second ISU finisher and third overall to cross the finish line in 19:14. Drake’s Tracey Bearden placed second in 18:45. Lee said Van Eck raced her most competitive cross country race as a Cyclone.

Monica Erickson rounded out Iowa State’s trio of top ten finishers with an eighth-place showing in 20:03.

Andrea Crapisi and Kristy Kubik each turned in top 20 performances as well for Iowa State.

The Cyclones performed well on a course that was slowed down because of muddy conditions.

“For our first meet you never know what is going to happen,” Lee said. “Things were on the back burner with our home meet being canceled. “I was overall pleased.”

The Cyclones were joined at the open by Drake, Park College, Simpson and William Penn.

The ISU men’s and women’s squads will both be in action Saturday at the Roy Griak Invitational in Minneapolis.

The men will compete at 11 a.m. and are in a field that includes 15 teams that ran in last year’s national championships.

The women’s field includes 17 teams that ran in last year’s championships and will follow at 12 p.m.