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Iowa State Daily

Cyclone men and women finish second at NCAA Midwest Regional

Daniel Jacobi II
Iowa State’s Janette Schraft, left, and Maelle Porcher, right, embrace each other after running in the Big 12 Women’s Cross Country Championship on Saturday, Oct. 28, 2023, at the Iowa State University Cross Country Course in Ames, Iowa.

The two Iowa State cross country teams finished a successful Friday by earning trips to the NCAA Championships with second-place finishes.

Both the Iowa State men’s and women’s cross country teams made the trip to Stillwater, Oklahoma, on Friday to participate in the NCAA Midwest Regional Championship. The Division 1 pool of cross country teams was divided across nine regionals, with all teams vying for their place in the National Championships in Virginia on Nov. 18. 

Stillwater is the home of a Big 12 rival, Oklahoma State. On the women’s side, the Oklahoma State Cowgirls also walked in as the defending champions on their own home turf. 

The Iowa State women finished in third at the Big 12 Championships in Ames, while the men finished in fourth. Both teams finished behind the Oklahoma State teams. 

The Midwest region hosted 32 total teams, including four Big 12 teams (Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Kansas, and Kansas State), as well as the other three major Iowa universities (Iowa, UNI, and Drake).


By the end of the women’s race, the Cyclones found themselves behind only the host team with a second-place finish. Their 75-point finish was short of beating the 30 put up by Oklahoma State.

The second-place finish was bolstered by a big day from Madelynn Hill. The redshirt senior from Liberty, Missouri, finished in fourth place with a time of 20 minutes and 35.4 seconds. 

Behind Hill, Iowa State’s Dana Feyen finished in 11th place, Maelle Porcher finished in 14th, Janette Schraft finished in 20th, junior Kiki Connell finished 26th, Sheridan Wheeler finished in 40th and Kaylee Tobaben finished 62nd.

Though it may not have been the first-place finish that the Cyclones may have aimed for, their second-place finish still earned them a spot at the NCAA Cross Country Championships.

Deja vu

In a near identical finish to the women’s race, the men found themselves in second place, sitting once again, behind only Oklahoma State. 

The men’s top finisher, Said Mechaal also placed fourth. In fact, the only difference in the individual standings was third place. The women’s race boasted a Kansas athlete in third, while the men’s race had a top three populated by only Oklahoma State runners. 

The Iowa State men were grouped tightly throughout the race with the aforementioned Mechaal in fourth, Sanele Masondo in seventh, Gable Sieperda in 13th, Rodgers Kiplimo in 14th, Timothy Sindt in 18th, Silas Winders in 23rd and Kelvin Bungei in 51st. 

The Cyclones finished with 56 points in their race and cemented themselves as the No. 20 team in the NCAA rankings. Their second-place finish also earned them a spot at the NCAA Cross Country Championships.  

Madelynn Hill leads the charge

The Cyclones women were led by Hill who ran a strong race on Friday. Hill came in as no stranger to great performance in high-pressure situations. 

Through her career, she qualified for the Cross Country Championships as an individual, earned All-Big 12 honors twice and is a two-time All-Midwest Region runner. She has also participated as a member of the Cyclones Track and Field team alongside the cross country team.

Hill peaked at second place at the 4,886-meter mark and maintained a top-ten place throughout the entire race. Without her leading the charge, the Cyclones may have been in worse shape, but with her, they are one of the most formidable cross country teams in the nation. 

The Regional Championships does not mark the end for the Cyclones cross country runners. Both teams will finish their seasons on Nov. 18 in Virginia.

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