Nelson notches title, Iowa State places third at Wisconsin Adidas Invitational

Kyle Heim

Junior Crystal Nelson not only led Iowa State at the Wisconsin Adidas Invitational on Oct. 17, she led the entire field.

Nelson became the first ISU runner to accomplish a first place title at the invitational. Her 19:35 time became a new career best in the 6K, replacing her previous top time of 19:49 from last year’s Big 12 Championships.

The 2013 All-American entered the race ranked No. 8 individually in the country, and defeated five higher-ranked individuals at the event.

“[Nelson] ran with great poise and trusted her gut when it was time to make a move,” said ISU cross country coach Andrea Grove-McDonough.

Nelson’s first place finish, along with redshirt senior Katy Moen’s fifth place showing and graduate Margaret Connelly’s 24th place finish helped spur Iowa State to third place at the invitational.

After a decreased workload in practice leading up to the event, Nelson was able to race with added rest.

“[Nelson] finally backed off her pace on her runs heading into this meet and was able to see what she’s capable of when she goes in without dead legs,” Grove-McDonough said.

The 19:35 performance ran by Nelson was tied for the quickest time by an ISU runner at the Wisconsin Invitational since Betsy Saina finished second place at the event in 2012.

Nelson said having Moen toward the front of the pack with her helped provide her with confidence closing out the race.

“Having Katy right up there with me motivated me to just keep working through the course step by step,” Nelson said. “We were able to really work together.”

Moen’s fifth place finish was the fourth highest ever by an ISU runner at the event, and her 19:43 time was the third-fastest time of an athlete from Iowa State at the invitational.

“I think Katy’s performance got a little lost behind the fireworks Crystal set off,” Grove-McDonough said. “I think Katy could have reacted to the move the front three [runners] made with 2K to go. She could have covered that move and maybe gave herself a shot at not just grabbing third, but maybe given second a go.”

Moen entered the race ranked 21st individually and will likely rise after consecutive top-five races.

For the second consecutive event to close out the regular season, Nelson and Moen placed inside the top five.

Sophomore Bethanie Brown, the team’s third finisher at the Roy Griak Invitational, sat out from the Wisconsin Invitational as she continues to recover from a tendonitis injury.

Redshirt sophomore Taylor McDowell replaced Brown, recording a 21:41 time and 152nd place finish in a return to her home state.

Iowa State will spend the next couple of weeks preparing for the Big 12 Championships in Lawrence, Kan. on Nov. 1.