The Daily Iowan

Hawkeye harriers will be experienced in 2018

Both the men and women’s team will have a returning roster of experienced leaders in the 2018 season.

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Daniel Soto (The Daily Iowan)

Daniel Soto (The Daily Iowan)

Daniel Soto (The Daily Iowan)

Hanna Malzenski, [email protected]

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The 2017 season has been a time of improvement and consistency for Iowa’s cross-country team. Both the men and women wrapped up the fall with school records, regional rankings, and top places. These trends are even more respectable because Iowa’s top runners were juniors or younger.

Both squads will have all returning and new harriers in the 2018 season. Seniors Madison Waymire and Marta Gonzalez will be the only Hawkeyes trading in their student-athlete status for that of alumnae.

Top-returning junior Andrea Shine has noticed the change in Iowa’s stride this season.

“Everyone on the team improved so much, and it was just really inspiring to watch,” she said.

Shine was reliable throughout the fall to set the pace for the Iowa women while frequently finishing in front of the Hawkeye pack as well as races. At the NCAA regional on Nov. 10, she ended the season with a 20th-place finish, 70 spots higher than that in last year’s regional meet. She finished the 6,000-meter race with a personal-best time of 20:46.2.

“I’m just leaving the season feeling a lot of contentment,” she said. “It’s just awesome seeing all the hard work I’ve been putting in for a couple seasons now really start to pay off, and it feels great to reap the benefits.”

Shine still has an entire track season ahead of her, but she looks forward to the helping lead the 2018 cross-country team.

“We have already signed a lot of really good recruits coming in, so I think setting the precedent for hard work and the love of the sport will help carry the team,” she said.

Shine is not the only top junior returning for the 2018 season.

RELATED: Iowa cross-country continues postseason at NCAA Championship

Daniel Soto has fully rebounded from his injury during his sophomore campaign and ended this season with his own revision in Iowa’s record book.

Soto marked his place as second-best in Iowa’s top-10 list in the 10K with a time of 30:04.43 at the NCAA regional on Nov. 10.

With the entire men’s team expected to return next fall, the junior from West Des Moines knows the value of experience when competing.

“If anything, the experience will help us with our composure and not to panic in those big meets,” Soto said. “You’re bound to come across those times when the race isn’t going exactly how you wanted it to, but you still have to find a way to rebound and run for the team.”

The returning roster full of leaders have not only experienced the pressures from racing but will have had two years under head coach Randy Hasenbank’s consistent training.

Hasenbank’s program resulted in broken records, first-place finishes, and high rankings — the only thing missing for Iowa cross-country is the overall team title.

“They should all be really hungry to keep working, because they didn’t get the result they wanted as far as the team goes,” Hasenbank said. “The team scores are what we’ll work for next year.”

With the 2017 cross-country season at a close, both the men and women are heading for the indoor track and field season on a high note, with the team’s first meet (the Intrasquad) on Dec. 9 at the UI Recreation Building.

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