AMES, Iowa – Iowa State head cross country coach Corey Ihmels says his Cyclone teams are right where they want to be heading into the Big 12 Conference Championships, Oct. 27 in Austin, Texas. Iowa State’s women’s cross country team is ranked second nationally and the men’s team 25th on the latest USTFCCCA Top 30 Polls. Both squads moved up in the rankings after strong performances at the Wisconsin adidas Invitational Friday in Madison, Wis.
“If we run the way we ran Saturday, let the chips fall where they may,” Ihmels said. “There are still places we can get better. There are places in each woman’s performance where we can still improve. Our men had a strong performance from Alex Dillenbeck (Iowa State’s first men’s finisher last weekend) but I think everyone can get better. There are still things to work on.”
The ISU women, fifth on the previous poll, moved up to second after winning big against a field of teams that included that included 17 teams ranked in this week’s poll. Iowa State tallied 106 points, led by Big 12 Cross Country Runner of the Week Betsy Saina’s second-place individual finish. Stanford was second in the team race with 181 points.
Florida State remains the top-rated team, garnering 11 of the 12 first-place votes. Iowa State notched the other first-place vote.
The Iowa State men rank tied for 25th after a 16th-place finish at the adidas meet. The Cyclones placed ahead of six teams rated on last week’s poll Friday to move into the rankings. Dillenback led Iowa State with a 41st-place finish as nine Cyclones ran under 25 minutes for 8,000 meters.
Iowa State is 12 days from the Big 12 meet, in which the women are after a second-straight conference title. The Cyclone men are currently ranked fourth among Big 12 schools nationally. The Cyclones will do a bi-weekly long threshold run on the Heart of Iowa Trial near Maxwell Tuesday.
“Our training is systematic, we don’t change a lot,” Ihmels said. “The women will run eight miles and the men 10 miles. We’re in a great situation right now because our summer training was so good. The best thing we can do right now is not get in the way of our fitness.”