The Hawkeye sophomore crossed the finish in 12:30 to earn first place for the fist time in his collegiate career.
“Ben ran well. He won the race and he didn’t have to kill himself to do it. He looked good and this should be a confidence builder for him,” said head coach Layne Anderson.
Courtney Bruns was Iowa’s top finisher on the women’s side. The redshirt freshman ran 15:08 to place eighth in her college cross country debut.
“All in all that was a good race for her,” Anderson said of Bruns. “She did a nice job and showed a lot of strength running with the front of the pack. It showed some promise for the future.”
Bruns was one of three Hawkeyes to grab top 15 finishes. Junior Jocelyn Todd (15:24) and sophomore Carolyn Newhouse (15:26) placed 12th and 14th, respectively. Freshman Kelly Breen (18th/15:43) and junior Grace Haer (21st/15:51) rounded out Iowa’s top five.
The Hawkeye men placed five runners in the top 10. Sophomore Taylor Soltys (4th/12:32) and redshirt freshman Brook Price (5th/12:42) grabbed top five finishes behind Anderson, and sophomores Matt Butler (6th/12:43) and Anthony Gregorio (8th/12:47) rounded out the scoring.
“The conditions were not ideal, but it was good for this group to get out and compete wearing a Hawkeye uniform,” said Anderson. “It was a learning experience. Some people saw who they are and other saw who they are not.”
The Hawkeyes withheld a larger number of competitors, but Anderson said he expects full participation when the Hawkeyes return to the course Sept. 12 at the Illinois State Invitational.
“The goal in two weeks is to put the best teams out there,” he said. “Full strength and full steam ahead.”