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ISU women 2nd, cap season with historic finish at NCAAs

logo_iowa_state_cyclonesTERRE HAUTE, Ind. – The Iowa State women’s cross country team tied its highest team finish in program history, Saturday, at the 2014 NCAA Cross Country Championships. The Cyclones posted a team total of 147 points in a runner-up performance at the LaVern Gibson Championship Cross Country Course.

The Cyclones were led by All-America, top-10 individual performances from Crystal Nelson and Katy Moen. Dubbed the best one-two punch in the NCAA, Nelson and Moen finished seventh and eighth overall, crossing the line 2 seconds apart in 20:08.5 and 20:10.5, respectively. The two ran in the lead pack throughout the race and made Iowa State the only team to place two runners in the race’s top-10.

Nelson has now earned All-America recognition in back-to-back seasons, improving 25 places from her 32nd-place finish a year ago. Moen adds the honor to her second-team All-America showing this past track season (10K – 12th). The two gave Iowa State multiple All-Americans for the fourth-straight season.

The race marked the first time in program history that the Cyclone women have posted two top-10 individuals at the NCAA meet. Nelson and Moen also ran the fifth and sixth-fastest ISU individual showings ever at a national meet.

Bethanie Brown, seeing her first action of the season since injuring her foot at the Griak meet, finished 53rd overall. The sophomore just missed picking up All-America honors for the second-consecutive season. Brown crossed the line in 20:53.5 in the effort.

Iowa State’s four and five runners were key factors in the team scoring effort. Sophomore Perez Rotich and fifth-year transfer Margaret Connelly crossed the line together at 65th and 66th, posting identical times of 20:58.6.

The Cyclones’ 147-point team total is the third-lowest at the NCAA Championships in program history and is the lowest team score since the national race extended from 5 kilometers to 6K (2000). The second-place finish ties the highest team placing since the 1985 season.

Iowa State’s podium finish is 11 places higher than last years team finish, making the NCAA podium for the first time since the 1985 season.

Team Results
1. Michigan State – 85
2. Iowa State – 147
3. New Mexico – 188
4. Georgetown – 189
5. Arkansas – 209

Individual Results
1) Kate Avery, Iona, 19:31.6; 7) Crystal Nelson, Iowa State, 20:08.5; 8) Katy Moen, Iowa State, 20:10.5; 53)Bethanie Brown, Iowa State, 20:53.5; 65) Perez Rotich, Iowa State, 20:58.6; 66) Margaret Connelly, Iowa State, 20:58.6; 180) Erin Hooker, Iowa State, 21:46.1; 207) Heidi Engelhardt, Iowa State, 21:59.9

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