Cross Country: Northwestern takes fifth at Iowa Regional Preview meet


Daily file photo by Tucker Johnson

Two Wildcats run together in a larger pack. Northwestern finished fifth out of six teams at the Iowa Regional Preview meet Saturday.

Keshia Johnson, Reporter

Cross Country

Despite a low team finish, Northwestern emerged from its Saturday meet at the site of the NCAA Midwest Regional with some positive performances.

The Wildcats came in fifth out of six teams at the Iowa Regional Preview in Iowa City. Individually, all seven NU runners placed in the top 35 and notched an average time of 22:13 on the 6K course.

Junior Isabel Seidel led the Cats across the finish line, placing 13th with a time of 21:58. Freshman Kelly O’Brien finished right behind her teammate in 14th place with a time of 22:00.

Junior Sara Coffey placed 18th with a time of 22:19, a big improvement from the 24:31 she ran last week in the Griak Invitational. NU junior Haley Albers finished only a few strides behind her in 22:20, good for 19th.

Senior Jena Pianin rounded out the top-five finishers for the Cats when she crossed the finish line in 23rd place with a time of 22:25. Junior Brooke Pigneri finished behind her in 33rd place, while senior Andrea Ostenso finished 34th place, the last NU runner to cross the line.

Pianin and Ostenso made their season debuts at the meet, a good sign for the Cats. Since earning All-Region honors in 2014, the two runners have struggled with injuries, and both missed large chunks of last season as a result.

Trailing a bit behind its competition, NU ran in a pack in the early stages of the race. Near the end of the race, Seidel and O’Brien picked up ground on the rest of their teammates to finish first and second for the Cats.

Although freshmen Aubrey Roberts and Sarah Nicholson, who have shined this season, didn’t run in this meet, NU had five runners place in the top 25, a positive sign for the team’s depth going forward.

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