JUCO cross-country: IHCC runners open season at Hawkeye Invite

Sep. 5—IOWA CITY — The Indian Hills cross-country teams opened the 2023 campaign on Friday night at the Iowa Hawkeye Invitational as the lone junior college program to compete.

Former Pekin standout Brooke Miller put together an impressive race in her collegiate debut, running a four-kilometer time of 16:37 to lead Indian Hills.

"Brooke ran a fantastic season opener," stated IHCC head coach Brent Ewing. "She was well ahead of pace to run a new personal best had the race been a five-kilometer race. She'll get that opportunity in two weeks."

Miller was joined by teammates Selket Reid-El and Ottumwa native Emily Lord to compete. Reid-El posted a time of 19:27.60 followed by Lord's mark of 23:52.70.

"We've had a few bizarre injuries pop up these past few weeks," Ewing added "I'm expecting much better performances as the fall unfolds.

The Indian Hills men's cross-country squad made a statement on Fridaywith a dominant showing at the Hawkeye Invitational. The Warriors were led by a pair of school-record performances and six personal best efforts.

"Our men's team really fired on all cylinders tonight," stated Ewing. "Rarely do you get a meet like this so early in the year where just about everything goes right. Our men trusted in my plan and their abilities and executed it perfectly."

In his collegiate debut, Brandon Ford shattered the previous men's six-kilomer school record with a blistering time of 18:25.9. Ford's mark is 69 seconds better than former Warrior and Pekin Panther standout Brady Millikin's time which was set during the 2022 campaign.

Ford's time was good enough for a ninth-place finish in the 67-runner field. The freshman finished 28 seconds behind the first-place runner from Iowa.

Along with Ford's remarkable performance, sophomore Keveroy Venson placed just behind Ford in 12th place with a time of 18:32, which is now the second-fastest time in school history.

Freshman Nik Davis put together a strong showing in his collegiate debut. Davis placed 43rd overall with a time of 19:46.6. Brody Lucas placed 52nd overall with a personal best time of 20:10.2 while Logan Soedt also ran a personal best at 20:35.5 to place 57th. Jacchaeus Taylor rounded out the Warriors with a personal best time of 21:27.

"I gave both Brandon and Keveroy race plans that had them finishing in 18:38-18:57," Ewing said. "They had been training at a very high level these first three weeks of practice, but sometimes that doesn't always show in the first race. They certainly exceeded my expectations.

"Freshman Nik Davis ran one of the fastest six-kilometers in program history, followed by sophomores Brody Lucas, Logan Soedt and J.T. Taylor all running substantial personal bests. It was a very promising start, especially considering that Moubarik Yago, who could very well be our number one finisher on any given day, didn't compete. This group has the ability to be a top five program in the country come November. I think this performance certainly demonstrated that."

In a meet featuring just five teams, the Warrior men entered as the lone junior college program and held their own at the Ashton Cross Country Course. Indian Hills' 112 team points were behind Iowa's 17, Creighton University's 46, and Illinois State University's 92 points. The Warriors finished ahead of Truman Sate University by 15 points.

Indian Hills returns to action Sept.15 at the Bradley Intercollegiate at Detweiller Park in Peoria, Illinois.