Precedence setting: cross country runners win 4th straight title!

“It’s really cool to say that every year you’ve been to Big 12’s, it’s been a championship,” Iowa State women’s cross country runner Katy Moen said matter-of-factly on Saturday the Cyclones won the league championship for the fourth time in a row.

It may, indeed, be cool. But, it’s also never been done previously at Iowa State (dating back to the formation of the Big 12 in 1996).

The Cyclone wrestlers won three straight conference titles (2007-09) for Cael Sanderson. The women’s runners surpassed that streak and now have won more Big 12 titles than any other ISU program.

Iowa State’s victory was its 12th team championship since the league started. That moved the Cyclones past Texas Tech (11) and into a tie with Kansas State for number of championships.

With all five of its scorers in the Top 15 and four in the Top 10, Iowa State was dominant. Its point total (29) was the best in a Big 12 Meet since 2004.

Iowa State’s Crystal Nelson won the race and Moen was runner-up. They were the only runners to break 20:00.

Transfer Margaret Connelly was fourth, freshman Erin Hooker ninth and Perez Rotich 13th. Returning All-American Bethanie Brown missed the meet with an injury but should return to competition soon.

The Cyclone women’s runners are in pretty select company. They are the 20th program to win at least four league championships in succession. The only current streaks that are longer belong to Texas men’s swimming & diving (18), Kansas men’s basketball (10) and Oklahoma State men’s cross country (seven).

“This is legacy (-building) for us,” Head Coach Andrea Grove-McDonough said.

Moen called the accomplishment cool.

I’d classify it as significant and very special.

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