Cross Country women's team Big 12 Championship 2021

Iowa State women's cross country team competes in the Big 12 Cross Country Championship on Oct. 29 in Stillwater, Okla. (Photo courtesy of Iowa State Athletics)

The Iowa State cross country teams will be heading to Iowa City, Iowa, to compete in the NCAA Midwest Regional. The race will take place at the Ashton Cross Country Course on Friday.

The women will begin at 11 a.m., where they will compete in a 6k race. The men's team will compete in a 10k race starting at noon.

The Cyclones are in the middle of a very successful season for both the men's and women's teams. At the Big 12 Championship in Stillwater, Okla., junior Wesley Kiptoo took home the title for the third time in his career. After claiming it last year, the women were looking to defend the title but fell short by one point. 

Due to COVID-19, the Midwest Regional was canceled last year. In 2019, senior Cailie Logue took first place for the women's team and qualified for Nationals. Logue crossed the finish line eight seconds faster than the second-place finisher. The Cyclones finished in 6th place with 192 points, University of Illinois took home the Regional title in 2019 with 108 team points. 

The men's team finished in second place at the 2019 Regionals. Six of Iowa State's runners earned top 25 finishes. 

The NCAA National Championship hosts 31 teams. The teams who earn 1st and 2nd place at Regionals will get an automatic bid to the NCAA Championship. There are nine different regions within the NCAA Division One Cross Country for men and women. The other 13 teams are decided based on season performance and the results of Regionals. 

There are an additional 38 runners who can earn a spot at Nationals, for both men and women, where they compete as individuals and not as a team. The athletes who finish in the top four at Regionals, and are not already qualified with a team, will earn a spot at Nationals. 

Those that qualify will head to the NCAA Championships on Nov. 20 in Tallahassee, Fla. 

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