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Humboldt’s Gidel headed to Iowa to run

-Messenger photo by Britt Kudla Bryce Gidel of Humboldt compete in the girls 5000 meter run on Monday at Sheldon Park

HUMBOLDT — From an early age, Bryce Gidel found herself cheering on the University of Iowa.

Now, the Humboldt senior will get to continue doing that and wearing the black and gold after committing to run cross country and track for the Hawkeyes.

“I couldn’t be more excited to be competing at the Div. I level with such a great program like Iowa,” Gidel said. “It is an absolute dream come true to be able to put on a Hawkeye jersey and I cannot wait.”

Gidel is a multi-time state cross country qualifier and track qualifier. She did not lose an individual cross country race outside of state her first three years.

In three appearances in Fort Dodge at state cross country, Gidel has a pair of Top-10 finishes, placing fifth as a sophomore and ninth last year.

“I grew up in black and gold and enjoyed going to all the football games from a very young age,” Gidel said. “My dad enjoyed his time at Iowa and my great-grandpa ran track for the school.

“Because of the confidence Coach (Jason) Wakenight has in me, along with some great conversations with the runners, I knew it would be a great fit.”

Gidel also won the “Rising Stars” race held at the Nike Cross Regionals Heartland event as a sophomore.

At state track this past spring, she finished fifth in the 3000 after placing ninth as a sophomore in the same event.

Despite all her successes, she wasn’t sure there was a spot at the highest level of collegiate running for her after graduating from Humboldt later this school year.

“Not until Coach Wakenight expressed his interest in me did I realize I had the opportunity to compete at the D1 level,” Gidel said. “I went to their junior day and was over the moon in excitement knowing that this could be my future. I attended a few of their camps and they went very well.

“At that time, the coaches started expressing more and more interest in me and just kept in touch after that.”

Gidel also had official visits planned with the University of Northern Iowa and Drake University, but “after a conversation with the coaches at Iowa, I knew it was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up.”

“It is a huge weight off my shoulders know the decision has been made,” she added. “Now, I can enjoy the rest of my senior seasons in cross country and track knowing that it will not be my last time lacing up and racing.”

As for her specific plans with Iowa, Gidel said those are still up in the air, but “I will be running both cross country and track.”

The Hawkeyes are coached by Randy Hasenbank, a former standout in the steeplechase at Wichita State. He has previously coached at the high school level along with Alabama, Loyola and Wichita State before joining Iowa in 2017.

Current members of the Hawkeye women’s cross country team include former Hampton-Dumont runner Patty Teggatz, Johnston standout Jessica McKee and multi-time state medalist Anna Hostetler from Mid-Prairie.