ISU track and field grabs three early spots at nationals and positions for more

Redshirt junior Katy Moen runs in the 4×1600 relay during the women’s final at the Drake Relays on April 24 at Drake Stadium. Iowa State placed second with a school best time of 19:13:62.

Max Dible

ISU track and field claimed two regional titles at the NCAA West Preliminary Round in Fayetteville, Ark., on May 28 while earning three spots in the upcoming NCAA Championship.

The day was headlined by redshirt junior Katy Moen, who runs the 10,000-meter race, and junior Christina Hillman, who throws shot put. Each won her respective event at the Big 12 Championship and each nabbed the top spot on the podium again May 29.

Hillman out-tossed the competition by six inches with a throw of 57 feet, winning her regional title handily.

Moen separated herself from the pack over the last few laps of a long race that was hotly contested to that point. She crossed the finish line in a time of 34:02.98.

The top 12 athletes in each event qualify for the NCAA Championships June 11-14 in Eugene, Ore.

The third ISU athlete to meet those requirements on the first day of the regional meet was sophomore Jan Jeuschede.

Jeuschede threw a distance of 60 feet, 8 inches in the shot put, which was good enough to earn him ninth place and extend his 2014 outdoor season for two more weeks.

A number of other Cyclones took a step closer to moving on by performing well in their preliminary events and qualifying for the finals later in the weekend.

Redshirt senior Ejiro Okoro and junior Edward Kemboi, both 800-meter runners, each won their heats in the women’s and men’s events respectively, and will both compete in the 800-meter finals May 30.

Redshirt senior Ese Okoro moved on to the finals in the women’s 400m hurdles, clocking the fifth-fastest time of the meet.

Freshman Derek Jones eked his way into the finals in the same event on the men’s side by running a time of 51.66, which was just enough to earn him the final qualifying position.

Redshirt junior Maggie Gannon also moved onto the finals in the women’s 1500-meter run while junior Kendra White set a personal record in the 400-meter run, posting a time of 53.52 seconds and advancing to the next race.

Iowa State will return to the track May 30 at 5:00 p.m.