Cyclones set to take on postseason at Big 12 Championships


Iowa State sophomore Madelyn Hill April 30 Drake Relays in Des Moines, Iowa.

Adarsh Tamma

Iowa State track and field’s squads will be back in the spotlight this weekend, as the Cyclones kick off their postseason on Friday at the Big 12 Outdoor Championships in Lubbock, Texas.

Texas Tech will be hosting the event for the third time, having last been hosts in 2014, and all events will take place at the Fuller Track & Field Complex.

Following a Drake Relays that saw them record three first-place finishes in the men’s 4x800m and 4x1600m relays and women’s discus competitions, the Cyclones will be returning many of the same athletes that saw success in Des Moines a couple of weeks ago.

They will also be facing off against some of the best athletes in the NCAA, as the Texas men’s and women’s teams enter this weekend’s championships as the defending champions in both the indoor and outdoor campaigns. The Longhorns most recently swept the indoor titles at the Lied Athletic Center in February.

Last time out at the Big 12 Outdoor meet saw the Iowa State men’s squad go head-to-head with the Longhorns for the team title, but ultimately fell short by 29 points in the final standings.

They will be looking to fill a gap left by All-American Wesley Kiptoo, who captured a hat trick of titles in the 5000m, 10000m and 3000m steeplechase. Kiptoo signed a professional contract with Arizona-based club Hoka NAZ Elite in April, deciding to forgo his final year of collegiate eligibility and train with them.

Senior Thomas Pollard will be one of those distance runners to compete for the Cyclones this weekend, as he will take part in both the 5K and 10K events. Pollard has been out of competition since mid-April, having last taken to the track at the Brian Clay Relays in California.

At that meet, Pollard took 12th in the 5000m invitational with a finishing time of 13:40.20. Pollard’s highlight of the season so far came at the Stanford Invitational in early April, where he finished 10th in the 10000m amongst an elite field with a time of 28:23.19, moving him up to No. 6 on the Cyclones’ all-time leaderboard.

Elsewhere for the men’s distance group, the 800m and 1500m runs will be headlined with plenty of familiar names such as Jason Gomez, Cebastian Gentil and Darius Kipyego.

All three athletes were part of the Cyclones’ 4x800m-winning quartet at the Drake Relays, where they took the title in a time of 7:17.47 to record the second-fastest mark in ISU history.

The trio, along with Peter Smith, all ran split times below the 1:51 mark.

Gomez, who regularly competed in the 800m during the regular season, will take part in the 1500m at the conference meet. It’s an event that he’s ran once this year, having broken his personal best (3:41.69) at the Bryan Clay Invite.

Gomez’ season-best 800m time of 1:47.12 is currently the ninth-best in Division I this season, as well as the seventh-best in Cyclone history.

Just above and below Gomez on the program leaderboard are Gentil and Kipyego, who ran times of 1:46.97 and 1:47.22 respectively. For Gentil, his PR at the Bryan Clay Invite was good enough for fourth, as he continued his strong form in the middle distances.

Kipyego has also stood out for the Cyclones in his freshman campaign, as along with his impressive performance at the Drake Relays, he also produced a second-place showing in the half mile at the Sun Angel Classic.

He finished just behind Gomez to produce the seventh-fastest 800m time in Iowa State history in his debut outdoor race.

Switching over from long distance to the sprints, the Cyclone women will once again be headlined by the Canadian hurdling pair of Katarina Vlahovic and Kaylyn Hall.

The pair have constantly pushed each other on throughout the outdoor season, with both ending up on the top-ten list for the 100m hurdles. At the Sun Angel Classic, both athletes captured top-five marks, with Hall’s time of 13.29 seconds now the second-best in program history.

Vlahovic’s mark of 13.47 is No. 4, as she lowered her personal-best by nearly a second. Hall’s schedule will also include the 400m hurdles, as she has run sub-1 minute marks twice this season.

In the distance events, the Cyclone women currently have 12 entries listed in the 5000m. This includes cross country All-American Dana Feyen, who will also be running in the 10000m run alongside Winrose Chesang, Brenna Cohoon, Grace Dickel and Ashley Tutt.

Feyen set a new top time of 33:37.10 in the 10K at the Raleigh Relays, good enough for No. 10 on the Cyclone leaderboard.

The steeplechase will also see some of Iowa State’s all-time best athletes, as Janette Schraft, Madelynn Hill and Kiki Connell are all entered to compete. Schraft leads the trio with a PR of 10:18.02 in the event, a mark which she ran at the Mt. SAC Relays to climb to No. 3 on the list.

Hill also earned her top mark in California (10:34.90), while freshman Connell made a strong Drake Relays debut by finishing second in her heat with a time of 10:39.31.

In the field events, the most notable exception is that Emily March will not be competing in the discus throw this weekend. March, the school record holder in the disc, earned Iowa State’s first ever Drake Relays title in the event by delivering a top throw of 189 feet, 11 inches.

She will instead compete in the hammer throw, an event in which she has broken her PR (179-09). Freshman Danielle Hoyle will throw for the Cyclones in the discus, while March will join her and Antonella Creazzola in the hammer.

Creazzola also enjoyed a successful Drake Relays campaign, as she broke her personal-best with a throw of 119 feet, 10 inches for No. 2 in school history. She will be competing in her final postseason for the Cyclones, having finished eighth in the hammer last year.

A full list of the Cyclones’ entries can be found below.

The Big 12 Championships will begin at 7 a.m. on Friday with the women’s 10000m run, followed by the men’s race at 7:45. The meet will be livestreamed throughout the weekend on ESPN+, and can be accessed here.

Iowa State Entries


800m Run: Tanner Anderson, Cebastian Gentil, Darius Kipyego, Peter Smith

1500m Run: Jason Gomez, Joe Schaefer, David Thompson, Nehemia Too

5000m Run: Kelvin Bungei, Ryan Ford, Chad Johnson, Ezekiel Rop, Nate Mueller, Thomas Pollard, Joe Schaefer, Gable Sieperda, Nehemia Too

10000m Run: Ryan Ford, Thomas Pollard

110m Hurdles: James Ezeonu

400m Hurdles: Joven Nelson, Thai Thompson

3000m Steeplechase: Kelvin Bungei, Nate Mueller, Gable Sieperda

4x100m Relay: One Team

4x400m Relay: One Team

Discus Throw: Jonathan Gannon, Kevin Sakson

Hammer Throw: Jonathan Gannon, Joe Ryan

Shot Put: Kevin Sakson

Decathlon: Thai Thompson, Jack Vetsch


400m Dash: Zakiyah Amos, Bria Barnes

800m Run: Maggie Davis

1500m Run: Riley Beach, Bella Heikes

5000m Run: Riley Beach, Taylor Briggs, Winrose Chesang, Brenna Cohoon, Kiki Connell, Grace Dickel, Dana Feyen, Bella Heikes, Madelynn Hill, Sarah Murrow, Janette Schraft, Ashley Tutt

10000m Run: Winrose Chesang, Brenna Cohoon, Grace Dickel, Dana Feyen, Ashley Tutt

100m Hurdles: Kaylyn Hall, Katarina Vlahovic

400m Hurdles: Kaylyn Hall

3000m Steeplechase: Kiki Connell, Madelynn Hill, Janette Schraft

4x100m Relay: One Team

4x400m Relay: One Team

Discus Throw: Danielle Hoyle

Hammer Throw: Antonella Creazzola, Danielle Hoyle, Emily March

Long Jump: Sydney Willits

Heptathlon: Sydney Willits