Indoor track competes at Holiday Classic, runs away with several individual champions

Mark Specht

Before the ISU men’s and women’s track and field teams go on Winter Break, they kicked off the indoor track season at the Holiday Classic Friday, Dec. 7, at the Lied Recreation Athletic Center.

The team played host to 17 colleges, showed off their new track surface and walked away with several individual champions.

Senior Dani Stack, who didn’t race during the cross-country season because she had exhausted her eligibility, did not miss a beat in her training. Stack won the women’s 5,000-meter race with a time of 16:08.73.

“It kind of proves what she was able to do this fall with her training,” said assistant coach Travis Hartke. “Yeah it’s not a [personal record] but at the same time you got to be in pretty good shape to be able to do that at this point in time.”

Junior Ryan Sander was hoping to break eight seconds in the 60-meter hurdles, but finished with an eight-flat. That time was still good enough for Sander to walk away with first place.

“That’s what I came here for; it feels amazing,” Sander said about winning. “Eight-flat, I’ll take it. It’s the first meet of the year.”

Repeating as champion of the Holiday Preview women’s shot put, sophomore Christina Hillman set a personal best and won on her last throw of the night, with a distance of 17.36 meters.

Hillman said she was so excited she “literally jumped out of the ring,” but she still feels like she can go further.

Like the majority of the Cyclone track and field team, Hillman approached the Holiday Classic as a time to get “back into the swing of things” and prepare for the rest of the year.

The Cyclones will take more than a month break from competition and return to action on Jan. 18 and 19, when they host the ISU Open.