Elahi to finish senior year at U.S. Olympic Trials


Photo: Kendra Plathe/Iowa State Daily

Kiana Elahi runs in the 400-meter hurdle race during the NCAA Track Championships on Friday, June 9, 2012 at Drake Stadium in Des Moines. Elahi finished seventh overall.

Stephen Koenigsfeld

ISU senior Kianna Elahi will be capping off one of the best seasons run by a Cyclone track and field hurdler in years this week. The 400-meter hurdler qualified for the U.S. Olympic Trials where she will be up against some of the best sprinters in the nation.

For some, the trial’s one-lap, stamina testing race will have to be their best of the season in order to make the Olympic team. For others such as Elahi, those athletes will be competing for the experience. 

“I’m more excited for the experience and trying to improve my personal time,” Elahi said. “For me, nationals was my ultimate goal for the whole year and even [my] track career.” 

Sprints coach and Elahi’s coach for the past four seasons, Nate Wiens, shared Elahi’s excitement in the week leading up to the trials. Workouts have been going well, and he said he has seen Elahi take down her personal goals all season.

Wiens said during this point in the post-season, training and workouts become very consistent. He said the athletes know what to expect when running at this level.

“It’s all about maintaining and running fast,” Wiens said. “[She needs to] hit her stride progression and run her race. If she does that, she’ll be very successful.”

Elahi said she has felt a little more relaxed and comfortable heading into the trials. Maybe not what some runners are feeling as they head into what could be their biggest race of their season. But Elahi said she was calm, cool and collected.

“I always feel like when I go to [nationals], I always feel like it’s a huge honor,” Elahi said. “It’s always a neat experience to even be in the same environment as them.”

Elahi’s 400-meter hurdle race is set to take place at 4:20 p.m. CST this Friday, June 29. Former Cyclone Lisa Uhl qualified for the U.S. Olympic Team in the 10,000-meter run Friday, June 22, and junior Meaghan Nelson finished 12th.