Elahi balances summer life, trains with rare opportunities


Photo: Logan Gaedke/Iowa State Daily

Kianna Elahi will be participating in the 400-meter hurdles at the NCAA West Regionals. 

Stephen Koenigsfeld

Senior Kianna Elahi will head into the NCAA West Regional meet with an already impressive outdoor track resume.

Earlier in the season, she held the fastest time in the 400-meter hurdles — currently No. 5 in the nation — became a Drake Relays champion and has qualified for the 2012 NCAA West Regional meet. 

While being one of the best athletes in her event, Elahi walked across the stage at Hilton Coliseum earlier in May for her graduation, as well as planning her summer wedding. With all of the festivities going on in her life, Elahi still remains focused.

“I’m used to, during the school year, having to focus on multiple things at a time,” Elahi said. “It’s nice to have a little bit less class and more time to focus on practice.”

Elahi said it was easier to focus on all of her happenings this summer, mainly because she needs to focus on all of the events. With this being her last season as Cyclone, Elahi said the need to focus will help her accomplish what she wants to achieve. 

Elahi is one of four Iowa State hurdlers traveling to Austin, Texas, this weekend to compete at the regional meet. Elahi touched on how uncommon it was to train with four teammates this deep into the season.

“It’s kind of amazing having three other hurdlers still training right now,” Elahi said. “That’s a rare opportunity having training partners this late in the season.”

At this point in the postseason, Elahi said there is a certain degree at which training individually doesn’t aid her in the way that training with teammates does. 

“It helps a lot in staying motivated and makes it a more realistic environment as to what you expect in an actual race with other people surrounding you,” Elahi said. 

Sprints coach Nate Wiens said getting the four women this far into the postseason accomplishes a goal he wanted to achieve at Iowa State.

“That’s the whole point of what we’ve been trying to do at Iowa State,” Wiens said. “To have four people in any event area is pretty special. And these girls have proven that they are something special.”

Wiens said that he noticed how well Elahi multitasks her agenda throughout the year and now into the summer. Wiens also noted he has seen Elahi demonstrate her ability to handle all of the events she has on her plate.

Elahi and her teammates will make the trip to Austin, Texas, Thursday for the start of the NCAA West Regional competition. From there, Elahi will plan for the NCAA Outdoor Championships as well as the U.S. Olympic Trials.