Regional, national qualifiers aid Cyclones at conference championships

Edward Kemboi approches the last stretch of the 3,000-meter run Friday, May 13, at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships. Kemboi placed fifth in the event

Stephen Koenigsfeld

The Big 12 Conference season came to a close with the May 13 conference outdoor championships. However, coaches said the final results did not reflect the teams’ abilities accurately.

“I don’t think [the final placements represent] where we’re at and who we actually have qualified for regionals and nationals,” said assistant coach Travis Hartke. “We have a lot of regional and national qualifiers coming up.”

The ISU men’s track and field team placed ninth on Sunday with a total of 54 points. Helping aid the Cyclones in that finish was distance runner Edward Kemboi.

Kemboi is best known for his outstanding kick he has at the conclusion of his events. In his most recent race, Kemboi hung in the back of the pack until about 300 meters to go.

Then he kicked.

Kemboi crossed the line at 1:45.65, thrusting his jersey into the air in excitement at he finished. 

“I just couldn’t believe it,” Kemboi said of taking the lead with only 20 meters to go.

On the women’s side of the track, distance runner Dani Stack helped aid the ISU women’s track team to an eighth place finish with 58 points.

Stack placed fourth in the 5,000-meter run with a final time of 16:12.51. Stack was coming off of an irregular season with a slight injury that hindered her performances earlier in the year.

“Overall, I was competitive through most of the races, but I didn’t engage in the end of both of the races,” Stack said. “I helped the team out, but I could’ve helped the team more than I did.”

Stack, who is just off the Olympic “A” standard time for the 10,000-meter run, will be keeping the ball of successful times and events rolling in the coming weeks.

In order to keep being efficient in her running, Stack said that she is just taking it day-by-day and not focusing too hard on the past.

“You kind of just have to take this meet for what it is and move on from here and not focus on it,” Stack said. “I’ve got two weeks to get a little bit more training in and get back into a routine.”

Senior Kianna Elahi also helped pace the women’s team during the weekend with her second place 400-meter hurdles finish. Elahi clocked a personal best of 56.41 but said she could have done better.

“I’m glad to run a [personal record], but at the same time I was frustrated because I felt that if I was able to hurdle the last two or three hurdles more aggressively, I would have been able to gain [first place],” Elahi said.

Elahi talked about being thankful to run with the group of people she had over the years and will close out her track career at the end of this summer.