ISU heads west to Mt. SAC for ‘three ring circus’ in California


Photo: Grace Steenhagen/Iowa State Daily

Alec Bollman goes all out in the final stretch of the first heat of the one mile race. He finished with a time of 4:12.61, and placed 12th overall. Iowa State hosted the Iowa State Classic which lasted from Thursday, Feb. 9 to Saturday, Feb. 11 at the Lied Rec Center. 

Dylan Montz

Mt. SAC Relays weekend means a weekend full of travel for the ISU men’s track and field team as the Cyclones head to California for three different meets in the state.

ISU coach Corey Ihmels said that scheduling for this weekend between meets at Mt. San Antonio College, the Beach Invitational and the Bryan Clay Invitational, is somewhat of a nightmare to try to figure out but it is important for the runners and throwers.

“Philosophically, I kind of decided that when I took over [the position] that I would target the meets that I knew we would get good competition and good weather in,” Ihmels said. “Southern California and Phoenix, Ariz., are probably as steady as they come. That’s important that we give the kids the opportunity to run well and in good weather and with good feels and a good environment.”

Ihmels also said it is almost comical when they are in California traveling to the different competitions with vans going three different directions and training in different places.

Redshirt freshman Alec Bollman will be running the 800 and 1,500-meter runs this weekend and said he is really looking forward to getting to California and facing the competition there.

“There are a bunch of heats for the 1,500 and no matter what heat I’m in, it’s going to go really fast,” Bollman said. “I wasn’t too happy with my race last weekend so I’m looking to go out there and really make it happen.”

Bollman said he will try to go out in his race more aggressively to avoid starting and finishing in the back of the pack and hopefully have a good time against good competition.

The preparation, Bollman said, that he and the rest of the team have been putting in for this weekend has been tough but it will pay off when it comes time to race for the middle distance guys Thursday.

Ihmels said that while the trips to California can be hectic, they are a good experience for his runners.

“They’re not easy trips,” Ihmels said. “But you want to give the kids the opportunities that are there and that’s why we go to this meet because it is a three ring circus because we can get so many different opportunities for our athletes.”

Competition at Mt. SAC begins on Thursday afternoon and will run through Saturday in Walnut, Calif. The Bryan Clay Invitational will be Friday in Azusa, Calif., and the Beach Invitational will be Saturday in Cerritos, Calif.