Men’s track and field returns home to face competitive field at Iowa State Classic

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Photos: Rebekka Brown/Iowa State Daily

From left, Josh Heitkamp, Abdou Seye, Kyle Zankowksi and Stephen Saylor compete together in the fast heat of the men’s one-mile race during the ISU Open on Saturday, Jan. 21, at Lied Recreation Athletic Center. All five ISU competitors (Besu Shannon-Tamrat is not pictured) finished in the top 10 of the event.

Dylan Montz

The ISU men’s track and field team returned home from New York on Sunday and began training for the annual Iowa State Classic which will be this Thursday through Saturday at the Lied Recreation Center.

The competition will feature over 50 teams from all across the country including Wisconsin, Minnesota, Kansas State, Iowa, Nebraska and Miami (Fla.) to name a few.

Redshirt freshman distance runner Abdou Seye, who did not compete in New York last weekend, will run the 3,000-meter at the Iowa State Classic. Seye usually runs the mile but is just starting to run the 3,000-meter more in competition and is still learning how to run that race.

“[I want to] definitely get up there in the race, compete and just do my best,” Seye said. “I really like the mile too so I’m just trying the events and seeing which one can I run the fastest to score at Big 12.”

Nick Schulze, sophomore distance runner, also stayed home from New York and said that training over that time consisted of higher mileage workouts with less intensity. At the Iowa State Classic, Schulze will be running the mile and said he hopes to improve on his performance from the Bill Bergan Invitational.

“I would love to go under 4:10 this weekend,” Schulze said. “I think we have a couple guys on the team that are shooting for that or have already done that, so it should be a pretty good race.”

ISU coach Corey Ihmels said that the Iowa State Classic is a great meet for his kids to be exposed to talent from all across the country and see where they match up physically from where they are to where they should be.

“It’s important because it gives everybody an opportunity to run a high level race; and at home,” Ihmels said. “We’re in a good spot and I think things are progressing. You would like to hit it on all cylinders this weekend and have a bunch of great performances. … At the end of the day you just have to keep doing what you’re doing and keep getting better. …┬áIt’s great for us to have an opportunity like this at home in front of the home crowd against some really good competition.”

Schulze said that the Iowa State Classic will be a valuable opportunity for competition in preparation for the Big 12 Championships.

“It’s a good confidence boost going into conference,” Schulze said. “We have a week off [after the Iowa State Classic], then conference is two weeks away.”

Competition for the Iowa State Classic will begin at 12:30 p.m. on Thursday, 9 a.m. on Friday and 11 a.m. on Saturday. All competition will be at the Lied Recreation Center.