Three women set to compete in NCAA Indoor Championships

Kevin Shay

The women’s track and field team has sent three athletes to compete in the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships at the Gilliam Indoor Track Stadium in College Station, Texas on Friday and Saturday.

The three ISU women to compete are distance runner Betsy Saina, thrower Danielle Frere and high jumper Hannah Willms.

Saina, who is a two-time All-American, automatically qualified for the championship meet after running one of the world’s fastest 5,000-meter run times of the year — 15:50.74 — at the ISU Classic in early February. The time was also a personal best for the Kenya native.

Coach Corey Ihmels said earlier in the year that he “absolutely believes Saina has a good chance to win at Indoors.”

The junior distance-runner took second place in the 10,000-meter run at last year’s outdoor championships.

Saina is looking for her second championship of the year after winning the 5,000-meter run at the Big 12 Championships on Feb. 25. She is currently second on Iowa State’s all-time indoor performance list in the 5,000-meter, and was recently named the Midwest Region’s Female Track Athlete of the Year by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association for her performance this season.

Frere will compete for Iowa State after earning an at-large bid to the NCAA Championships in the shot put. She earned all-Big 12 honors in both the shot put and weight throw during the Big 12 Championships in February. Frere’s best throw ever in the shot put came at this past weekend’s NCAA Qualifier with a distance of 54-feet, 5 1/4-inches.

Hannah Willms, the freshman volleyball player on loan to the track team, will compete in the high jump at the championships after earning an at-large bid as well. Willms’ season-best jump came at the ISU Classic in February when she reached a height of 5-feet, 11 1/2-inches. She also earned all-Big 12 honors at the Big 12 indoor meet in February.

Willms will jump for the Cyclones at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Saina will compete for a title in the 5,000-meter run at 7:05 p.m. Friday and Frere will go at 3:45 p.m. Saturday.

You can watch the Championships live on, and live results will be shown on Also, ESPN2 will air tape-delayed coverage of the Championships on March 16.