ISU women finish eighth at NCAA Championships

Kevin Shay

Aliphine Tuliamuk led the Cyclones to a top-10 performance at the NCAA Championships Monday in Terre Haute, Ind. behind her All-America individual performance, finishing 13th in a time of 20:27.6 on the 6K course.

The eighth place finish was the highest the Cyclones have placed nationally in 25 years, when they finished as runner-ups in 1985. Pre-race favorites Villanova finished above the rest of the field for their second consecutive championship – and ninth overall.

Sheila Reid of Villanova sprinted past Georgetown’s Emily Infeld and Jordan Hasay of Oregon in the final 200 meters for the individual title.

The Cyclones were hoping for a top-five finish entering the meet, and coach Corey Ihmels said that would take an extraordinary effort to do so. However, the Cyclones did out perform their national rank, as they were ranked 12th headed into the meet.

Betsy Saina, who was running step for step with Tuliamuk at the halfway point, fell off in the final 3,000-meters and slipped to a disappointing 65th place finish in a time of 21:15.7. Semehar Tesfaye was also running alongside the Kenya duo, and finished 48th overall in 21.04.2.

Lucy Kennedy finished 81st (21:23.1), India Lee 136th (21:56.4), and Morgan Casey 158th (22:14.2) for the Cyclones. Dani Stack, who had been running well of late, did not finish the race.

Iowa State beat Big 12 rivals Oklahoma State and Texas, but finished behind No. 6 Colorado, and No. 3 Texas Tech. Florida State placed as runner-up, and Georgetown and New Mexico rounded out the top-five.

Hillary Bor, lone ISU male competitor, did not finish the tough race, which took place in extremely windy conditions.

Oklahoma State won their second consecutive men’s title, and Samuel Chelanga of Liberty finished first in a time of 29:22.2 during the men’s 10,000-meter race.

The tough conditions led to many runners collapsing as they crossed the finish line.

Many of the Cyclone women that enjoyed a successful season behind midwest women’s regional coach of the year Corey Ihmels will be returning next season, as well as competing in spring track and field.