While you were on vacation…


Iowa State’s Lisa Koll crosses the finish line breaking the school record and her own personal record for the 5,000-meter run earning first place with a time of 15:52.37 on Feb. 15 at the Lied Recreation Center.

Matt Gubbels

Koll wins national championship

ISU senior Lisa Koll won her first national championship in dominating fashion on June 12 in the 10,000-meter run.

Koll ran a stadium record 32:44.95 in front of a pro-Iowa State crowd that exceeded 9,600 at Drake Stadium in Des Moines. Koll lapped nearly the entire field throughout the course of the race, winning by just under a minute.

Koll, a Fort Dodge native, said it was great to accomplish what she did in her home state, approximately 90 miles from her house.

“To be at Drake, at nationals, everyone is cheering and everyone is standing up — it is something I always wanted to be in high school and I never got the chance,” Koll said. “To finally have that opportunity, it was great.”

The time Koll ran in the NCAA Championships was the second-fastest time she had run during the season. She ran an American Collegiate Record time of 32:11.43 at the Stanford Invitational in April.

Koll took the lead coming out of the last turn of her first of 25 laps and stretched her lead continuously as the race went on. At the halfway mark, Koll led by nearly a half a lap and was never challenged.

Koll is the first national champion in track and field of any sort for Iowa State since 1991, and she is the first outdoor track and field champion for the Cyclones since 1984.

Floods force Iowa Cubs to play game without fans

Flooding of the Des Moines River caused the Iowa Cubs to play a game without any fans in the stadium.

The river runs behind the fence of Principal Park, the facility that is used by the Triple-A affiliate of the Chicago Cubs. When the flooding occurred, the I-Cubs had to postponed their game on June 13 due to standing water on the field.

Many of the players and personnel of the franchise actually spent that day sand-bagging the area around the stadium and other parts of the city of Des Moines.

The water in the stadium receded, but because the voluntary evacuation of the city had not been lifted yet, the franchise decided to play a game without fans. The Cubs won 5-4 over the Nashville Sounds.

The next day, fans were allowed back into the stadium for a doubleheader that made up the game on Friday.

Johnson transfers to Syracuse

Former ISU basketball star Wesley Johnson has transferred to Syracuse University.

Johnson shocked coach Greg McDermott and Cyclone Nation in May when he announced his intention to leave the basketball team. He cited his relationship with McDermott as one of the factors in his decision to leave.

The bottom line, McDermott said, was Johnson didn’t agree with his coaching style, something for which the coach made no apologies.

“I think Wes took some of my coaching personally, and that’s why he decided to transfer. I was certainly willing to work with that relationship if he were to so choose that he wanted to do that,” McDermott said.

McDermott laid out a timeline of events which made him and the rest of the team believe that Johnson wasn’t going to leave, including a half-dozen meetings after the season, in which Johnson “told me everything was fine,” making the move a complete surprise. Johnson also hosted recruits, sat in on the interview for recently hired assistant coach Daniyal Robinson, signed a housing contract to live in Frederiksen Court and even signed a scholarship renewal letter.

Most of the players attended the news conference, as well as assistant coaches and trainers and even the senior associate athletic director, Steve Malchow.

“The pieces we have coming back will do their best to elevate this program,” Malchow said. “They’re on the right path. It’s time to get to work … We couldn’t be more confident with the direction of the program. [McDermott] can coach. Look at his track record. He’s been at multiple schools and has been a winner, and he’s going to be at Iowa State also.”

Taylor goes to the Clippers

Former ISU men’s basketball player Mike Taylor was drafted by the Portland Trailblazers with the 55th selection in the NBA draft and became the first player in history to be drafted from the NBA Development League.

Taylor didn’t get to spend much time with his new team. Within 30 minutes from the time he was drafted, Taylor was traded to the Los Angeles Clippers. The Blazers received a 2009 second-round pick from the Clippers in return.

The Milwaukee native started at Iowa State, scoring 16 points per game for the Cyclones during the 2006-2007 season. He was later kicked off the team after running into some legal trouble.

Taylor was picked up by the Idaho Stampede last season and averaged 14.5 points per game for them. The Stampede won the D-League title, partially due to Taylor’s seven three-pointers and 27 points in the title game.

Taylor was eligible for this year’s draft because he had never entered the NBA draft after his one season at Iowa State and was still considered an amateur.

Taylor told Cyclones.com that he would not be where he was without the experience he gained with the Cyclones.

Taylor will try to make the 12-man roster for the Clippers, who after the draft, have seven guards on their roster. He will be competing against guards that include experienced players like Shaun Livingston, Cuttino Mobley, Baron Davis and Smush Parker, as well as Eric Gordon, whom the Clippers took with the seventh pick of the first round.

The battle at point guard is expected to be among Parker, Livingston, who started last season, and Taylor. Taylor and Gordon, along with Texas A&M center DeAndre Jordan, were the three players acquired by the Clippers in the draft.

Taylor is the 33rd former Cyclone to be drafted into the NBA and the first since Will Blalock was taken by the Detroit Pistons in the 2006 NBA draft. Taylor is also the first draft pick to be coached by head coach Greg McDermott since he came to Iowa State in 2006.