Cyclones to compete across trio of meets in California

Iowa State redshirt sophomore Gable Sieperda competes in the 2022 Big 12 Indoor Track and Field Championships on Feb. 25 at Lied Recreation Center.

Adarsh Tamma

Iowa State’s track and field team will again split up this week, as the Cyclone men and women will compete at three meets across the Los Angeles area.

The Cyclones’ schedule will see them take part in the Long Beach Invitational, Bryan Clay Invitational and Mt. SAC Relays. The field events will get a rest this week.

Bryan Clay Invitational

Iowa State will have a total of 43 entries at the Bryan Clay Invite, as it will be making its return to Azusa Pacific for the first time since 2018.

Sydney Willits is set to compete in her first outdoor heptathlon, having finished 13th in the event at the Big 12 Championships. Thai Thompson and Jack Vetsch will also make their debuts in the decathlon, as the pair wrapped up the indoor season by finishing sixth and 14th respectively in the indoor pentathlon at the Big 12 meet.

Hurdlers Kaylyn Hall and Katarina Vlahovic are both set to continue their campaigns in the shorter distances. The Canadian pair will be competing in both the 100m hurdles and 200m dash and both have top five all-time finishes

In the preliminaries at the Sun Angel Classic, Hall finished second in her heat with a time of 13.29 seconds, earning the second-fastest mark in Iowa State’s history. Vlahovic also earned a runner-up in her heat, finishing in the fourth-fastest time at 13.47 seconds. In the final, Hall and Vlahovic again recorded top times for the Cyclones, finishing third and fifth respectively.

Both women are also marked down to compete at the Beach Invitational, where they will run in both the hurdles, as well as team up with Zakiyah Amos and Bria Barnes to represent Iowa State in the 4x400m relay.

In the men’s steeplechase, Gable Sieperda will make his season debut in the event. Sieperda last ran in the steeplechase at last year’s NCAA West Preliminary meet in College Station, Texas, where he recorded a time of 8:46.57 to finish 14th in the preliminaries. 

Thomas Pollard and Ryan Ford are both again set to run in the 5K. Last time out, both athletes dropped their PRs by more than 25 seconds with Pollard crossing the line in 10th with a time of 28:23.19. Ford followed in 15th with a finishing time of 28:34.35.

Beach Invitational

The Cyclones again have 24 individual entries for the Beach Invite, which will take place at the Jack Rose Track on the campus of Long Beach State.

Joven Nelson is one of a number of Iowa State athletes set to compete in multiple meets, as he will run in the 400m hurdles at both the Beach and Bryan Clay Invites this weekend. Nelson made his season debut in the hurdles at the Bobcat Invitational where he recorded a personal-best time of 1:00.83.

Freshman Noah Kohut-Jackson will make his collegiate debut in the men’s 3000m steeplechase. Kohut-Jackson ran in his first outdoor meet for the Cyclones at last week’s Sun Angel Classic, where he finished 13th in the 1500m with a personal-best time of 3:54.23.

Elsewhere for the Cyclones, Bria Barnes and Zakiyah Amos will compete in the 400m for the Iowa State women with the pair also set to run in the 200m dash at the Bryan Clay Invite.

Mt. SAC Relays

Jason Gomez will headline a total of seven entries in the men’s 800m for the Cyclones. Iowa State will have a total of 12 athletes compete at the 62nd annual Mt. SAC Relays at Hilmer Lodge Stadium in Walnut, California.

Gomez is coming off of a strong performance at last week’s Sun Angel Classic meet in Ariz., where he won the 800m event in a personal-best time of 1:47.12. Gomez was followed in the runner-finish by teammate Darius Kipyego, who also broke his PR with a mark of 1:47.22. 

All-Americans Cebastian Gentil and Nehemia Too will also be competing in the half-mile event. Too opened his outdoor season at the Stanford Relays on April 2 by knocking 17 seconds off of his in the 5000m with a finishing time of 13:52.12. He will also be competing in the 1500m.

Gentil finished eighth overall in the 800m at the Sun Angel Classic with a mark of 1:50.47. Both athletes earned their All-American honors as members of Iowa State’s distance medley relay teams.

Freshman Kelvin Bungei will be the lone men’s entry in the 3000m steeplechase, as he also earned a PR in the Stanford Relays 5K to open the season. Bungei, who transferred to the Cyclones from Iowa Central Community College, posted a 14:20.90 performance in his heat, breaking his previous personal best by over 45 seconds.

Ezekiel Kebichii rounds out the men’s entries, as he will make his outdoor season debut by running in the 5000m. Kebichii, like Bungei, is another of Iowa State’s transfers, having previously represented Eastern Kentucky during the 2019-20 season. During the indoor season, he ran 5K in two meets and finished eighth at the Big 12 Championships in February.

Madelynn Hill and Janette Schraft will compete in the 3000m steeplechase for the Cyclone women, an event in which they both rank among the top-ten in school history. Schraft currently owns the third-fastest time on the program’s leaderboard, as she put up a mark of 10:19.99 when she finished third at last season’s Big 12 Championships.

The Mt. SAC Relays has hosted some of the world’s top athletes and seen multiple world records set across nearly all events. This included a run of seven world records being either broken or tied by members of the U.S. Olympic team on Aug. 12, 1960. 

Iowa State has had one champion at the Relays, former All-American and Olympian Hillary Bor winning the men’s 3000m steeplechase at the 2010 edition. Bor went on to finish third in the steeplechase at that year’s NCAA Championships to add onto his runner-up performance from 2009.

The Bryan Clay Invitational will begin on Wednesday with the opening day of the decathlon and heptathlon. The Mt. SAC Relays will commence on Thursday, with the Long Beach Invite to follow on Friday. The live results of all three meets can be accessed through the Iowa State athletics page here. A full list of the Cyclones’ entries can also be found here.