Cyclone field events feel good about Drake Relays performance

Mark Pawlak

The competition level at the Drake Relays this weekend for the ISU men’s and women’s track teams will be of the highest caliber.

Previously, Iowa State has performed well in Des Moines against some of the nation’s best athletes and will be looking for the same type of performance again this year.

One of the Cyclones who has shined at Drake is Lisa Griebel, who won the women’s shot put last year with a throw of 53’5″.

To claim another title, Griebel will have to face off against some of the nation’s best.

The shot put has two different competitions this year – the collegiate and the women’s invitational.

Griebel will be competing in the invitational along with Olympians and seven of the top 10 throwers in the country.

“I’m low on the totum pole this year,” Griebel said of the competition she will face. “It will be interesting to see what happens, but I don’t expect a win obviously, because of the Olympians that are here, but I expect to do well.”

ISU throwers coach Dan O’Mara believes Griebel is up to the challenge.

“They have stellar competition in the women’s shot put,” he said. “If she finishes anywhere in the top four, it is going to be a great accomplishment because it is almost like a national championship.”

The chance to compete at Drake is special to Griebel.

“I love going to Drake. It’s nice to be home almost, it’s the closest outdoor meet that we have,” Griebel said. “It’s a great competition. This is going to be the biggest competition I will have this year so far.”

At the Illinois April Twilight last week, Griebel won the shot put with a throw of 52’11”, but is expecting better at Drake.

“At bigger competitions, I usually throw better. Last week wasn’t very good,” Griebel said. “This weekend because of the better competition, I usually throw at my best because I get more pumped up. I’m hoping to throw at my best.”

Another ISU thrower looking for success is Susan Sherman, who placed fourth last year in the discus with a throw of 160’2″ and won the title in Illinois with a personal-best throw of 170’10”.

“Susan has a chance in the women’s discus to compete well and place high. She comes in as one of the top four favorites,” O’Mara said. “Hopefully, she can come in and perform well and finish similar to what she did last year.”

Gina Curtis is coming off of a first-place finish in the high jump at Illinois and finished fourth in the high jump in 2000 at Drake. Already this year, Curtis set a school record with a jump of 6′.

The men’s squad heads into Drake looking to grow on the momentum it has gained in previous weeks.

Rocky Moore claimed first in the discus with a throw of 164’9″ and second in the shot put with a toss of 59’5-1/2″ last week at the Kansas Relays.

Moore ranks 13th in the nation in the shot put after a 60’5-1/4″ throw April 13th at the Tom Botts Invitational at the University of Missouri.

Inclement weather kept many of the ISU men from competing last week, yet their last time out at Missouri the Cyclones had a number of top finishers.

Daniel Kaczmarczyk won both the long jump (24’6-1/4″) and the triple jump (48’5-1/4″).

Mike Mwangong turned in the fastest time in the 5,000 meters (14:16.63).

Ryan Boyington took the title in the 400-meter hurdles (53.45) and Ryan Wilson won the pole vault (16′).

The Drake Relays will give Iowa State an opportunity to see where it stands with the Big 12 Conference and NCAA Championships on the horizon.

“For us, it is important to have a good showing against good competition,” O’Mara said. “It is a barometer to show us were we stand and where we might need to improve as far as our technique.”