ISU track running strong, preparing for Classic meet

Mark Pawlak

The ISU men’s and women’s track teams competed at UNI, but are more interested in the future as one of the nation’s premeir events, the Iowa State Classic comes to Ames.

In last year’s classic, there were national qualifying performances in all but two events, women’s head coach Dick Lee said. He is expecting the same level of competition again this time.

“The classic last year was the best collegiate meet in the country,” Lee said.

“There were more people that qualified for indoor nationals at this meet than any other meet in the country. From early indications, I think this year’s meet may match that from what we’re getting for entries in so far. It will be excellent competition.”

In training for the classic and the Big 12 Championships in two weeks, the Cyclones competed at the UNI Invitational Friday in Cedar Falls.

Sheba Clarke claimed first place in the 60- and 200-meter dashes for the ISU women, in 7.56 seconds and 25.08 respectively.

“Sheba had a very good meet winning both the 60 and 200,” Lee said.

“That was a good experience for her with the conference meet coming up.”

Also bringing home first-place finishes were Lenka Kalabova in the 400 meters with a time of 57.63, and Jummy Alowonle in the triple jump with a leap of 38′.

On the men’s side, the Cyclones took a partial team and did not compete in any of the middle distance, long distance or throwing events.

Iowa State did claim first in the pole vault and the long jump.

Ryan Wilson won the pole vault by clearing a height of 15’9″.

“He almost made 16’3″ after he had won, which would have been his indoor best,” men’s head coach Steve Lynn said. “He made 16’1″ last week, which was his indoor best. He had a couple of really good tries at 16’3″. It’s nice to see him really start to come on. His best jump last year indoors was about 15’5″. He’s really jumping a lot better this year.”

Daniel Kaczmarczyk claimed the long jump with a leap of 24’3-1/2″ with teammate Tony Douglas following in second with a 23’6″.

Lynn said his long jumpers have been doing well, but have room for improvement.

“Both are struggling right now with fouling. I think they’ll get that squared away,” he said. “Sometimes it’s just repetition. It’s hard to duplicate the meet in practice. This will be Daniel’s third meet this weekend, so I would expect him to get a couple on the board and really get some big jumps out there.”

Andy Kohler tied for the winning height of 6’8-3/4″ in the long jump, but took second on having more misses.

Lynn said Kohler should be prepared for a large jump soon.

“I think Andy is really ready to have a big jump this week. He’s really getting close to getting back up over seven feet again,” he said. “I think that’s going to happen either this week or when we go to Big 12 Championships.”

The Cyclones will be trying to rise up to the competition and record season bests in the classic.

“It’s a huge meet, probably the top meet in the nation,” Lynn said. “We’ll try to have our season bests in it.”