Three Big Takeaways: Gomez, Hall record top times to close out weekend

Jason Gomez runs in the 2021 Iowa State Classic on Friday in Lied Recreation Athletic Center. 

Adarsh Tamma

The final day of the Beach Invitational was another fast one for the Iowa State track and field teams, as the Cyclone men’s and women’s teams closed out their week-long California residency on Saturday at the Jack Rose Track.

The Cyclones’ last day of competition was highlighted by pairs of top performances in the sprints, hurdles and middle distance events. Iowa State wrapped up the meet with nine total top-ten performances across all events contested. Familiar names dominated the results, as the Cyclones saw one of the NCAA’s best once again run to a gold medal performance.

Hall breaks hurdles PR again

Iowa State’s duo of Kaylyn Hall and Katarina Vlahovic made it two-for-two on the weekend with their performance in the 100m hurdles. Hall and Vlahovic finished in the top-ten of the overall standings once again, as they achieved the same result in Saturday’s event.

Hall went out first in the opening heat of the day, as she finished in fifth place with a time of 13.16 seconds. While the time did break Hall’s personal best of 13.37 seconds, the windspeed during the race was 4.2 meters per second, highly above the legal limit.

Despite that, Hall’s time retained her place as the second-fastest in Iowa State history, and it was just 0.06 seconds off of Keira Christie-Galloway’s school record from 2019.

Vlahovic won heat five, with the wind this time being in the legal limit at 1.5 meters per second. Her finishing time of 13.47 seconds matched her personal record, a performance which she first registered at the Sun Angel Classic last week. Her time also placed her eighth overall amongst all participants. 

Hall and Vlahovic also both recorded top times for the Cyclone women at the Bryan Clay Invitational on Friday, where they finished third and sixth overall respectively. At that meet in Azusa, California, both athletes recorded sub-14 second marks, with Hall getting the bronze medal in her fourth-straight sub-13.40 mark at 13.35 seconds.

Vlahovic finished just outside her previous PR at 13.61 seconds.

The pair have certainly stood out so far this season for the Cyclones, as they have each ran under their previous personal records multiple times. Hall has also stood out in the 400m hurdles, as she became one of just 11 Cyclone female athletes to finish under a minute. Hall recorded a time of 59.32 seconds at the Bobcat Invitational to take top honors.

Barnes and Amos finish strong in 400m

Good things seemed to come in twos for the Cyclone women on Saturday, as the duo of Bria Barnes and Zakiyah Amos recorded top times for Iowa State in the 400m dash. Like their teammates Hall and Vlahovic, Barnes and Amos also earned top-ten finishes in the 1-lap event.

In the opening heat, Barnes ran in a competitive race, as she runner-up to South Dakota’s Reifenrath. Barnes’ time of 54.74 seconds was 0.34 seconds off of her personal best, as time that was registered by Reifenrath in her first place performance. 

Amos’ performance proved to be a bounce-back, as she had previously finished 33rd overall in the 200m dash at the Bryan Clay Invite on Friday. Amos won heat two in a time of 55.08 seconds, as she finished more than 0.5 seconds clear of second-place Nell Graham of North Dakota State.

That performance led to her earning a fifth overall placing, as she recorded her second top-ten performance of the season in the 400m after taking eighth at the Sun Angel Classic.

Gomez, Nelson close weekend with wins

Jason Gomez added onto his recent honors in the 800m by leading the Cyclone group in the event with a first place finish. 

Gomez, who currently holds the eighth-fastest 800m time among Division I athletes, earned the Big 12’s Athlete of the Week award on April 13 for his performance. Entering Saturday’s race, he had broken his personal record in the 1500m at the Bryan Clay Invite on Friday evening, running a time of 3:41.69 to get onto the program’s all-time leaderboard.

The first heat of the day in the 800m saw Gomez go head-to-head with Illinois’ All-American Jonathan Davis, who finished second in the half-mile race at the Bryan Clay Invite. Gomez was able to hold off the challenge at the tape, as he crossed the line seven hundredths of a second to finish in a time of 1:48.78.

Nehemia Too, who smashed his PR in the 1500m at the Bryan Clay Invite on Friday, finished fifth in a time of 1:49.61. Too recorded the Cyclones’ highlight of the day on Friday, when he registered the second-fastest 1500m time in Iowa State history at 3:39.27, a mark that was just 0.08 seconds off of the school record.

Joven Nelson recorded another PR for the Cyclones in the 400m hurdles by winning his heat in a time of 54.34 seconds. Nelson chopped 0.18 seconds off his previous top time, a mark that he registered in a top-place performance in his heat at the Bryan Clay Invite. Dating back to the Bobcat Invitational in late March, Nelson has been chasing teammate Thai Thompson for the team-leading mark in the event, with Thompson currently holding that title by registering 53.59 seconds in Texas.

Iowa State will be back in action next Friday, when they will travel to Iowa City to compete in the Musco Twilight meet.