Track does well at Last Chance

Zac Reicks

The ISU men’s track team went into last weekend’s Last Chance Meet at the Lied Recreation Center with two athletes qualified for the NCAA Championships and a realistic opportunity to qualify another.

Senior Andy Long had been provisionally qualified for most of the season in the 60m hurdles, but going into the weekend his coaches knew that he would need to shave some time off his best effort if he wanted to qualify.

So with his back to the wall, Long responded the way only a senior leader can. Long set the school record with a blistering time of 7.76 seconds that broke three-time All-American Jason Woods’ record that had stood for only a couple of years.

In setting a personal best, Long joined Daniel Kacmarczyk in the long jump and Joey Brunkhorst in the high jump as the Cyclone men who qualified for the NCAA Championships to be held in Fayetteville, Ark., March 9-10.

“It really feels good to finally run as well as I knew I could,” Long said. “I ran with Jason [Woods] for two years, so it kind of felt weird breaking the record of the guy who basically taught me how to hurdle.”

Head coach Steve Lynn was extremely impressed at how Long responded with so much on the line.

“Andy’s performance was awesome,” Lynn said. “Before prelims, he could barely walk because of an injury that occurred in practice. He just battled through it and ended up feeling great for the finals.”

Another Cyclone who has enjoyed great success this year is long jumper Daniel Kacmarczyk. The Poland native was recently dubbed Big 12 Freshman of the Year by a vote of the Big 12 head track and field coaches.

One of the most consistent performers for the cardinal and gold, Kacmarczyk is close to completing one of the most celebrated years ever by an ISU freshmen.

“It would have been an injustice if Daniel had not received that [Freshmen of the Year] award ,” Lynn said. “He was the only freshman winner at the Big 12 meet and has just dominated all year.”

Being in the United States for only two months, Kacmarczyk has adjusted quickly to what Division 1 track is all about and is truly finding a home here at Iowa State.

All three of Iowa State’s competitors will have a chance to do well this weekend, but coach Lynn knows that they will have to catch a few breaks along the way.

“If those guys do what they did to get to nationals, which is asking a lot, they will make All-American,” Lynn said.

“They have done a great job all year, and it is nice to see them get rewarded this way.”