Cyclones look defend titles at Drake Relays


Courtesy of Luke Lu/Iowa State Athletics

The No. 14 Iowa State men celebrate their Relays Cup victory with 32 points after winning in the DMR, 4×800 and sprint medley relay across the past two days of competition.

Adarsh Tamma

As the post-season draws to a close for the Iowa State track and field team, they will enter into their largest meet of the season this week.

The Cyclones will travel to Des Moines on Wednesday to compete in the 113th edition of the Drake Relays. The Cyclones are the defending Relays Cup champions on both the men’s and women’s sides, with the men taking home the title 11 points clear of Houston last season.

Following their last competition, where a smaller contingent of athletes traveled to Iowa City for the Musco Twilight meet, the Cyclones’ team will be back in full force in Des Moines. Iowa State currently has 30 individual entries listed for the Relays in more than 20 different events.

With the NCAA West Preliminary meet set to start in less than a month, this week’s competition at the Drake Relays will be yet another golden chance for Cyclone athletes to produce qualifying marks ahead of May.

One of those athletes who already seems to be safe in the qualifying category is junior thrower Emily March, who currently sits at seventh on the NCAA’s Division I performance list for the discus throw.

March’s mark of 189 feet, two inches at the Musco Twilight last Saturday was a new season-best, as she won the competition more than 15 feet ahead of the rest of the field. The current school record holder in the event, March finished fifth in the disc last year in Des Moines, producing her best mark at 165 feet, 4 inches.

Antonella Creazzola will join March in the women’s hammer throw, her primary event. Creazzola, like March, also made the trip to Iowa City last weekend, where she finished third in the hammer.

She also set a new personal best for herself in the event earlier this month, when she threw for 193 feet, 6 inches at the Sun Angel Classic.

It will also be another chance to improve from last year for Creazzola, who enters her final meet at the Blue Oval, having finished 10th in the hammer at last year’s Relays.

On the track, the hurdling duo of Katarina Vlahovic and Kaylyn Hall will be back in action for the Iowa State women, having come off of a weekend’s rest. The pair both competed in California a couple of meets ago, producing top times and finishing in the top-five in the 100m hurdles.

Vlahovic will return in the 100m hurdles in Des Moines, while Hall takes on the 400m hurdles event. Hall will be looking to lower her PR over the 400m distance, as she produced her first sub-60 second mark at the beginning of the season at the Bobcat Invite in Texas.

For the Cyclone men, they will once again have teams entered in all four relays. This includes one team in the 4×800 squad, an event in which they are the three-time defending champions.

The Cyclones will also likely feature some newer faces in the event, with Jason Gomez being the only athlete from last year’s gold medal quartet returning this season.

Gomez is the Cyclones’ No. 1 in the individual 800m event, as his top-time of 1:47.12 is currently the eighth-best in Division I this season. Gomez ran that time en route to winning at the Sun Angel Classic, as he and teammate Darius Kipyego made it an Iowa State 1-2 in the event.

Elsewhere for the Cyclone men, freshman Nate Mueller will be making his debut in the 3000m steeplechase Thursday evening.

One of Mueller’s high marks of the season so far came at the Bryan Clay Invitational a couple of weeks ago, when he broke his personal best in the 1500m by running a time of 3:49.06 amongst a quick field.

Joining Mueller in the steeple will be sophomore Gable Sieperda, who is more than familiar with the event. Sieperda just missed out on qualifying for the NCAA Championships last season in the steeplechase, having finished 14th at the NCAA Preliminary meet despite falling in the water barrier.

Sieperda has achieved new heights in the event this season, as his last race resulted in a PR. At the Bryan Clay Invite, Sieperda lost out to Montana’s Joel Mendez, but his time of 8:43.45 put him at No. 8 on the all-time leaderboard for the Cyclones.

That performance cemented his name alongside his former teammates Wesley Kiptoo and David Too, both of whom ran their top times in the event last season. Kiptoo recorded his school-record time of 8:31.82 as part of a hat trick of distance running performances at the Big 12 Championships, as he also took gold in the 5000m and 10000m.

The full list of Iowa State entries can be seen below.

The Drake Relays are set to begin at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday with the decathlon and heptathlon, with the action continuing all throughout the week to Saturday.


800m Run: Tanner Anderson, Chase McPherson

1500m Run: Chad Johnson, Ezekiel Kibichii

5000m Run: Timothy Sindt

3000m Steeplechase: Kelvin Bungei, Nate Mueller, Gable Sieperda

4x1600m Relay: One Team

4x400m Relay: One Team

4x800m Relay: One Team

1600m Sprint Medley Relay: One Team

Distance Medley Relay: One Team

Shot Put: Kevin Sakson

Discus Throw: Kevin Sakson

Javelin Throw: Jack Vetsch

Decathlon: Zack Kraft


800m Run: Maggie Davis

5000m Run: Gracie Dickel

100m Hurdles: Katarina Vlahovic

400m Hurdles: Kaylyn Hall

4x1600m Relay: One Team

4x400m Relay: One Team

4x800m Relay: One Team

1600m Sprint Medley Relay: One Team

Distance Medley Relay: One Team

Long Jump: Sydney Willits

Discus Throw: Emily March

Hammer Throw: Antonella Creazzola, Emily March