Qualifiers announced for track and field nationals


Edwin Kurgat runs the 3,000-meter run at the Big 12 Track and Field Championships on Feb. 29 in the Lied Recreation Athletic Center. 

Adarsh Tamma

The qualifiers for the 2020 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships were announced on Tuesday night and the Iowa State program will be sending a group of its best distance runners.

The Cyclones recently hosted the Big 12 Indoor Championships at the Lied Athletic Center this past weekend, a meet in which the Cyclone men’s squad won their first Big 12 team title in school history.

For the Cyclone women, junior runner Cailie Logue will be the sole representative for Iowa State. At the Big 12 meet, the Erie, Kansas, native completed a double in the 3,000-meter and 5,000-meter runs, which were her first indoor conference titles after winning the 5,000 and 10,000-meter double at last year’s outdoor championships.

At nationals this year, Logue will only run in the 5,000, as she earned a seed time of 15:50.15 from December’s Boston University Season Opener. In that race, she ran against many of the athletes that will be in the field next week, including top seed Katie Izzo of Arkansas.

On the men’s side, the Cyclones will be sending four athletes and one relay team to the national meet.

Starting off in the 800-meter run, Iowa State will have the senior trio of Festus Lagat, Roshon Roomes and Daniel Nixon representing on their behalf.

At the Iowa State Classic, Lagat finished first in a time of 1:47.50, good enough for the second seed. Roomes sports the fifth seed with a time of 1:47.74, which he ran when finishing behind Lagat at the Cyclone Open in January.

Finally, Nixon earned his way to the national championships by running a 12th seed best time of 1:48.29 at the Texas Tech Invite.

In the long distance events, senior All-American athlete Edwin Kurgat is slated to run in both the 3,000-meter and 5,000-meter runs.

At last weekend’s conference meet, Kurgat won both of these events, while also finishing third in the mile run to earn the Big 12’s high-point award winner for scoring the most amount of points.

He qualified for each of these events in school record times, first taking the top spot in the 5,000 at the Boston University Invite back in December with a time of 13:24.04.

Kurgat then continued his strong start to his final season by running in the 3K at the prestigious Millrose Games in New York City. In that race, he finished fifth behind former Iowa State All-American Hillary Bor in a time of 7:49.19.

Finally, Iowa State will be competing in the men’s distance medley relay, with the quartet of Kurgat, Roomes, Nixon and sophomore 400-meter runner Cebastian Gentil qualifying for NCAAs by running a school record at the Indiana Relays last month.

Competing against a strong Indiana team, the Cyclones outlasted the Hoosier quartet to finish first in a time of 9:28.22, currently the fifth seed.

The NCAA Indoor National Championships will take place March 13 and 14 at the Albuquerque Convention Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The meet will be hosted by the University of New Mexico.