Premier track meet is a mainstay with the Iowa State Classic


Iowa State’s Edwin Kurgat runs in the finishing stretch of the men’s distance medley relay at the Drake Relays on April 28, 2018, in Des Moines, Iowa.

Adarsh Tamma

The Iowa State Classic over the past weekend was chock-full of some the country’s best collegiate athletes. Runners, jumpers and throwers from 41 different colleges gathered at the Lied Recreation Athletic Center to showcase their talents to hundreds of spectators.

“Martin Smith, when he first got here, was really excited about trying to reinvigorate our track meet and one of the things that we thought was really important in developing and rebuilding the Iowa State program was essentially having a premier track meet that hosted and highlighted some of the best athletes in the country and essentially made Iowa State a destination for indoor track,” Sudbury said.

That was certainly the case this past weekend, as athletes recorded a host of performances that qualified them for the NCAA Indoor Championships in Albuquerque, New Mexico, in March.

Morgan Beadlescomb of Michigan State set a new meet and facility record in the men’s 5000m run, blazing to the line in 13:31.50.

The Harry Hoak Track is widely regarded as one of the fastest running surfaces in the world, having been built in 1990 as part of Lied’s initial construction.

The track is made of polyurethane, which is a polymer that is very spongy in nature. This allows athletes to almost have “bounce” when running giving them an advantage.

In the men’s 1 mile run this weekend, senior All-American Edwin Kurgat broke the Iowa State school record with a time of 3:58.62. The Eldoret, Kenya, native held off Drake freshman Adam Fogg over the homestretch to become only the sixth Cyclone in program history to break the 4-minute barrier.

After the race, Kurgat was all smiles as his teammates crowded around him, giving congratulations once again to the senior.

This is Kurgat’s fourth personal record this season, as he joined teammates Roshon Roomes, Festus Lagat and Cebastian Gentil in last week’s Indiana Relays to smash Iowa State’s distance medley relay record.

“[Head Coach Martin Smith] told me how to race,” Kurgat said. “He is a guy who plans for the race and I just think that he is a very smart coach who makes you want to be a better person each and every time.”

Despite Kurgat’s success, some relay teams — specifically the 4×400 meter relay — saw some troubles over the weekend. For Iowa State, senior Roshon Roomes took the baton on the second leg and continued the Cyclones’ pursuit for the top spot.

The relay then progressed to the third leg, but the Cyclones did not end up finishing the race, with sophomore Charlie Johnson being disqualified.

“I still don’t know what happened,” Roomes said. “One moment, I was passing the baton off, the next, [Johnson] was off of the track. I just hope he’s alright.”

Roomes already holds the NCAA record for the indoor 600 yard run, with a time of 1:06.67 at last year’s Big 12 Championships.