Takeaways: Track and field meets highlighted by major school record


Mikinna Kerns/Iowa State Daily

Iowa State’s Festus Lagat runs the first leg of the men’s distance medley during the last day of the Drake Relays in Des Moines on April 28, 2018. Lagat and the Cyclones finished with a time of 9:42.95.

Adarsh Tamma

The Iowa State Cyclones’ Track and Field program concluded a triple-header of weekend meets in strong fashion, with athletes producing more personal records in events across the board. With a plethora of action occurring in three different states, here are the top takeaways of the events over the weekend.

Men’s DMR sets school record

The performance of the weekend and the 2020 season so far was the men’s Distance Medley Relay taking the top spot at the Indiana Relays in a school record time of 9:28.22. Running in a highly competitive heat, the Cyclones got off to a blazing start thanks to senior Festus Lagat’s opening 1200m leg. The current holder of the nation’s best 800m and 1000m times, Lagat kept Indiana runner Matthew Schadler at bay and handed the baton off to sophomore Cebastian Gentil, who was running in his very first Distance Medley Relay.

The Miami native continued Iowa State’s lead by running his 400m leg in a blistering 47.66 seconds to stay level with Indiana sophomore Shaton Vaughn. Gentil then exchanged the Cyclones’ hopes onto senior Roshon Roomes for the 800m leg. In last week’s Cyclone Open, Roomes finished a close second to Lagat for the second fastest time in the country over 800m. In the DMR, he kept pressuring the Indiana team by turning in a 1:46.98 over the half-mile before handing the baton off to fellow senior Edwin Kurgat for the mile-long anchor.

This event was Kurgat’s first event of the calendar year after already producing a school record in the indoor 5000m December and taking home the individual crown at the NCAA Cross Country National Championships. In the DMR, Kurgat brought the Cyclones home in convincing fashion by producing a sub-four minute mile to seal an Iowa State victory.

Iowa State’s DMR performance on Friday broke the old school record set in 2015 by over three seconds, while also being the second fastest time in the nation this year. The Cyclones’ time is now the second fastest in Big 12 history and 13th fastest in NCAA history. This time also ensures that the Iowa State quartet will compete at the NCAA Indoor Championships in Albequerque, New Mexico, in March.

Sub-eight minute marks in 3000m

At the UW Invitational on Saturday, sophomore Chad Johnson produced another personal record for the Cyclone squad when he finished third overall in the 3000m in Seattle. The North Robinson, Ohio, native trailed Washington freshman Luke Houser and Gonzaga sophomore James Mwaura for a majority of the race, but the strategy paid off as he crossed the line in a time of 7:59.24. Johnson’s became only the ninth person in Iowa State history to go under eight minutes over the 3000m.

Similarly at the Indiana Relays, redshirt senior Addison Dehaven equaled his personal best in the 3000m by finishing fifth overall in a time of 7:54.83. While Dehaven first ran this time when he was at Boise State in 2018, Saturday’s performance put him at the fourth spot on the Cyclones’ all-time list. A transfer to Ames over this past summer, Dehaven was also key to the Cyclones’ men’s cross country squad fourth-place finish at the National Championships in November.

Vlahovic’s double PR performance

Sophomore hurdler and sprinter Katarina Vlahovic continued her strong start to the 2020 season by running another personal record in the 60m hurdles at the Texas Tech Invitational. The British Columbia, Canada, native already broke her career record at the Cyclone Open and improved it again in the qualifying round on Saturday by running a blazing 8.35 seconds to move on to the semifinals. While Vlahovic did not progress to the final, which was won by Miami junior in a meet record time of 7.93 seconds, she did finish 13th overall with a time of 8.38 seconds, her previous personal best.

If that was not enough, Vlahovic ran another personal record in Lubbock, Texas, when she competed in the 200m. Her time of 24.71 seconds is also now the sixth-fastest time in program history, overtaking Rebecca Williams’ time of 24.73 seconds, which she set in 2003 at the Holiday Classic.