Personal, school records highlight first day of track meet


Mikinna Kerns/Iowa State Daily

Iowa State’s Edwin Kurgat runs in the men’s distance medley during the last day of the Drake Relays in Des Moines on April 28, 2018. Kurgat and the Cyclones finished in second place.

Adarsh Tamma

The first day of a trio of weekend track meets went well for the Iowa State Cyclones as athletes competing in the three meets held across the country achieved both personal, and in one case, school best marks.

Indiana Relays

The event of the day, and quite frankly the season so far, occurred at the Indiana Relays held at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana. The only event for the Cyclones on Friday was on the track with the Men’s Distance Medley Relay.

The No. 20 Iowa State men continued its strong start to the year by running a school record time of 9:28.22. This mark is also now the second-best time in the country behind the Oregon quartet, who ran 9:24.52 at the Razorback Invitational earlier on Friday, while also being the 13th fastest time in NCAA history.

The Cyclone lineup was led off by senior Festus Lagat in the 1,200m, who ran a leg time of 2:53.84. Lagat also holds the best indoor times for both the 1,000m and 800m runs this season, the latter of which he ran at the Cyclone Open.

The Cyclone lead was pushed further by sophomore Cebastian Gentil’s 400m leg in 47.66 seconds. The baton was then passed over to senior Roshon Roomes for his 800m leg. Roomes ran a time of 1:46.98 before handing the baton over to fellow senior Edwin Kurgat for the 1,600m anchor leg.

Kurgat last competed at the BU Invitational back in December when he ran the second fastest indoor 5,000m time in the nation with a time of 13:24.04. In the DMR, Kurgat brought the Cyclone quartet home in strong fashion, running the mile in 3:59.76, sealing Iowa State’s strong debut at the Indiana Relays.

UW Invitational

The UW Invitational, held at the University of Washington in Seattle, continued Iowa State’s up-tempo start to this weekend’s meets. The Cyclones had athletes competing in only the men’s and women’s 5,000m runs, but produced a string of promising performances.

In the women’s race, the Iowa State women were led by recent Iowa Central Community College transfer Winrose Chesang, who made her 5K debut. The Nanyuki, Kenya, native ran in a fast-paced heat, spending a majority of the race running alongside BYU senior Haley Johnston, who edged out Chesang down the stretch to win her heat in 16:42.34.

Chesang finished with a time of 16:45.24, enough for 14th best overall. Along with Chesang, freshmen Grace Dickel and Dana Feyen also made their 5K debuts for the Cyclones, finishing with times of 17:09.60 and 17:10.14 respectively.

In the men’s race, the Cyclones had senior Mitchell Day and junior Thomas Pollard competing for them. The pair of distance runners both finished in the top overall with each of them also running personal bests.

In the second heat, Day slowly pulled away from the rest of the field as the race progressed, finishing a full ten seconds clear of the next runner in a time of 14:11.26. In the third heat, Pollard ran in a more competitive race, edging out U.S. Army World Class Athlete Program runner Michael Jordan with a time of 14:02.39, which was 0.09 seconds faster that his outdoor best in this event, which he set in 2017.

The time was also enough to give Pollard the first overall ranking, while Day finished fifth overall.

Texas Tech Invitational

Last but not least, Iowa State track and field athletes competed at the Texas Tech Invitational in Lubbock, Texas.

In Friday’s events, the Cyclones’ performances were highlighted by the sophomore hurdling pair of Katarina Vlahovic and Kaylyn Hall. While neither reached the final, Vlahovic continued her strong start to the 2020 season, lowering her personal best again in the preliminary round with a time of 8.35 seconds, with Hall finishing with a time of 8.52 seconds.

In the semifinals, Vlahovic produced another fast effort with a time of 8.38 seconds, enough for 13th overall. In the men’s 60m hurdles, senior Mason Weh also had a strong outing, running all the way to the finals, where he finished fifth with a time of 7.93 seconds.

Elsewhere on the track, sophomore Zakiyah Amos competed for the Cyclones in the women’s 400m. The Houston native ran in the sixth heat against UNLV sophomores Amari Prude and Alexis Surrell. In the race, Amos continued to show her stable start to the new year, edging out her fellow competitors to win in a time of 55.36 seconds. This time was good enough for 13th overall and moved Amos to the sixth spot on Iowa State’s all time list.

Finally in the field events, fellow sophomore Keiara Williams finished seventh overal in the weight throwl with a toss of 17.32m on her last throw. Williams’ teammate, junior Antonella Creazzola, made her Cyclone debut after transferring from ASA College in Miami earlier this year. The Barquisimeto, Venezuela, native finished eighth overall in the same event with a throw of 16.43m on her second attempt.