Cyclone Track and Field Prepares For Larry Wieczorek Invitational


Jack MacDonald/Iowa State Daily

Iowa State’s Larkin Chapman prepares to open the 4×400 at the Drake Relays. Chapman and the Cyclones took first place with a time of 8:36.51.

Adarsh Tamma

The Iowa State Track and Field program will be back in action on Friday and Saturday after a month long rest over the winter holidays. The Cyclones will travel to Iowa City, Iowa, and compete against six other teams in the Larry Wieczorek Invitational.

For the Cyclones, this meet will serve as a springboard into the new year and remainder of the schedule, which will culminate in June at the NCAA Outdoor Championships in Austin, Texas. Iowa State will be sending a combined 49 athletes and relay teams for the men’s and women’s squads on Friday.

On the women’s side, the Cyclones will be looking to gain some much needed experience against major competition as the indoor season will start to heat up. In the sprints, look to freshman Bria Barnes and sophomore Katarina Vlahovic in the 200m, while fellow sophomore Zakiyah Amos and junior Laurel Hoogenson are set to run in the 400m and 600m dashes respectively.

In the distance category, many of the Cyclone women’s cross country runners from the fall are ready to compete again. In the 800m run, senior Gwynne Wright will return to the track. The Packwood, Iowa, native ran in all but one of Iowa State’s races this past fall as the Cyclones retained their Big 12 Conference Crown. The 1,000m run will see Wright competing again, along with fellow cross country teammates Larkin Chapman, Alexis Gourrier, Madelynn Hill and Janette Schraft. Wright will finish up her meet by running in the 1 mile race along with fellow senior Abby Caldwell. The Cyclones will be also be sending athletes in the 3,000m, 60m hurdles, and 4x400m relay.

In the field events, the Cyclones will be looking to junior Keiara Williams in both the shot put and hammer throw to score some points. The Kansas City native achieved indoor personal bests in both events in December at the Jimmy Grant Invitational in Iowa City. In other field events, the Cyclones will be looking to sophomores Megan Durbin in the high jump and Erika Furbeck in the long jump.

Over on the men’s team, the Cyclones will be looking to defend their new national ranking of #12 in the nation. The U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches’ Association released their annual preseason rankings for the indoor season last Thursday.

In the sprinting events, the Cyclones will be looking to the sophomore tandem of Gage Clay and Nate Kennedy in the 200m dash. The pair finished 8th and 9th respectively in this event at the Jimmy Grant Invitational back in December. The Cyclones will also send athletes in the 400m and 600m races, with sophomore Charlie Johnson and senior pair Daniel Nixon and Roshon Roomes in these respective events.

In the distance events, the athlete to watch will be senior runner Festus Lagat as he is set to race in the 1 mile run. The Eldoret, Kenya, native had a career day back in December, running a school record in the 1,000m with a time of 2:20.88.

In other distance events, the Cyclones will see many of the same runners who competed in the cross country season. This will include junior Thomas Pollard in 3,000m and the sophomore pair of Milo Greder and Chad Johnson joining Lagat in the 1,000m.

Rounding out the running events, the Cyclones are entering two teams to run in the 4x400m relay and also the freshman Jack Garber and senior Mason Weh in the 60m hurdles.

The Larry Wieczorek Invitational will begin 10 a.m. on Friday with the men’s weight throw the first event on the slate. The running events are set to start later in the day at 5:15 p.m. On Saturday, the action will resume, as the women’s pole vault is first up at noon, with the running events starting at 1:30 p.m. Admission to the meet is free.

Teams Competing:

1. Iowa State

2. Iowa

3. Illinois

4. Minnesota

5. Arizona

6. Baylor

7. Purdue

8. Wisconsin