Cyclones set For trio Of weekend meets

Iowa State sophomore Festus Lagat opens the Distance Medley for the Cyclones at the Drake Relays. Lagat and the Cyclones finished in second place.

Adarsh Tamma

As the calendar moves on to February, so will Iowa State Track and Field’s 2020 schedule. After coming off a home meet which saw national marks set and personal bests broken, the Cyclones will branch off for this weekend’s meets.

Athletes will travel to the UW Invitational in Seattle, the Texas Tech Invitational in Lubbock, Texas, and the Indiana Relays in Bloomington, Indiana.

UW Invitational

The Cyclones will be sending a group of primarily middle and long distance runners to the UW Invitational, which will be held at the Dempsey Indoor athletic facility at the University of Washington.

First up is the Women’s 800m, in which sophomore Alexis Gourrier and freshman Janette Schraft will compete. Both runners are coming off of producing personal bests in the 600 yard run at last week’s Cyclone Open and the duo also ran for the Cyclone cross country squad in the fall. In the women’s 1 mile, the trio of Larkin Chapman, Madelynn Hill and Gwynne Wright will be representing the Cyclones.

While also having been part of the cross country squad, none of them have competed since the Larry Wieczorek Invitational on Jan. 17 and 18 in Iowa City, Iowa. In that meet, all three finished within the top ten of the 1,000m run, with Chapman placing second after losing to Wisconsin’s Madison Mooney by just 0.14 seconds.

In the 3,000m run, the Cyclones will be looking to senior Abby Caldwell and sophomore Cailie Logue. The pair were the leaders for the cross country team in the fall, with Logue finishing 15th at the National Championships in Terre Haute, Indiana. Logue finished second in the 1 mile last week, while Caldwell also finished runner up in the same event at the Larry Wieczorek Invite. Wrapping up for the Cyclone women in the 5,000m run are junior Winrose Chesang and freshmen Grace Dickel and Dana Feyen.

They have also not competed since the Larry Wieczorek Invite, where Chesang finished second with a time of 9:56.22, enough for a meet record.

Shifting over to the Cyclone men, Iowa State will be represented by sophomore Chad Johnson and seniors John Nownes and David Too. While Nownes will be making his season debut this weekend, Johnson has already competed for the Cyclones this season when he placed 11th in the mile run at the Larry Wieczorek Invite and fourth as part of the 4x400m relay team. Too competed at last week’s Cyclone open, where he finished fourth in both the 1,000m and mile runs.

Finally in the 5,000m run, the Cyclones will be looking to junior Thomas Pollard and senior Mitchell Day. While Day has not yet competed on the track this year after finishing 51st at the NCAA cross country national championships back in November, Pollard ran a personal best in the 3,000m at the Larry Wieczorek Invite, finishing third overall with a time of 8:11.03.

Indiana Relays

At the Indiana Relays, the Cyclones will have athletes in sprinting, middle and long distance events. First up is the men’s 400m dash, where the Cyclones will be represented by sophomore Cebastian Gentil. In last week’s Cyclone Open, Gentil took home first place in the 600 yard run, finishing with a personal best time of 1:10.41.

The primary event to watch at this meet will be the men’s 800m, where Iowa State will be sending seniors Festus Lagat, Roshon Roomes, Leonel Perez, freshman Joe Schaefer and junior Konner Roth. Last weekend, the tandem of Lagat and Roomes, along with fellow senior Daniel Nixon, shook up the ISU and national rankings when they all ran times good enough for top five in the nation. Lagat also has the top 1,000m time in the country, producing a 2:20.88 at the Jimmy Grant Invite in December. Along with these three, Schaefer finished sixth in last week’s 800m with a time of 1:53.06, and Roth placed second in the 1,000m to Drake’s Adam Fogg.

In the 3,000m, the Cyclones will be represented by senior Addison Dehaven. Competing as an “unattached” athlete last weekend, the Brookings, South Dakota, native placed third in the 1,000m and also nabbed the top spot in the 1 mile run with a time of 4:10.88. Transferring from Boise State this past summer, Dehaven played an integral part for the Cyclone cross country team in the fall, where they finished fourth at the NCAA National Championships.

Finally in the 4x400m relay, the Cyclone quartet will consist of the 800m trio of Lagat, Roomes and Perez, along with senior Edwin Kurgat, who will be making his season debut. Kurgat has just come off of a dominant cross country season this past fall, where he did not lose a race and became the first Cyclone since Jonah Koech in 1990 to be an individual champion at Nationals.

Texas Tech Invitational

The last meet the Cyclones will be competing in this weekend is the Texas Tech Invitational, where a group of primarily field event and sprinters will compete for Iowa State.

Starting off in the women’s field events, the athlete to watch will be junior Keiara Williams, who will be competing in both the weight throw and shot put. At the Cyclone Open last weekend, the Kansas City native threw a new PR of 17.39m in the weight throw to finish second while also winning the shot put, equaling her PR of 14.37m. Along with Williams, other athletes to watch out for are Jalaiya Bartley in the triple jump, Erika Furbeck in the long jump and Megan Durbin in the high jump.

In the sprinting and middle distance events, sophomores Katarina Vlahovic and Kaylyn Hall will be looking to continue their strong start to the season in the 60m hurdles.

At the Cyclone Open, they finished 1-2 in the event, with Vlahovic again lowering her personal best with a time of 8.38 seconds. Fellow sophomore Zakiyah Amos will be competing in the 400m, who finished first in the 600 yard run last week with a personal best of 1:23.51. Amos will also be leading off the Cyclones in the 4x400m relay, with the rest of the team being hurdler Hall and 800m runners Maggie Davis and Laurel Hoogenson.

Over on the men’s side, the duo of freshman Jack Garber and senior Mason Weh will be running in the 60m hurdles and 200m dash. The pair finished fourth and first respectively in the hurdles last weekend. In the 400m dash, the Cyclones will be represented by sophomores Gage Clay, Charlie Johnson and Nate Kennedy along with freshman Joven Nelson, who is also in the lineup for the 4x400m relay.

In last week’s meet, Johnson and Clay finished second and third respectively, running times of 49.66 and 49.99 seconds. Finally in the 800m, senior Daniel Nixon will be looking to add to his strong start to the season after running a personal best of 1:48.58 last week, enough for fifth best in the nation.

In the field events, senior Cody Durbin and sophomore Miles Rupiper will compete in the high jump. Rupiper finished first at the Cyclone Open with a personal best jump of 2.03m, while Durbin has not competed since the Jimmy Grant Invite in December where he placed first with a jump of 2.00m.

Finally in the shot put, freshman Kevin Saskon will make his Cyclone debut after moving over to Ames from Haapsalu, Estonia.