Cyclones qualify 10 athletes for the NCAA Championships


NCAA Photos via Getty Images

Iowa State’s Wesley Kiptoo runs in during the Division I Men’s and Women’s Indoor Track & Field Championship on March 12 in Fayetteville, Arkansas. 

Adarsh Tamma

The conclusion of the 2021 season is on the horizon for the Iowa State track and field team, as the Cyclones prepare to compete in one last meet at the NCAA Outdoor Championships. Iowa State’s contingent will consist of 10 athletes competing in eight events in Eugene, Oregon.

Junior Cailie Logue will be the lone representative for the Iowa State women at the national meet, competing in the 10,000-meter final. The Erie, Kansas, native is a 10-time Big 12 champion on both the track and cross country course, having last taken both the 5,000-meter and 10,000-meter outdoor titles at the conference meet in Manhattan, Kansas. She will be making her first trip to the outdoor championships, having qualified in the 5,000 meters for the indoor meet in 2020, which was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Logue qualified for the championships with a time of 33:46.05.

The Iowa State men had nine athletes qualify for the national meet at last week’s West Preliminary Meet in College Station, Texas. The Cyclones were recently ranked as the No. 10 team in the country by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Association’s weekly poll.

The trio of sophomore Jason Gomez, junior Alex Lomong and senior Festus Lagat are to compete in the 800-meter semifinals. Lagat will be returning to the NCAA Championships for the first time since 2019, when he broke the school record in the 800 meter by finishing third in a time of 1:45.05. Both Lomong and Gomez are first-timers at this stage of competition, as the pair each secured entry to the national meet by running the next two fastest qualifying times in 1:47.69 and 1:47.82, respectively.

Senior Eric Fogltanz will be making his third consecutive trip to the NCAA Championships in the 400-meter hurdles after having finished with the fastest qualifying time. He finished fourth in his heat but ran a school record time of 50.09 seconds to punch his ticket to the semifinals in Eugene.

In the 10,000-meter run, the Cyclones will be represented by the pair of sophomore Wesley Kiptoo and senior Edwin Kurgat. Kiptoo won semifinal at the NCAA West Regionals in a facility record time of 28:50.11, while Kurgat followed behind for a fourth-place finish with a time of 29:11.05. Kiptoo also qualified in the 5,000 meter, again winning his semifinal heat with another facility record time of 13:42.70.

For Kurgat, it will be a farewell to a collegiate career that saw him capture the 2019 NCAA Cross Country Championship, be named a two-time All-American in the outdoor 5,000 meters and win eight Big 12 titles on both the track and cross country course. Kurgat will be running in his third consecutive national meet. 

Fellow senior David Too will also be competing in his last meet for the Cyclones, as well as his first NCAA Championships. Too qualified for the 3,000-meter steeplechase semifinals by placing fourth in his quarterfinal heat with a personal best time of 8:39.64. The top-four spots in his heat were separated by just 0.96 seconds, as Too ran the fastest qualifying time to secure his entry to the national meet.

The Cyclones will be rounded out by a pair of seniors in the field events, as Scott Fuchs and Vlad Pavlenko will compete in the javelin and hammer throw, respectively. Fuchs just qualified for the West regional by finishing runner-up at the Big 12 Championships with a best throw of 72.12 meters, the second furthest in Iowa State history. He followed that up with a third-place finish at the regionals with a best throw of 70.12 meters to become the first athlete to qualify for the men’s javelin at the outdoor meet since school record holder Mike Brennan did so in 1986.

Pavlenko broke the school record in the hammer throw at the Rock Chalk Classic with a mark of 72.41 meters. The Arlington Heights, Illinois, native qualified for his second NCAA Championships by finishing seventh at the West regional with a best throw of 67.53 meters. He earned Honorable All-American honors in 2019 by finishing 17th at the national meet with a best throw of 66.39 meters.

Iowa State will compete in the NCAA Championships on June 9 through 12 at Hayward Field. The meet will be televised on the ESPN family of networks, with live stats also available.