Kiptoo records distance double, Cyclones qualify six more to NCAA Championships


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Iowa State’s Wesley Kiptoo runs in the 5,000-meter during the Division I Men’s and Women’s Indoor Track & Field Championship on March 12 in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

Adarsh Tamma

The Iowa State track and field team wrapped up the NCAA West Prelims on a high note, as the Cyclones had six more athletes qualify for the NCAA Championships in Eugene, Oregon.

Iowa State started things off with the quarterfinals of the men’s 800m, as the Cyclones had three out of their four entries punch their tickets to the national meet. Senior Festus Lagat earned an automatic qualification spot with a second place finish in heat 1 with a time of 1:49.15. Lagat last ran at the outdoor championships in 2019, when he set a school record in this event to finish third in a time of 1:45.05.

Junior Alexander Lomong and sophomore Jason Gomez joined Lagat, as both ran fast enough times to book their spots for Eugene. In a much faster paced third heat, Lomong hung with Texas A&M senior Devin Dixon down the stretch to finish fourth in a season-best time of 1:47.69. Gomez followed close behind with a fifth place finish, setting a new personal record with a time of 1:47.82 to qualify for his first NCAA Championships. Senior Roshon Roomes placed fifth in heat 2 with a time of 1:49.61.

In the 400m hurdles, senior Eric Fogltanz punched another ticket for the Cyclones, as he will make is third consecutive trip to nationals. Fogltanz once again ran a personal best time, finishing fourth in heat 2 with a time of 50.09 seconds to secure the fastest-timed qualifier spot.

Senior David Too qualified for his first NCAA Championships in the 3000m steeplechase by recording the fastest-timed qualifier spot across the the board. In heat 3, Too was engaged in a battle for the the top three automatic qualifying spots with Montana State sophomore Duncan Hamilton and Oregon senior Jackson Mestler down the stretch. He finished in a personal best time of 8:39.64 to advance to the national stage. Freshman Gable Sieperda missed out on a qualifying spot, but did manage to produce a personal best time of 8:46.57 in heat 1 despite falling on a barrier during the last lap.

The Cyclones had one last qualifier for the national championships, as sophomore Wesley Kiptoo completed a distance double by taking the top overall spot in the 5000m. Kiptoo, who set a facility record in the 10000m on Wednesday, got back on the track to take down the facility record again in the 5K. Establishing the pace early, Kiptoo lead the pack all the way to record a wire-to-wire victory in a time of 13:42.70.

Elsewhere for the Cyclone men, the quartet of Roomes, Fogltanz and the sophomore duo of Cebastian Gentil and Gage Clay finished 18th overall in the 4x400m relay. The Iowa State contingent finished seventh in heat 2 with a time of 3:08.72.

The Iowa State women also concluded their season on Saturday, with three entries in two events. In the 3000m steeplechase, senior Abby Caldwell finished 38th overall with a time 10:39.13 in heat 3, while freshman Janette Schraft was 39th in a time of 10:42.17 in heat 2. Freshman discus thrower Emily March finished 23rd overall in the discus throw, with her best throw coming on her first attempt at a mark of 51.74 meters.

Iowa State’s qualifiers for the NCAA Outdoor Championships will compete at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon from June 9-12.