Seniors secure qualifying spots to open NCAA West Prelims

Iowa State senior Vlad Pavlenko gets ready to throw in the men’s weight throw event in the 2021 Iowa State Classic on Feb. 12 in Lied Recreation Athletic Center. 

Adarsh Tamma

The Iowa State track and field squad commenced the NCAA West Preliminary Meet on Wednesday in College Station, Texas. The Cyclones started the postseason at E.B. Cushing Stadium on the men’s side, with 12 athletes competing in six events. 

Iowa State started things off in the field events with the hammer throw, as senior Vlad Pavlenko was the first Cyclone to punch their ticket to the national championships in Eugene, Oregon. The former All-American finished seventh in his event, with his best throw coming on his third attempt with a mark of 67.53 meters, booking his second consecutive trip to nationals. Fellow senior Scott Fuchs joined Pavlenko soon after in the javelin throw, finishing third with a throw of 70.16 meters on his opening attempt.

On the track, the Cyclones continued their success in the 800 meters, as they had five entries in the first round. In heat two, senior Festus Lagat qualified for the quarterfinals in comfortable fashion, winning in a time of 1:46.99 to take the top mark over all else. Sophomore Jason Gomez joined Lagat with a runner-up finish to his teammate in a time of 1:47.93. Senior Roshon Roomes was the next Cyclone to qualify for the quarterfinals, securing an automatic spot with a third-place finish in heat three with a time of 1:48.95, while junior Alex Lomong rounded out the qualifiers by finishing runner-up in a time of 1:49.91.

Senior Daniel Nixon just missed out on a spot in the quarterfinals, finishing fifth in heat two in a time of 1:49.15. Nixon’s time was just 0.04 seconds slower than University of Iowa sophomore Tyler Olson, who took the last qualifying spot in a time of 1:49.11.

In the 400-meter hurdles, senior Eric Fogltanz punched another ticket for the Cyclones by qualifying for the quarterfinals in his event. The Manitowoc, Wisconsin, native finished fourth in his heat with a season-best time of 50.65 seconds and recorded one of the next six best times to prolong his season to Friday.

Iowa State rounded out day one with another strong outing from sophomore Wesley Kiptoo, who recorded his fourth-straight win in the 10,000 meters. The semifinal race saw Kiptoo lead the field from gun to tape, capping off a dominant victory in a facility record time of 28:50.11. His splits were nearly even, as he bookended his run with first and last lap times of 1:00.80 and 1:03.69 while remaining around 1:10 for the majority of the race.

Senior Edwin Kurgat also secured a a fourth-place finish in a time of 29:11.05, while junior Thomas Pollard ended his season in a time of 29:47.23 to finish 19th.

The Cyclones have just one event tomorrow, as senior Cailie Logue is set to run in the women’s 10,000 meters at approximately 9:10 p.m.