Takeaways: Iowa State defends Drake Relays Champion Cup

The No. 14 Iowa State men celebrate their Relays Cup victory with 32 points after winning in the DMR, 4×800 and sprint medley relay across the past two days of competition.

Jordan Swanson

Following the conclusion of the 111th annual Drake Relays, the men of the Iowa State track and field team were crowned the Drake Relays Champion Cup.

For the women, it was North Dakota State University that would take home the Drake Relays Champion Cup.

Iowa State men dominate

Head Coach Martin Smith had his team performing well all three days of the Drake Relays, and it showed on the podium.

The men were awarded the Drake Relays Champion Cup before Day Three of the meet was even over. 

The men would have three titles across the three days in the distance medley relay, 4×800-meter relay and the sprint medley relay. 

In the distance medley relay, it was the team comprised of Jason Gomez, Roshon Roomes, Daniel Nixon and Festus Lagat that took home first place. With an outstanding kick from senior Lagat, the team crossed the finish line in 9:42.12. 

The same four runners that ran in the distance medley relay represented the Cyclones in the 4×800-meter relay as well. 

The group set a new school record in the event, posting a mark of 7:12.57. This time was also good to break the Drake Relays record in the event that was set back in 1985 by Nebraska. 

Finally, in the sprint medley relay, the team made up of Gage Clay, Joven Nelson, Eric Foglantz and Roomes took home first place with a time of 3:22.06.

Iowa State defended its distance medley relay crown and, for the third time (1991, 2019), won both the 4×800 and DMR at the same Drake Relays.

The Cyclone men also became the first men’s squad since Kansas in 1954 to win the 4×800, DMR and SMR at the same Drake Relays.

Distance runners at Oregon Relays

Smith sent four of his best distance runners to Eugene, Oregon, to compete at the Oregon Relays on Friday. 

Starting off the day for the Cyclones was senior David Too in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. 

Quickly after the start, it was Too and a small handful of runners who broke away from the rest of the pack. With a strong push in the final lap, Too separated himself from the rest, crossing the finish line in 8:40.31.

This time is a seven-second personal best for Too and good enough to put him at the No. 4 spot all-time in Iowa State history. 

In the men’s 5,000-meter run, it was a race that was decided in the final lap. The race featured two of the best distance runners in program history, Wesley Kiptoo and Edwin Kurgat.

In the final lap, four runners led the rest of the group, two of them being Kiptoo and Kurgat. Two Oregon runners were able to edge out Kiptoo and Kurgat, as Kurgat finished third with a time of 13:20.48 and Kiptoo finished fourth with a time of 13:21.02. 

The two times by Kurgat and Kiptoo are No. 3 and No. 4, respectively, in the NCAA this season. In addition, their times are good enough to put the duo at No. 2 and No. 3 in the Iowa State record books.

Women’s team falls just short

The women of the Iowa State track and field team fell just short of a Drake Relays Champion Cup on Saturday.

The women were tied with the North Dakota State University Bison by end of the three days. However, a tiebreaker that came down to the Bison’s fifth-place finish in the women’s 4×400-meter relay would be enough for them to break the tie and take home the Champion Cup.

Despite the second-place finish overall, the women saw a number of personal records across the three-day meet. 

Junior Cailie Logue recorded a three-second personal record in the women’s 1,500-meter race. Logue posted a mark of 4:18.16 en route to finishing seventh overall. This mark is also good enough to move her up to the No. 4 spot in the Iowa State record books. 

The women’s distance medley relay team also performed well. 

The group made up of Madelyn Hill, Bria Barnes, Maggie Davis and Logue finished with a time of 11:21.33. This time is also good enough to put the group of runners at No. 6 all-time in Iowa State history.