Iowa State prepares to run in the NCAA Indoor Championships

Iowa State’s Wesley Kiptoo runs in the 3,000-meter run event during the 2021 Big 12 Indoor Track & Field Championship on Feb. 27 in Lubbock, Texas.

Jordan Swanson

The men of the Iowa State track and field team are coming into the NCAA Indoor Championship this weekend as the No. 12-ranked team in the country prepares to take home some hardware.

The Cyclones will have three entries Friday: the open 800 meter, 5,000 meters and distance medley relay. 

Starting off the day for Head Coach Martin Smith’s team is Jason Gomez in the open 800-meter run. Gomez has quickly made his mark for Iowa State in his first season competing for Smith.

The sophomore transfer from Notre Dame de Namur has his name all over the Iowa State record books. He currently ranks No. 2 within the program in the 800-meter with his performance at the Cyclone Invite. There, he won the race with a personal best time of 1:47.02. 

Then, at the Iowa State Classic, Gomez would set a new school record in the 1,000-meter run with a time of 2:19.11.

Gomez was also the lead runner for the Iowa State DMR team that set a new school record and placed Iowa State as No. 8 all time in the event. 

Finally, in his most recent race, Gomez became a Big 12 Champion in the 800 meter. In a race that went down to the wire, he would edge out the second-place finisher by .01 seconds, finishing with a time of 1:48.48.

The 800-meter run will kick off at 2:55 p.m. Friday. Gomez will be in heat one and is the No. 3 seed behind Texas Tech’s Takieddine Hedeilli and Oregon’s Charlie Hunter. 

The second entry for Smith is Wesley Kiptoo in the 5,000-meter run. Like Gomez, this is Kiptoo’s first season running for the Cyclones on the track. But his impact has already been felt this indoor season.

Earlier in the season, Kiptoo was also a part of the historic DMR team that set a new school record.

A day later at the Razorback Invitational, Kiptoo set a new school record in the 3,000-meters. There, he would finish first with a time of 7:48.36.

Kiptoo is coming off his first Big 12 Championship. He finished first in the 5k with a time of 13.42.52. This mark is also good enough to put him at No. 3 all time in the program behind Iowa State legends Edwin Kurgat and Jonah Koech.

The 5k will begin at 3:05 p.m., and Kiptoo is the No. 1 seed coming into the race after his performance at the Big 12 Indoor Championships.

The final entry for Smith is in the DMR. The group will be comprised of Gomez, Kiptoo, Cebastian Gentil and Alex Lomong. Joe Schaefer and Nehemia Too will also be traveling with the team as alternates as Gomez and Kiptoo are competing in individual events earlier on in the day.

This is the same team that raced earlier on in the season at the Razorback Invitational. There, this team finished with a time of 9:28.20 while finishing second behind Oregon, who went on to set a new collegiate record in the DMR with a time of 9:19.42.

Iowa State still set a new school record in the DMR while also placing themselves at No. 8 all time in the event. 

The DMR will start at 3:45 p.m., and it is no surprise the Cyclones are the No. 2 seed behind the Oregon Ducks.