Takeaways: Iowa State men finish indoor season ranked 13th


Brad Tollefson

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

Jordan Swanson

After a hard-fought weekend, the Cyclones finish with one national champion and the No. 13-ranked team in the nation. The national title came from Wesley Kiptoo in the 5k.

Kiptoo caps off historic indoor season

Kiptoo was not just chasing the national title at the NCAA Indoor Championship, he was chasing records. The junior transfer from Colby Community College was the lead runner immediately when the race began. 

After nearly half the race, Kiptoo was alone in the front.

Kiptoo went on to cross the finish line in 13:23.77, six seconds ahead of the second-place finisher. This is a new school record, meet record and a 19-second improvement on his previous personal record.

Kiptoo has had himself quite the indoor season — setting a new school record in the 5k not once, but twice, while also running the second-best 3,000-meter time in program history.

Kiptoo also became a Big 12 Champion in the 5k in the meet before this as he went on to dominate the group.

In addition to those individual accomplishments, he was also part of the distance medley relay team that set a new school record and became the eighth-fastest time in NCAA history.

Kiptoo is Head Coach Martin Smith’s first NCAA Indoor Champion in five years and first 5k champion in nearly 30.

Gomez finishes fifth in the 800-meter

Sophomore Jason Gomez was the other individual qualifier for Smith and the Cyclones. Gomez has established himself as one of the best in program history in his first season running for Iowa State. 

The transfer from Notre Dame de Namur came into the race as the No. 3 seed. 

In the prelims, he went on to have the fastest time of the day, finishing with a mark of 1:47.65 and moving up to the No. 1 seed headed into the finals Saturday. 

In a more challenging finals race, Gomez got pushed to the back of the group early on but fought to finish fifth.

Gomez still returned to Ames with First Team All-American honors in the 800-meter run.

This marks an end to a dominating indoor season for Gomez. He put himself at the No. 2 spot in the 800-meter while also setting a new school record in the 1,000-meter run.

Just like Kiptoo, Gomez also became a Big 12 Champion in just one season competing for Iowa State. 

Distance medley relay team with some last-minute changes

Due to the fact that Kiptoo and Gomez ran their individual events earlier on in the day, they sat out the national championship title race. 

They were replaced by freshman Joe Schaefer and junior Nehemia Too. 

The new group of Cebastian Gentil, Alex Lomong, Schaefer and Too went on to take home ninth place, finishing with a time of 9:36.00. 

The group still earned Second Team All-American honors.