Cyclones compete in four meets highlighted by Drake Relays


Collin Maguire/Iowa State Daily

Iowa State junior Jason Gomez (far left) competes in the men’s distance medley relay at the Drake Relays on April 30 in Des Moines, Iowa. Gomez, along with Nehemia Too, Charlie Johnson and Chad Johnson, placed eighth in the race with a time of 9:50.90. He was also part of the Cyclones’ 4x800m relay-winning team alongside Peter Smith, Cebastian Gentil and Darius Kipyego, as the quartet ran the second-fastest time in Iowa State history at 7:17.47.

Owen Slinde, Sports Reporter

Iowa State track and field has a huge week of action with four meets going through the weekend. 

Of those meets, the Drake Relays and Penn Relays highlight the slate. Iowa State will return to the Penn Relays for the first time in over 100 years. The Cyclones will also have participants in the Kip Janvrin Open and the Desert Heat Classic.

The 113th Drake Relays got underway Wednesday with multiple events. Iowa State had two athletes registered for the decathlon and five athletes registered for the heptathlon. After becoming the first athlete in program history to win the discus at the Drake Relays last year, defending champion Emily March will take part in the event once more.

“I think the biggest thing for us at the Drake Relays is for us and our athletes to show out in front of a home crowd,” director of track and field Jeremy Sudbury said. “Just getting the chance to also run in some off-distances, some different events that we don’t usually run, should be fun.” 

The Drake Relays will almost act as a home meet for the Cyclones. The event takes place in Des Moines, Iowa, which is less than an hour away from Ames.

“It’s also a chance for us to minimize the wear and tear of travel, so that’s another positive, only needing to cruise down 40 minutes,” Sudbury said.

The 4×800-meter relay team at the Penn Relays is set to start at 2:07 p.m. Saturday. Peter Smith, Ezekiel Rop, Jason Gómez, and Darius Kipyego will travel to Penn’s Franklin Field to compete in the event. The current school record at Iowa State for the 4×800 meters is 7:12.57, which is the fifth-fastest time in collegiate history.

“For us, we’ve won that event at the Drake Relays and broke multiple records there,” Sudbury said. “So for us to give our athletes, to have different competition and give them that experience is pretty cool.”

Three Cyclones will head to Tucson, Arizona, for the Desert Heat Classic hosted by the University of Arizona Saturday. Cebastian Gentil will run in the 800-meter run, while Zakiyah Amos and Rachel Joseph will participate in the 400-meter dash. The events will be held at Drachman Stadium.

“We were really deliberate and selective when picking athletes for that,” Sudbury said. “All three athletes are NCAA first-round caliber. They just haven’t had the chance to put together their type of race, so it’s an extra opportunity to get a chance to get an NCAA mark that allows them to qualify.”

The throwers will go to The Kip Janvrin Open Friday in Indianola, Iowa. Four Cyclones will throw the hammer, and one will compete in the shot put.

The Drake Relays are from Wednesday through Saturday. The Kip Janvrin Open is Friday, while events in the Desert Heat Classic and the Penn Relays are Saturday.