Three Big Takeaways: Cyclones race to historic marks at Drake Relays, Penn Relays


Tyler Coe

Iowa State after winning the Shuttle Hurdle at the Drake Relays on Apr. 29, 2023.

Owen Slinde, Sports Reporter

The Cyclones had a productive Saturday in all three meets they participated in.

The Day was highlighted by the Cyclones’ performances at the Drake Relays, where they made history again. Iowa State also saw success in the Penn Relays and the Desert Heat Classic to round out the weekend.

Cyclones nearly make history at Penn Relays

In the Penn Relays, the Iowa State men’s squad of Peter Smith, Darius Kipyego, Ezekiel Rop, and Jason Gómez ran among the most elite 4×800-meter relay field. 

Despite the stout competition, the squad raced to the second-fastest time in school history with 7:13.94. Smith led off with an opening leg of 1:48.95, then off to Kipyego with a quick split of 1:47.10. 

Rop took the baton next with another sub-1:48 split, clocking a 1:47.91. Gomez ran the anchor leg in 1:50.00 to finish third behind Ole Miss and Penn State.

Ole Miss ran a 7:12.37, setting the new No. 5-ranking time in collegiate history, knocking Iowa State’s school-record time of 7:12.57 down a slot to No. 6. 

Cyclones dominate Drake Relays on final day

At the Drake Relays, the women’s shuttle-hurdle relay team of Kaylyn Hall, Katie Ruffener, Katarina Vlahovic, and Mackenzie Carney clocked 55.97 to take first place and wave the Drake Relays Championship flag. 

The squad became the first Cyclones to win the event at Drake since 2019, where Hall and Vlahovic were also part of the winning team. The time currently ranks No. 4 in the nation.

The next title for the Cyclones came in the women’s distance medley relay. It was the first time Iowa State won the event at the relays since 2010. The squad included three freshmen and clocked in the seventh-fastest performance in program history at 11:21.50. That mark is the third fastest in the nation this season. 

The third title of the day came from Kaylyn Hall in the 100-meter hurdle final. She was the first Iowa State 100-meter hurdle Drake Relays champion. Hall posted a career time for a consecutive day, lowering it to 13.12 seconds, just .02 seconds off the program record.

Cyclones on fire at Desert Heat Classic

At the Desert Heat Classic, freshman Rachel Joseph ran to the second-fastest time in Iowa State history with 52.36. Joseph was the top collegiate finisher as she made the move from fifth to second on the Iowa State performance list. 

Cebastian Gentil entered the 800-meter run to get an NCAA West Prelims qualifying mark and completed that task. He ran a 1:48.39. That run by Gentil marks the sixth Cyclone to run a sub-1:50 time in the outdoor season.

Next up for the Cyclones is the ISU Alumni Invitational on May 6 at the Cyclone Sports Complex.