Five Cyclones ready to compete at NCAA Outdoor Championships


Tyler Coe

Iowa State dominates the 4×1600 at the Drake Relays on Apr. 28, 2023.

Christian Royston, Sports Editor

The NCAA Outdoor Championships are quickly approaching, and Iowa State has five qualifiers ready to compete in six events.

The NCAA Outdoor Championships will begin Wednesday and go through Saturday.

Out of the 28 Cyclone athletes that competed in the NCAA West Preliminaries, four women and one man earned trips to Austin, Texas, for nationals. Although many Cyclone careers ended at the preliminaries, it was an overall dominant outing for many athletes as PRs fell and names moved up on the school leaderboards.

The first two athletes to earn trips to nationals were Sydney Willits and Cailie Logue. 

Willits started off hot in the long jump, punching her ticket to nationals on her first attempt with a mark of 6.42 meters. The jump was good enough to earn her fourth place in the event and move her up from fifth to third all-time in Iowa State history. Willits is also the first national qualifier in the event since 2018 when Jhoanmy Luque punched her ticket.

Logue followed Willits by punching a ticket of her own. Logue found herself in sixth place in the 10,000-meter run after finishing in 32:37.13. 

There was little doubt that Logue wouldn’t make it to nationals as she stuck with the top-12 runners through the majority of the race. Logue will be competing in the second nationals of her career.

Another 10K runner found herself cracking the top-10 leaderboard on the same day as Logue, as Dana Feyen finished with a 33:04.82 PR. Feyen was just three spots off qualifying for nationals.

The next day of competition brought success for some Iowa State men. Ezekiel Rop continued his dominance in the 1,500-meter race as he finished atop his heat in the finals. Rop raced to a time of 3:49.07 to place 13th overall in the event. 

Gable Sieperda came up just short of a nationals trip, finishing in 14th place in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. Sieperda broke his PR with a time of 8:38.96 to move up to fifth all-time in Iowa State history. In the end, he was just four seconds from continuing his season.

The final day of the West Preliminaries was the most eventful for Iowa State as three athletes punched tickets to the Outdoor Championships. 

To no one’s surprise, Emily March was the first Cyclone to earn a trip to nationals with another dominant performance in the discus event. March finished in fifth place with a throw of 55.37 meters, earning her spot at nationals for the second-straight year.

Janette Schraft was the next Cyclone to make history as she punched her ticket to nationals in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. Schraft needed to finish well in her heat to make it to the Championships after finishing just short the year prior.

Schraft gave everything she had into the last stretch of the race to pass two runners at the end, clocking a 10:02.55. Her efforts were enough to snatch the last automatic qualifying spot. Schraft is the first woman to ever qualify for nationals in the event in Iowa State history.

The last Cyclone to qualify for a spot at nationals was an athlete who already punched her ticket in another event. Logue finished her competition strong by qualifying in the 5,000-meter run.

Logue earned a spot in the 10,000-meter run just two days before earning another spot. Logue automatically qualified by finishing third in her heat with a time of 15:36.50. Although Logue has plenty of success in long-distance races over her career, it will be the first time she has raced at the NCAA Outdoor Championships.

The NCAA Outdoor Championships is set to begin Wednesday with various men’s events. Rop will be the first Cyclone to compete, as he is set to race in the 1,500 meters at 6:46 p.m. If Rop makes it to the finals in the event, he will compete Friday night.

Three Cyclones will compete Thursday, with Schraft and Willits starting off the night with the 3,000-meter steeplechase and long jump, respectively. Logue will finish out the night of competition with the 10,000-meter run.

The Cyclones will finish the Championships Saturday. March will start the day with discus, followed by Schraft in the 3,000-meter steeplechase if she makes it to the finals. Logue will close out competition for the Cyclones by competing in the 5,000-meter run Saturday night.Live stats for all events can be found here.