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Iowa State Daily

Rop races to 1,500-meter finals at NCAA Outdoor Championships

Iowa+State+competes+in+the+4x1600+in+the+Drake+Relays+on+Apr.+28%2C+2023.
Tyler Coe
Iowa State competes in the 4×1600 in the Drake Relays on Apr. 28, 2023.

Iowa State started with a splash at the NCAA Outdoor Championships as Ezekiel Rop raced to a top-three finish to qualify for Friday’s 1,500-meter finals.

Rop was the first Cyclone to kick off nationals for the group, racing in the 1,500-meter semifinals.

Rop made his first appearance at nationals after a strong performance at the NCAA Outdoor Preliminaries. Rop rushed out in front of his heat to secure an automatic qualifying spot with a time of 3:49.07.

Although Rop’s impressive performance earned him a spot at nationals, it was far from his best of the season. Rop raced to a PR of 3:36.92 at the Bryan Clay Invitationals earlier in the season to set a new school record.

Rop’s record also placed him fifth nationally in terms of a season-best time. Rop had to replicate a similar speed going into Wednesday night’s race.

As Rop faced off against a tough heat, he did enter the race with just one athlete ranked above him nationally. With the top-five finishers making it to the finals and the two next fastest in terms of time, Rop just needed to show why he deserved a top-five national ranking.

Rop came out of the gates hot, hanging with the lead pack through the entire race. Rop was able to hold off athletes near him at the end, finishing in third place with a time of 3:39.77. That time was just a few seconds off his PR for the season. 

Rop’s time was also the eighth best across both heats. Rop will race again at 8:12 p.m. Friday.

The NCAA Outdoor Championships will continue Thursday with a packed schedule of Iowa State athletes looking to make strong showings. Janette Schraft will start off for the Cyclones at 8:02 p.m. in the 3,000-meter steeplechase followed by Sydney Willits in the long jump and Cailie Logue in the 10,000-meter run.

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