Distance runners, throwers open Cyclones’ outdoor season


Brad Tollefson/Big 12

Texas Tech’s Marco Vilca and Iowa State’s Cebastian Gentil run in the 600-yard run during the 2021 Big 12 Indoor Track & Field Championship on Feb. 26 in Lubbock, Texas. (Brad Tollefson/Big 12 Conference)

Adarsh Tamma

The Iowa State track and field squads will spread over three different meets this week to commence the outdoor season, with Cyclone athletes competing at the Texas Relays, Raleigh Relays and Bobcat Invitational.

At the 94th edition of the Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays in Austin, the Cyclones will send just two athletes, as throwers Kevin Sakson and Emily March are set to compete in the discus throw and shot put.

Sakson, a sophomore from Haapsalu, Estonia, will participate in both the shot and discus double. He is coming off of an indoor season that saw him place sixth in the shot at the Big 12 Indoor Championships in February and took part in five meets for the Cyclones. At the conference meet, he broke his personal best in the shot put at the conference meet with a mark of 59-10 1/2 inches, which was good for the fifth-best throw in program history.

March comes into the 2022 outdoor season as the current school record holder in the discus throw. The Livermore, Calif., native shattered the previous mark by nearly 15 feet at the Rock Chalk Classic last season with a throw of 191-2. She also finished 16th overall in the weight throw at the Big 12 Championships, producing a best mark of 54-7 1/4.

North Carolina State’s hosting of the Raleigh Relays will see 24 total entries for the Cyclones, with athletes primarily competing in the middle to long-distance events.

Iowa State will be highlighted on the men’s side by senior David Thompson, junior Joe Schaeffer and sophomore Cebastian Gentil across the middle distance events. All three runners will join Tanner Anderson to form the Cyclones’ 4x400m quartet.

Schaeffer will be going for a middle-distance double by taking part in the 800m and 1500m runs. He also earned a spot on the program’s all-time leaderboard in last year’s outdoor season, when he helped clock the eight-best 4x800m time in school history.

Schaefer, along with Alex Lamong, Nehemia Too and David Thompson, clocked in a time of 7 minutes, 23.41 seconds at the 2021 Drake Relays, good enough to place sixth, and behind the school record-breaking quartet of Jason Gomez, Daniel Nixon, Roshon Roomes and Festus Lagat, who recorded a time of 7:12.57.

Schaefer will be joined in both the 800m and 1500m by Thompson, who ran a personal record in the half-mile event at last season’s Hayward Premiere. Thompson clocked a time of 1:51.24 to place eighth overall behind teammate Alex Lomong, who finished fifth in 1:51.02. That race also included runner-up Cooper Teare of Oregon, who would go on to take the 5000m title at the NCAA Championships in June.

Gentil will also run in the 400m, an event in which he broke a personal best last season by clocking a time of 47.88 seconds at the Blue Oval Invitational.

The Iowa State women have multiple entries listed in the 1500m, 5000m, 10000m and 3000m steeplechase events, with a team-leading four athletes set to run in the 10K.

The Cyclones will be led in that event by senior Winrose Chesang, who ranked among the team’s top five performers in both the 3000m and 5000m during the indoor season. Chesang finished seventh in the 5K at the Big 12 indoors, placing as third-best Cyclone in the event behind Dana Feyen in third and Cailie Logue in first. Feyen will join Chesang in the 10K at the Raleigh Relays to start the outdoor season.

Iowa State will also be highlighted in the women’s events by Janette Schraft and Madelynn Hill in the steeplechase, with both runners earning points for the Cyclone women in the Big 12 indoor championships. Schraft placed sixth in the 1000m run, while Hill was part of Iowa State’s seventh-place distance medley relay quartet.

Iowa State’s entries for the Bobcat Invitational have not yet been announced.

The Texas Relays will kick off March 23, with the Bobcat Invitational and Raleigh Relays set to commence March 24. All three meets will have live updates for every event and can be accessed on the team’s athletics website page.

Texas Relays:

Kevin Sakson – Men’s Discus and Shot Put

Emily March – Women’s Discus

Raleigh Relays:

Women’s 1500m Run – Riley Beach, Maggie Davis, Bella Heikes

Women’s 5000m Run – Taylor Briggs, Sarah Murrow Ashley Tutt

Women’s 10000m Run – Winrose Chesang, Brenna Cohoon, Grace Dickel, Dana Feyen

Women’s 3000m Steeplechase – Madelynn Hill, Janette Schraft

Men’s 400m Dash – Tanner Anderson, Cebastian Gentil, Peter Smith

Men’s 800m Run – Joe Schaefer, Timothy Sindt, David Thompson

Men’s 1500m Run – Chad Johnson, Joe Schaefer, Timothy Sindt, David Thompson

Men’s 5000m Run – Nate Mueller

Men’s 4x400m Relay – Cebastian Gentil, Tanner Anderson, David Thompson, Joe Schaefer