Luque, Staebler advance to NCAA Championships

Iowa State’s Jhoanmy Luque competes in the triple jump during the last day of the Drake Relays in Des Moines on April 28, 2018. Luque won with a personal record of 44 feet-11 inches.   of the Drake Relays April 28.

Spencer Suckow

Eleven members of the Iowa State women’s track and field team competed at the NCAA West Prelims in Sacramento, Calif., this past weekend.

When it was all said and done, two of those Cyclones punched their ticket to the NCAA Championships in Eugene, Ore., next week.

Senior Johanmy Luque and junior Jasmine Staebler, each no stranger to advancing to Eugene, once again earned spots in their respective fields with some impressive performances this weekend.

For Luque, this year will mark her fourth-straight NCAA Championships appearance, while Staebler advances for the second-straight year.

Luque was the first Cyclone, man or woman, to qualify for the championships this weekend with her performance in the long jump Thursday. Luque finished seventh with a wind-aided jump of 20-feet, one-inch, which she earned on her first jump of the night.

Two days later, Luque also earned the right to compete in the triple jump at nationals with a fifth-place finish in that event.

Luque had a best jump of 43 feet, 7-and-3/4-inches, which makes it the third- straight year that Luque will compete in two events at the outdoor nationals.

Luque will be looking to close out her Iowa State career with first-team All-America honors for the third-straight year.

On the track, Staebler set a personal best in the 800-meter dash en route to her second straight appearance at the outdoor nationals. Staebler finished with a time of 2:03.71, which was good for seventh place in her event and automatically qualified her for nationals.

Staebler’s finish is made even more impressive by the fact that her heat featured four first-team All-Americans. Her PR of 2:03.71 also now ranks as the fourth-best mark in Iowa State history for the women’s 800-meter dash.

The Cyclones also got some notable performances throughout the weekend from athletes who didn’t advance to the NCAA Championships.

Starting on Thursday, freshman Essence Henderson capped off a solid first season with a new PR in the shot put. Henderson had a career-best throw of 52 feet on her second throw.

While that throw briefly put her in the lead, the rest of the field eventually caught up to Henderson and knocked her down to 18th place by the end of the event.

Friday saw junior Kelly Naumann make history when she broke Iowa State’s school record in the 3,000-meter steeplechase.

Naumann finished with a time of 10:13.50, giving her a 21st-place finish and ending her season on a high note.

On Saturday, two of Iowa State’s freshmen distance runners capped off their own solid debut seasons.

Not only did Cailie Logue and Amanda Vestri each set new PRs with their performances in the 5,000-meter dash, but each also earned spots in Iowa State’s all-time top 10 for the event.

In fact, Logue’s time of 15:59.91 is only the seventh time in Iowa State history that someone finished the 5K in under 16 minutes. Vestri, meanwhile, is now 10th in Iowa State history with her time of 16:10.63.

Finally, Christabel Okeke wrapped up her college track and field career on Saturday by setting a new PR in the hammer throw.

The PR came on Okeke’s first throw, which went 190-feet, 10-inches and gave her the eighth-best mark in the event in Cyclone history. Okeke ultimately finished in 26th place on the day, putting a bow on her two years at Iowa State.

Luque and Staebler will be in action next week when the NCAA Championships begin on Wednesday, June 6. Coverage of the championships will be on the ESPN family of networks.