Three Big Takeaways: More PRs fall for Cyclones on closing day


Chad Johnson competes in the men’s distance medley event in the Big 12 Indoor Track and Field Championships on Feb. 25 at Lied Recreation Center.

Adarsh Tamma

The Iowa State track and field squad closed out its opening weekend of the outdoor season on Saturday with Cyclone athletes wrapping up competition at both the Bobcat Invitational and Raleigh Relays.

Compared to their first two days of competition which included a wide variety of distance races, the Cyclones’ track program consisted of much shorter races on Saturday in primarily the 400m and 800m finals. Throwers Kevin Sakson and Jonathan Gannon also closed out their opening meets at the Bobcat Invite by competing in the men’s shot put.

Iowa State’s performances in the running events were highlighted by another round of personal records being knocked down, as three athletes made their mark on the 2022 outdoor season by recording top times.

Johnson bounces back in 800m

Another personal record fell for the Cyclones on Saturday afternoon by junior Chad Johnson, who broke his 800m PB with a time of 1:53.77 to finish fourth in his heat at the Raleigh Relays.

Johnson was the fastest finisher in the men’s 1500m on Thursday, when he recorded a time of 3:42.40 to place seventh in the second-fastest heat of the day. That mark was also good enough for 15th overall for Johnson, who competed at the longer distances of 3000m and 5000m during the indoor season.

Just like he did in his 1500m race, Johnson started out his race in last place and came through the bell lap in a time of 56.63 seconds. Over the final 400 meters, Johnson accelerated past over half of the field to cross the line with a split time of 57.15 seconds.

Johnson just missed out on a third-place finish, as he was beaten out at the tape by George Mason sophomore Joseph Queen. Queen claimed the bronze medal spot by crossing the line 0.14 seconds ahead of Johnson, despite recording a slower final lap time at 57.62 seconds.

Saturday’s performance saw Johnson break a four year-old personal best in the outdoor 800m, posting a time of 1:57.58 during the 2018 outdoor season. Three other Cyclone athletes finished behind Johnson in the overall standings, as Joe Schaeffer (1:54.24), David Thompson (1:55.15) and Timothy Sindt (1:56.93) all finished either eighth or ninth in their respective heats.

Hall claims another hurdling PR

Just a day after she recorded a first place finish and personal best time of 59.32 seconds in the women’s 400m hurdles, Kaylyn Hall put her name on the Cyclones’ all-time leaderboard in the 100m hurdles at the Bobcat Invite.

Hall, who finished second in the 60m hurdles at this year’s Big 12 Indoor Championships, made another strong start out of the blocks in the first heat of the day. At the tape, she missed out on first place to Wisconsin’s Destiny Huven, who took the gold in a  time of 13.16 seconds. Huven is the first Badger athlete to win a Big Ten title in the 100m hurdles, an accomplishment she achieved last season which she accomplished by breaking her own school record with a time of 13.02 seconds in the final.

Hall’s time of 13.34 seconds broke her previous best by nearly 0.20 seconds, when she ran 13.60 at last season’s Big 12 Championships. The performance also placed Hall at third all-time in Iowa State history, as she now trails only Rebecca Willliams (13.31) and Keira Christie-Galloway (13.10). Both Williams and Christie-Galloway qualified for the NCAA Championships during their collegiate careers, with Christie-Galloway also recording her top time in a gold medal performance at the 2019 conference meet.

Barnes claims silver in 400m battle

Bria Barnes continued her strong showing from the indoor season at the Bobcat Invitational, as she closed out Iowa State’s opening weekend by recording a collegiate-best time in the women’s 400m finals.

Barnes is no stranger when it comes to the one-lap race, as she has regularly competed in the 400m hurdles for Iowa State during her past two outdoor seasons. The Elkins Park, Pa., native finished third in the 400m event at the Iowa State Classic in February, where she posted a time of 54.74 seconds.

In her heat, Barnes’ primary competition came from Wisconsin senior Biana Stubler, who like Barnes, also competes in the 400m hurdles. Stubler was named a second team All-American by the NCAA last season when she placed 13th at the outdoor national finals, and was also invited to compete in the U.S. Olympic Trials a couple of weeks later. At the Trials, she finished 17th overall with a time of 57.90 seconds.

In the end, Stubler’s pace proved to be too much for Barnes, as the Badger athlete crossed the line first in a time of 53.42 seconds. Stubler’s time smashed her previous best by over a second, and she owns the second fastest mark in program history.

Barnes’ time of 54.40 seconds was also a personal best, as she improved her previous top time by 0.30 seconds from the indoor season. The performance also moved her up to seventh on the ISU leaderboard, taking over Kim Whitehead’s time of 54.41 seconds from the 1980 Big 8 Championships. Barnes also ran the fastest time by a Cyclone athlete since 2015, with that mark coming from Kendra White (52.40) at the season’s NCAA West Preliminaries.

Iowa State returns to competition on April 1 and 2, when they will travel out to the West Coast for the 48th running of the Stanford Relays.