Iowa State men’s track and field back on track with relay win at Stanford Invitational


Mike Burvee | Iowa State Daily

Derek Jones and Will Seeser competed in the 400-meter relay along with David Eldridge and Kyle Werning. They won their section during the Iowa State Classic on February 11 at the Lied Recreation Center.

Mike Burvee

It had been three weeks since the men’s 4×400-meter relay team last ran — that was back at the Indoor National Championships. During that competition, the four did something they hadn’t done prior in the season. They didn’t finish.

It was an odd occurrence as Eric Fogltanz, the Cyclones’ lead off runner, slowed up after tweaking his hamstring.

Since then the coaching staff has turned to veteran short distance runner, Derek Jones.

Jones has been the “fifth man” for the relay team, including traveling with them to Nationals as an alternate. He competed in the relay himself last season and has also been part of the open 400-meter competitions.

“I’m just thankful to be a part of that relay with those studs,” Jones said. “It should be exciting to get to see what we can accomplish this outdoor season.”

The other three relay runners in Ben Kelly, Roshon Roomes and Jaymes Dennison all competed in the open 400-meter run a day prior. The three all had quality outings including setting new personal bests in the event.

Dennison finished with the lowest time of 47.08 seconds, taking third in his section.

Jones also competed in the 400-meter hurdles, finishing in second place with a time of 52.40 seconds.

The new four were primed for their debut, and ended up winning the relay event this past weekend. Though they didn’t combine to run their fastest time this season, they were still able to come away with a victory.

The Cyclones took the lead for good after one of their competitors dropped their baton. Hosting team Stanford took second place in the event, finishing two seconds later.

“I don’t think any of us were surprised that we won,” Jones said. “We all felt pretty good and healthy at the end our competition, and that’s all we can ask for.”

During much of the indoor portion of the track season the relay team was consistent in producing quality results. The other track athletes fed off the energy produced from the team, and their event gained hype up until Nationals.

With the outdoor season just getting underway there’s plenty of time left to continue that hype.

“Anytime you go out with a win, it’s a bit of a morale boost,” Jones said. “That’s what we set out to do and it feels good having accomplished it.”

It’s unknown how much longer Fogltanz will be sidelined but Jones is up to the task in filling the role if necessary. He primarily competes in the 400-meter hurdles, but he’s been more than capable of adding the 400-meter relay to his plate.

“I’m just going to keep training as hard as I can,” Jones said. “I’ll be ready to go at Arizona State if the coaches choose,”