Men’s track and field staying positive after disappointing finish Saturday

Roshan Roomes competes in the third leg of the 400-meter relay during the Iowa State Classic on February 11 at Lied Recreational Center.

Mike Burvee

In terms of success, the Iowa State men’s track and field team continued to win events and run low times at the Iowa State Classic this past weekend.

The first day of the Classic resulted in a personal record run by Trevor Ryen in the 60 and 200-meter dashes. Both Greyson Dolezal and Sam Clausnitzer also set PR’s in the 3000-meter run.

To close out day one the long distance men took to the track, including Kevyn Hoyos, who made his season debut. Andrew Jordan also competed in the 3k race and ran a time to put him 10th all time in the ISU indoor record books for that event.

The second day of the classic focused more on short to middle distance events including the 60-meter hurdles. Though Wyatt Rhoads didn’t make it past the preliminary round, he still achieved a personal record.

“[We] had quite a few National qualifying times run from both men and women this weekend,” assistant coach Jeremy Sudbury said. “It allowed our team to compete against some of the best in the nation on our home track.”

Heading into the final event, many of the Cyclones who competed in the open 400-meter dash won their sections. Those winners included Eric Fogltanz, Roshon Roomes, Trevor Ryen and Kyle Werning. The two times by Fogltanz and Roomes put them in seventh and eighth place, respectively, on the Iowa State record books.

There was high anticipation heading into the final event of the classic, the 4X400-meter relays. In past weeks the ‘A’ relay team has been making noise and continually shaving off a second per meet.

The ‘B’ relay team for the Cyclones ran the second to last event on Saturday. The team was made up of Will Seeser, Derek Jones, David Eldridge and Werning. They compiled a time of 3:16.76, finishing first.

After seeing a victory, the crowd was even more excited to see the premiere relay team finish off the day with another dominant win.

The first leg was run by Fogltanz, who sprinted out of the gate to take the lead for the Cyclones leading into the second leg. Ben Kelly took the baton from there and continued to hold the lead for the men. That’s when it all unfolded and disaster struck.

On the handoff Roomes got tangled up with the feet of the nearby Minnesota runner and both went down. Before the handoff the Cyclones had the lead, and afterwards they were in third after Illinois and Kansas surged ahead.

“The 400 is more of a physical type of race,” Sudbury said. “It was disappointing to see Roomes fall but he popped back up and showed a lot of character and class by not letting his teammates down.”

Roomes got up and continued to sprint until the final handoff to Jaymes Dennison. Dennison, the fastest of the four, began to close the gap but there wasn’t enough track left. The relay team ended up finishing in third place.

“[It was] heartbreaking,” Dennison said. “I think I did alright after the fall and kept my cool.”

The goal coming into the meet was to run a National qualifying time, which they were set to achieve, until the fall.

“We thought this week would be the time to run a qualifying time,” Fogltanz said. “There’s a couple meets left to achieve that still.”

The Cyclones have at least one final meet before Nationals to get that qualifying time they have been aiming for. The next chance for most of the team to compete will be during the Big 12 Indoor Championship on February 24-25, which Iowa State will also be hosting.

“We had quite a few performances across the board that moved some athletes up the list in regards to Big 12 performers,” Sudbury said. “It gives us some more confidence heading into the Championship season.”