Iowa State sends small group of long-distance runners to weekend event


By Kyle Heim [email protected]

Iowa State distance runner Dan Curts leads the pack in the 1,000-meter run at the Hawkeye Invite on Jan. 14. 

Mike Burvee

A handful of Iowa State men’s track members will travel to Penn State this weekend for the PSU National Open. Events will start at 9:30 a.m. Saturday in University Park, Pennsylvania.

There are no true off weeks in college sports, but most of the track and field athletes will take a breather this weekend. Long-distance competitors Toby Hardwick, Zach Black, Christian Delago and Dan Curts will represent Iowa State in events such as the 1,000-meter run, mile and 3,000-meter run. This will be Delago’s first competition this season.

“Curts and Hardwick have been running distances shorter than they’re accustomed to,” assistant coach Jeremy Sudbury said. “The experience they’ve got will benefit them this weekend.”

In addition, Jaymes Dennison will be competing this weekend in Iowa City at the Black and Gold Premier. He will compete in the 400-meter dash, which will begin at 5:40 p.m. Saturday. 

When looking ahead at the schedule, these next two weeks are all that’s left before the last leg of the indoor season. Derek Jones knows how important it will be to stay healthy and focused.

“This is really our last hard week of the indoor season, and my last hard week overall,” Jones said. “We will practice hard and treat this weekend no different than we would any other meet.”

After two meets, there is one conclusion so far, the 4×400-relay team is the real deal. After two straight wins and moving its way up the Cyclones’ record book, more eyes are on the four.

“It’s crazy, exciting and motivating to see these guys compete on such a high level,” Jones said. “I’ve never been on a team as deep as this one.”

Some other notable athletes to watch are Dennison and Roshon Roomes, a junior and freshman, respectively.

Both men are part of the relay team, but they also have been making noise in the 600-meter run.

“Dennison is currently ranked third in the nation,” Sudbury said. “This is Roomes’ first year running the 600, but the time he’s run so far has him ranked No. 11 in the nation.”

There has been success on many fronts for the men’s team so far this year, and the Cyclones will continue to build on and improve what they’ve accomplished.

The men have two weeks before hosting the Iowa State Classic, where they will showcase their talents on the home track.