ISU women’s track, field wraps up afternoon session at day two of Drake Relays


Emily Blobaum/Iowa State Daily

Senior Alyssa Gonzalez (7) competes in the 600-meter run. She placed first with a time of 1:22.68. The Cyclones hosted the annual Big Four Classic at Lied Recreation Center on Saturday afternoon.

Allison Walters

Alyssa Gonzalez, a senior transfer from Central Connecticut State, finished her first open event competition at the Drake Relays on Friday afternoon. Last season, Gonzalez competed in the 4×400-meter relay.

That change of scenery made Gonzalez go into the meet with a different mindset than her Drake Relay debut last year with the Cyclones.

“It was different last year,” Gonzalez said. “I didn’t have as much pressure on myself. I was on a relay and had three other people with me. Mentality wise, I just had to focus in a lot more.”

On Friday, Gonzalez ran the women’s 400-meter hurdles and crossed the finish line at 1:01.47, not far from her best time of 59.23.

“The first half of my race I was doing really well,” Gonzalez said. “I was smooth and I was fast. The last 200, I kind of hit a wall.

“I’m happy with it,” she added. “I don’t get too beat up about my races. Every race that I have is going to help me for my next one. I mostly just have to learn how to put my races together the proper way.”

During her first two years, Gonzalez was a 200-meter runner and did the 100-meter hurdles.

“My coach and I kind of consider myself a sophomore in the event,” Gonzalez said. “Because last year was my first year running it, so it’s still brand new to me. Every race is a really big lesson.”

After facing her first-ever injury during the indoor season, Gonzalez had to take that season off to rehab and get back to running. Gonzalez strained her left hamstring, which is the leg she relies on to hurdle with, and was cleared to compete at the meet in Tulsa over Spring Break. 

“I’m just working on trying to build everything back from that and get back into the shape that I was in before I got hurt,” Gonzalez said. “I’ve never been injured before, so that was really tough for me to deal with.”

Fellow Cyclones Jhoanmy Luque and Christina Hillman also competed in individual events at the Drake Relays on Friday. 

Luque competed in the long jump and finished in second place overall with a best jump of 20 feet and 3.50 inches. On flight two in the women’s discus, Christina Hillman earned a fourth place finish with a best throw of 163 feet 10 inches.

The action at Drake Stadium will continue Friday night at 7:34 p.m. with the 4×800 relay.