ISU women’s track duo provides balance to the middle

The+Cyclones+hosted+the+annual+Big+Four+Classic+at+Lied+Recreation+Center+on+Saturday+afternoon.

Emily Blobaum/Iowa State Daily

The Cyclones hosted the annual Big Four Classic at Lied Recreation Center on Saturday afternoon.

Kyle Heim

It’s going to take more than getting spiked to bring a pair of freshman ISU women’s track athletes back down to earth.

After competing in only three indoor meets for the Cyclones, Jasmine Staebler and Erinn Stenman-Fahey are already beginning to establish themselves as middle-distance leaders for the team.

The two runners picked up right where they left off from their high school track and field careers at the Holiday Inn Invitational in Lincoln, Neb., on Jan. 15.

Staebler, a seven-time Iowa high school state champion from Guttenberg, Iowa, and Stenman-Fahey, an Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, native, who finished second in the 800-meter run at the 2015 Panamerican Junior Athletics Championships, made their ISU debuts in the 1,000-meter run.

“We had been building for so long,” Staebler said. “We both redshirted for cross-country. [Once the indoor season started], it kind of was like, ‘All right, now it’s our turn.’ So we both were kind of ready to get on with track and see if the training had paid off.”

Staebler and Stenman-Fahey finished first and second, respectively, in the race, but the top-place performance came at a price for Staebler.

“I don’t remember it happening, but there was a spike mark on my leg,” Staebler said. “I must have been following too close to people and just not knowing what I was doing. Afterward, I looked down and I was bleeding, and I was like, ‘Oh man, I better get this taken care of.’”

Staebler and Stenman-Fahey also helped the Cyclones finish first in the 4×400-meter relay the next night.

They carried the moment they had built from their season debuts into the Big 4 Duals on Jan. 23, where they took first and second, respectively, in the 800-meter run.

And after avoiding spikes during her entire high school track and field career, Staebler followed a little too closely to her competitors for the second consecutive week.

“I didn’t notice during the race because you’re going on adrenaline and then you’re done and you’re like, ‘Oh, that hurts,’” Staebler said. “I had no idea how it happened. I was like, ‘Again?’”

Aside from a disappointing performance for Stenman-Fahey at the Razorback Invitational last weekend and Stabler getting spiked twice in her first two meets of the season, the two runners are pleased about the starts of their ISU careers.

“My performances have been pretty good,” Stenman-Fahey said. “They’ve been good openers. I had one really, really bad race last weekend, which I was disappointed about, but I’m really just learning from it and putting it behind me and taking away the lessons from it.”

Their coach, Andrea Grove-McDonough, has also taken notice of the middle-distance runners’ contributions.

“Our middle-distance girls are really doing great,” Grove-McDonough said. “In particular, both Erinn Stenman-Fahey and Jasmine Staebler for the most part run very well.”

Staebler and Stenman-Fahey will try to continue their strong starts to the season Friday and Saturday at the Iowa State Classic, where both runners will compete in the 800-meter run.

“I just really want to stick to a game plan,” Stenman-Fahey said. “I’m just really going to focus on making sure I’m hitting my splits and try to run a tough race.”