Iowa State Classic provides distance-friendly meet for ISU women’s track and field

Kyle Heim

The Iowa State Classic is a distance-friendly meet for the ISU women’s track and field team for two reasons. First, it is in the team’s backyard and second, it plays to one of the team’s greatest strengths — distance running.

The 24th annual event features some of the top athletes across the country. It will also host more than 40 teams. 

There will be six high-performance events at the meet, including the 800-meter, mile, 3000-meter, 5000-meter, distance medley relay and the 4×400-meter. The events are designed to provide runners the opportunity to earn qualifying times for indoor nationals.

The ISU women’s track and field team has a vey deep distance squad and there will be little shortage of cardinal and gold on display during those events.

One of the events the Cyclones have circled on their calendars is the 3000-meter run. Redshirt senior Katy Moen will be racing in the event along with premier runners from around the country. Moen ran a 9:10.76 time in the event at the Razorback Invitational on Jan. 31, which ranks as the seventh fastest time in the country and fourth fastest in the ISU record books.  

“I feel like I have more room to improve and that’s exciting,” Moen said. “I think the [Razorback Invitational] went pretty well … it was a good start, but [I’m] looking forward to the Classic.”

Graduate student Margaret Connelly will compete in her second event of the season after running her first at the Razorback Team Invitational. That invitational included Connelly’s first track race back since her sophomore outdoor season.

Connelly ran with Moen in the 3000-meter run invitational, posting the eighth fastest time in school history with a 9:20.84 time.

“I’m hoping to get a qualifying time for indoor nationals,” Connelly said. I think I can push the envelope at the Classic.”

Connelly will be competing in the 5000-meter on day one of the Classic.

In the sprint events, senior Kendra White will attempt another strong performance in the 400-meter. At the Big 4 Duals on Jan. 24, White finished first in the event with a time of 54.31. It was her second title in the 400-meter this season after taking first at the Holiday Inn Invitational on Jan. 17. 

“I haven’t really had too much competition in my open 400s yet, but at the Classic, there should be a lot to hopefully get me down to a 53, and get that school record again,” White said.

In the field events, freshman Jhoanmy Luque will compete in the long jump and triple jump. Luque has stamped her name multiple times in the ISU record books with top-10 performances in the 60-meter dash, long jump and triple jump. 

After setting seven meet records, the 2014 Iowa State Classic set the stage for another record-breaking event in 2015.