Three tuneups this weekend for ISU men’s track and field

Trey Alessio

It’s tune-up weekend for the ISU men’s track and field team. What is it tuning up for? The Big 12 Indoor Championships. That’s been the goal from the beginning of the season and it’s finally right around the corner.

This weekend is made up of three smaller meets, including the Nebraska Tune-Up in Lincoln, Neb., the UNI-Dome Open in Cedar Falls, Iowa, and the Alex Wilson Invitational in South Bend, Ind.

Iowa State will break off into smaller squads to go to the three meets to compete with a common goal in mind: the Big 12s.

The Cyclones have been talking about it all year — getting ready for the Big 12s and all three tune-up events will serve as stepping-stones to their ultimate goal.

Iowa State may be breaking off into small teams for the meets this weekend, but the team mindset is unified throughout.

“I’m going to try to run fast for my team,” said senior Edward Kemboi. “We need to qualify and to do that, we have to run really fast. I know if I do that, my teammates will have a lot of confidence. You have to do it for your teammates.”

Kemboi said that everyone — regardless of the meet they’re going to this weekend — has the same mindset, which is run fast and qualify for the team. Kemboi will be participating in the Alex Wilson Invitational at Notre Dame.

At the Iowa State Classic, Kemboi put on a show, posting a time that ranked him on top of the list for the nation’s fastest runners. He hopes to continue to ride that momentum entering the Big 12s as well as nationals.

“We’re trying to qualify for nationals, so that’s the goal,” Kemboi said.

Kemboi also said that everybody is different when it comes to how they prepare for this tune-up weekend.

“It depends how somebody is. We have distance guys, sprints. You don’t know [what] it will be like for somebody in the 400 compared to 800,” Kemboi said. “I think right now everybody is doing what is good for the team — whatever it takes to score points for the team.”

The focus at practice hasn’t changed much. It’s still about building strength and speed. Iowa State won’t want to change much of what it’s doing with the events in which it has been excelling.

The Cyclones will split up and head to Lincoln, Neb. on Feb. 20 for the Nebraska Tune-Up, Cedar Falls, Iowa on Feb. 20 for the UNI-Dome Open and South Bend, Indiana on Feb. 21 for the Alex Wilson Invitational.