Runners use in-state meet as conference preparation

Trey Alessio

Iowa, Northern Iowa, Drake and Iowa State are running together at the same track meet, which might sound like a rivalry among all of the schools. However, the ISU men’s track squad doesn’t really feel that way.

A lot of the runners, jumpers and field event guys have their eyes set on the bigger picture and don’t view the in-state rivalries as a big deal.

“I’d say our rivals are more like the Big 12 schools,” said redshirt senior Patrick Peterson. “It’ll be cool to race a bunch of Iowa kids, but I don’t think it’s as concerning as the football rivalries.”

Peterson is a distance runner, and for him, this meet is about looking ahead not only to Big 12’s, but to nationals as well. He said he and senior Edward Kemboi want to run a time of 1:48 to put them in contention for nationals.

“We just want to get our feet wet,” said redshirt senior Cam Ostrowski. “[This meet] is a good place to build off of. Put down some good marks this early in the season and then you can build off that.”

Ostrowski also said there’s not much of a rivalry factor heading into this weekend. He’s more concerned about himself and Iowa State, rather than the other teams.

“I don’t really care what the guys from the other schools do, as long as I put down good marks,” Ostrowski said. “That’s how I’m going to walk away from the meet happy.”

Ostrowski’s main goal for this upcoming meet is to put down a mark that will get him into nationals. He’ll more than likely have to jump a height of around 7’2½”.

This is also Iowa State’s first home meet of the indoor season and most of the runners and jumpers think the home field advantage will be a factor.

“I’m from Iowa, so it’s cool to get to compete against all the school at Iowa State,” said redshirt junior Taylor Sanderson. He said he’s going to hurdle, vault and probably throw shot put.

Peterson said for him there’s definitely a home field advantage this weekend.

“We don’t have to go anywhere, we don’t have to travel and then we work out on this track twice a week, so we’re just used to it,” Peterson said. “It’s nothing new. It’s just going to be fun to go run fast.”

Last year at the Big 4 Duals, the Cyclones finished first in three events. Derek Jones finished first in the 400-meter dash with a time of 50.00, Kevin Poster finished first in the triple jump with a height of 14.41 meters and Jan Jeuschede finished first in the shot put with a throw of 18.36 meters.

Iowa State will be hoping to start off strong and set numerous personal records in this year’s Big 4 Duals.

“I just want to be out there and get as much meet experience as possible,” Sanderson said. “It’s a different environment, competing against other people compared to practice.”

The ISU men’s track team will be in action against the other Iowa schools at 12 p.m. Jan. 24 at the Lied Recreational Center.