Okoro Sisters Shine In #NCAATF Opener
EUGENE, Ore. - Iowa State seniors Ese and Ejiro Okoro each qualified for their event finals, posting career marks in the 400-meter hurdles and in the 800-meter run, respectively. Sophomore shot putter Jan Jeuschede also notched a personal record of his own in the shot put, making Day 1 of the NCAA Outdoor Championships a successful one for the Cyclones.
Ejiro Okoro earned a bid to the NCAA 800m final in impressive fashion, taking first in her heat in 2:04.28. The time is the fastest outdoor performance of the Cyclone’s career, improving her fourth-place standing on the program’s all-time list. At 2:04.28, Okoro also notched her third sub-2:05 showing of the year.
The Birmingham, England, native had some work to do over the final 200 meters, sitting in fourth place entering the final quarter of the race. Coming out of the final turn, Okoro took the lead and held the top spot as she crossed the finish line, clocking the fourth-fastest time overall in semifinal competition. Okoro will become the fifth Cyclone in program history to earn first-team All-America recognition in the 800m, and she will compete in the event final on Friday, at 7:25 p.m. CT.
In the women’s 400-meter hurdles, a career performance by Ese Okoro earned her a spot in Friday’s event final. Ese took third in her heat, crossing the line in a personal-record 56.67 seconds. The performance marks her third sub-57 second performance of the season and is her eighth sub-58 in nine competitions.
Okoro posted the event’s fifth-fastest time overall and will compete in Friday’s event final at 6:41 p.m. CT. The Cyclone hurdler improves her fourth-place standing on Iowa State’s all-time event list by 0.11 seconds and will become the fourth student-athlete in program history to earn first-team All-America accolades in the event.
With their performances, Ejiro and Ese also become the first sister duo to earn NCAA first-team All-America honors in the same year..
Jan Jeuschede posted a huge personal record in the shot put, hurling a distance of 61 feet, 6.25 inches (18.75m). Jeuschede posted the mark on his final throw of competition. The performance earned him a 17th-place finish in the event, after coming in seeded at No. 21 in the field.
With the performance, the Rosrath, Germany, native becomes the first Cyclone since 1999 to post a mark of 61’ or better in the shot put (Jamie Beyer). The mark bests his previous mark by nearly 9 inches. Jeuschede ranks at No. 4 on the Cyclones’ all-time performers list.
Jeuschede will see competition later this summer, when the Cyclone sophomore will step into the ring at the German Nationals.
In the men’s 800-meter run, junior Edward Kemboi took third in his heat of competition. Kemboi clocked a time of 1:49.68 in the race, finishing behind Kentucky’s Keffri Neal (1:49.30) and Florida’s Ryan Schnulle (1:49.48). Kemboi got caught in the middle of the pack early in the race, falling as far as fifth before pulling back to third at the finish line. Mississippi State’s Brandon McBride posted the event’s fastest time, crossing the line in 1:48.09.
Kemboi finished fifteenth overall to earn second-team All-America honors at this year’s championships.
The Cyclones will be back in action at Hayward Field tomorrow, as distance runner Katy Moen takes the track in the 10,000m.
Following the meet...
The meet will be streamed live on ESPN 3 and ESPNU. Follow @CycloneTrackXC on Twitter and on Facebook for up-to-the-minute updates and information as the Cyclones advance through the championships and also by searching the hashtag #NCAATF across social media platforms. For more information on your Cyclones and extra meet information, see the 'Related Links' section to the right of this article.
800m (W): 1) Laura Roesler, Oregon, 2:02.60; 4) Ejiro Okoro, Iowa State, 2:04.28
800m (M): 1) Brandon McBride, Mississippi State, 1:48.09; 15) Edward Kemboi, Iowa State, 1:49.68
400H (W): 1) Kendra Harrison, Kentucky, 55.56; 5) Ese Okoro, Iowa State, 56.67
Shot Put (M): 1) Ryan Crouser, Texas, 69'3.5"; 17) Jan Jeuschede, Iowa State, 61’6.25”