ISU Seven Set for NCAA Championships
AMES, Iowa – Seven Iowa State competitors, each with their own story, will compete this weekend at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Fayetteville, Ark. Leading the way will be defending NCAA 10,000-meter champion Lisa Koll in her signature event.
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Koll missed most of the indoor season and was still on the recovery trail during the early portion of the outdoor campaign before getting set for a final push in the last six weeks of the season. She has responded. Her first 10,000-meter race in 10 months affirmed her progress as she clocked a 32:43.85 at the Brutus Hamilton Invitational in Berkeley, Calif. the last weekend of April. She is set to defend her title after winning the 10,000- and 5,000- meter runs at the Big 12 Conference meet in May. She will run Thursday at 8:55 p.m.
“I feel good about where I am at,” Koll said. “But there are no guarantees. It is a different field this year so what happened last year doesn’t matter. It has been a challenge to balance veterinary medicine school and running. I feel good.”
Iowa State head coach Corey Ihmels thinks Koll is ready.
“Lisa is a special case, unlike anyone I have coached or competed against,” Ihmels said. “She has done a great job balancing school and running. While I don’t know that she is going to run away with everything like she did last year and I feel she is ready to defend her title. She has the best time in the field.”
Iowa State junior Grace Kemmey will also participate in the 10,000-meter run.
Cyclone junior Kiel Uhl, who just missed All-America honors in cross country, qualified for competition in the men’s 10,000-meter run. Uhl will run Thursday at 9:45 p.m. Ihmels says the NCAA experience will help him next season.
“This is a great opportunity for Kiel and there is no pressure,” Ihmels said. “He is a very motivated person and I’m confident he will run well.”
The meet begins Wednesday at 3 p.m. with Luke Pinkleman competing in the shot put.
“It was great for Luke to qualify at the regional meet,” Ihmels said. “I know he wants to go out with the best performance of his career.”
Freshman Betsy Saina has come on strong in the last six weeks of the season. She was the runner-up to Koll in the 5,000-meters and 10,000 meters at the Big 12 Conference meet. Saina runs Wednesday at 8:40 p.m.
“Betsy has a good chance to be an All-American,” Ihmels said. “In some ways, I wish she was running in the 10,000-meters but she has had a great freshman season.”
Hilary Bor, fourth in the 3,000-meter steeplechase last season, will run in the first round of the event Wednesday at 8:15 p.m.
“Hilary demonstrated last year that he is one of the nation’s best in his event,” Ihmels said.
Hurdler Jenna Caffrey will run in the prelims of the 100-meter hurdles Thursday at 5:30 p.m.
“Jenna put it together after some adversity to get back in the national meet,” Ihmels said.