ISU Classic: Menís Breakdown
AMES, Iowa – The fields are set for the 23rd annual Iowa State Classic and over 100 All-Americans from over 50 teams will be competing in Ames this weekend. The meet is set up to feature one of the largest and most talented fields in the country, showcasing talent from around the nation.
Athletes from both the collegiate and professional levels will look to post marks that will qualify for the NCAA Indoor Championships and USA Indoor Championships. Below you can find breakdowns of the men’s events at the ISU Classic.
The men’s 60-meter dash will feature five athletes that have broken the 6.80-second mark in their careers. Top names include Hugh Graham, Jr. (Florida), Seth Boomsma (Dakota State-NAIA), Mandela Clifford, Jadarius West and Derek Kramer. Graham is currently ranked 17th nationally with a top time of 6.64 seconds.
Kansas State sprinter Carlos Rodriguez highlights the men’s 200m field. The Wildcat is currently 19th nationally and has run as fast as 20.72 in the event. A trio of sub-21.4 second Hilltoppers from Western Kentucky will also contend in the race in Elvyonn Bailey (20.93), Ventavius Sears (21.28) and Ja’Karyius Redwine (21.38).
Four sub-47 second speedsters top the lists in the 400m. Hugh Graham, Jr., Payton Hazzard (Virginia), Clinton Collins (North Texas) and Eliud Rutto (Middle Tennessee State) have each posted faster times in their careers. Graham, like in the 60m, holds the No.-17 ranking, clocking in at 45.76. The Gator is the only runner in the field that has broken the 46-second barrier, and was a 2013 All-American in the event. Hazzard, also a 2013 All-American, holds a personal best of 46.18 in the 400m, and has run as fast as 47.60 this season. Collins notched a notable title at Texas A&M’s 12 Team Invitational, where he placed first in a highly competitive field. Collins’ top time in the event is 46.50 seconds. Rutto opted out of the men’s 800m to compete in the 400m. Rutto was a 2013 All-American and is currently the nation’s top-ranked 800m runner, looking to upset his higher-ranked 400m competition.
Christopher Hamilton (Illinois State), Brennan Davey (Iowa) and Derrell Manhertz (Texas) are expected to lead the field in the 600yd run. The event will be competed at the Big 12 Championships and Manhertz currently holds the top time among in-conference competition at 1:10.55.
The 800-meter run has shaped up to be one of the best fields in the nation this weekend, featuring eight runners ranked in the top-20 and 10 athletes that have eclipsed the 1:48 barrier in their careers. Florida’s No.-4 ranked Ryan Schnulle leads the collegiate field with a top mark this season of 1:48.05. Schnulle will be joined by fellow Gators Sean Obinwa (No. 7) and Andres Arroyo (No. 9), who have posted marks of 1:48.20 and 1:48.53 respectively this season.
Iowa State junior Edward Kemboi will look to push the pace, having run 1:48.14 earlier this season and as fast as1:46.06 in his career. Kemboi is currently ranked 6th nationally and has finished third or better in each race this season. Other notable, highly ranked athletes include Georgetown’s Billy Ledder (13th), Kentucky’s Keffri Neal (16th), Columbia’s Harry McFann (19th) and Villanova’s Samual Ellison (20th). The New Jersey-New York Track Club will also be sending elite-level athletes in Selasi Lumax and Declan Murray, who will look to qualify for the USA Championships.
Another Big 12 Championships event, the 1,000m will showcase some of the conference’s top talent. Three Cyclones lead the field, each capable of breaking the 2:25 mark in Alex Dillenbeck, Joe Gioielli and Alex Baldwin. They will face tough competition from Texas’ Robert Uhr, as well as other Big 12 foes.
16 sub-4 minute milers will take the stage in the men’s mile run. Former Martin Smith pupil Riley Masters leads the field, having clocked a personal best of 3:56.20 in the event. Masters currently runs for the Brooks Beasts Track Club and will face strong competition from Indiana Elite’s Frezer Legesse and Austin Track Club’s Duncan Phillips. Both are capable of producing 3:57 or better marks.
In collegiate competition, Iona’s Matthew Gillespie holds the top mark with a time of 3:58.48. Gillespie is ranked 6th nationally and will face competition from 13th-ranked Nathan Weitz (Northern Arizona) and 14th-ranked Jordy Williamsz (Villanova). Alex Dillenbeck will be in the field for the Cyclones. Dillenbeck posted a career best earlier this season at 4:03.96.
11 runners, including a pair of top-15 ranked competitors, have produced sub-8 minute marks and another half-dozen are capable of doing so in this weekend’s 3,000-meter run. Oklahoma State’s No. 14 Shane Moskowitz will go head to head with Syracuse’s No. 15 Martin Hehir. Moskowitz posted a 7:57.79 earlier this season, just barely besting Hehir’s 7:59.40.
Athletes competing in the event that have attained All-America status include Sam McEntee (Villanova), Patrick Tiernan (Villanova), Andrew Colley (NC State), Daniel Clorley (Iona), Leoule Degfae (Virginia Tech).
Jeff See and Craig Forys of Furman Elite enter the race as heavy favorites, having posted marks of 7:43.60 and 7:41.20 already this year. Also in the field will be American International’s Michael Biwott. Biwott has posted a 14-minute 5K this season and will look to be right up with the leaders.
This event has the potential to be one of the top 5,000-meter races in the nation this season. The race will feature 11 All-Americans, including headliner Mohamed Ahmed (Wisconsin). Ahmed is an eight-time All-American, two-time Canadian national champion, 2012 Olympian (10,000m) and 10,000-meter Wisconsin and Big Ten record holder.
Shadrack Kipchirchir, a four-time NCAA All-American holds the top seed entering the race, with a mark of 13:38.57. North Carolina State’s Andrew Colley is also written in for the 5K race, after finishing seventh at this year’s NCAA Cross Country Championships.
Notable participating All-Americans include Patrick Tiernan (Villanova), Ty McCormack (Auburn), Matthew Gillespie (Iona), Brian Shrader (Northern Arizona), Matt McElroy (Northern Arizona), Reed Connor (Wisconsin), Wade Meddles (Eastern Kentucky), Matt McClintock (Purdue) and Ben Torotich (Eastern Kentucky). Martin Hehir (Syracuse) also holds the No.15 national slot in the 3,000m.
The field holds 14 athletes who have broken the 14-minute barrier in their careers and multiple other competitors are more than capable of eclipsing the mark. The meet record for the men’s 5,000m is held by Alistair Craig (Arkansas), who posted a mark of 13:45.51 back in 2002, while Adam Goucher (Colorado) holds the track record at 13:38.23, setting the record back in 1998.
Four athletes with sub 8-second marks will lead the field in the men’s 60-meter hurdles. Top-seeded Dapo Akinmoladun (Nebraska) earned All-America accolades last season and holds the top mark at 7.69 seconds. Iowa State’s Ryan Sander, South Dakota’s Teivaskie Lewin and Nebraska’s Tibor Koroknai will look to upset the Husker hurdler.
Teams will look to post NCAA-qualifying marks in the 4x400-meter relay. Western Kentucky leads the field with a time of 3:06.09, but a Minnesota squad featuring two All-Americans in Jacob Capek and Goaner Deng will be right up with the Hilltoppers. Middle Tennessee State and Wichita State both enter the meet having run sub-3:10 in the event.
Distance Medley Relay
Another event where teams will look to qualify for NCAA Indoors, the distance medley relay will be highly competitive. Teams will have their sights set on the 9:32.00 mark as the goal time-to-beat in hopes of qualifying for the national championships. Top teams in the race will be Villanova, Florida, Georgetown, Butler, Air Force, Iowa State and Minnesota.
Zack Riley (Kansas State) and Cameron Ostrowski (Iowa State) will be going head to head in the men’s high jump. Ostrowski holds the best jump in the field this season at 7’1.75”, but Riley and Ostrowski have both bested that mark in their careers.
Kansas State’s Kyle Wait enters the pole-vault competition with a top mark of 18’1”, but Minnesota’s Zach Siegmeier has the best mark in the field this year with a vault of 17’9”. The two will be joined by Casey Bowen (unattached) in a battle for the event title.
Kansas State’s Ifeanyichukwu Otuonye and Devin Dick will look to score big points in the men’s long jump. The Wildcat duo will face strong competition from UNI’s Weston Riesselman, South Dakota’s Jeff O’Connell and KSU-teammate Tyris Jefferson.
Cordario Golden leads the field in the men’s triple jump with a mark of 51’7.75”. Golden is currently ranked 15th nationally and will compete against teammate Vincent Okot, Eghosa Aghayere (Georgetown) and Shazz Michael Lindo (Wichita State).
Iowa State’s Jan Jeuschede will look to upset SE Missouri’s Kevin Farley and Ryan Hershberger in hopes of capturing the event title. The three shot putters in the have each posted marks farther than 60 feet in their careers.
Minnesota’s Jon Lehman enters the meet as the heavy favorite in the weight throw. Lehman is currently ranked fourth in the nation after breaking the Bill Bergan meet record with a toss of 72’5.75”. Lehman’s teammate Justin Barber is the only other athlete in the field to eclipse the 65-foot barrier.