Four Cyclones Punch Tickets To NCAA Championships
AMES, Iowa – Four Iowa State student athletes are headed to Albuquerque, N.M., to compete in the 2014 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships, the NCAA committee announced this morning. Edward Kemboi, Christina Hillman, Ejiro Okoro and Cameron Ostrowski each posted marks high enough to punch tickets to the championships.
Kemboi is the top qualifier in the field for the men’s 800-meter run, with the nation’s fastest time in the event, and an Iowa State indoor record, at 1:45.98. The Eldoret, Kenya, native posted the mark at this year’s ISU Classic, where he defeated a field that featured fellow NCAA qualifiers Sean Obinwa (Florida), Billy Ledder (Georgetown), Andres Arroyo (Florida), Ryan Schnulle (Florida) and Samuel Ellison (Villanova). Kemboi has won three races in the event this year, including the Big 12 championship. The two-time All-American will have his hands full with those mentioned above, as well as Penn State’s Brannon Kidder and Za’Von Watkins. Kemboi is 1-1 head-to-head against Kidder this year.
Hillman held the best throw in the nation at 57 feet, 5.5 inches until this past weekend. The two-time All-American has posted six scoring throws of 55 feet or better this season and has won every collegiate competition in which she has competed. Hillman was the top collegiate finisher at the USA Indoor Championships, where she hit a mark of 57’1.50”. The Dover, Del., native enters the championships as the No. 2 seed to Missouri’s Kearsten Peoples, who will be Hillman’s biggest obstacle to overcome on her quest for the title.
Okoro holds the No. 3 overall seed in the women’s 800-meter field. The Birmingham, England, native is the Cyclone indoor record holder in the event, setting the mark at the Iowa State Classic earlier this season. Okoro has finished inside the top five in every competition this season and ran to a Big 12 title last weekend. The 2013 All-American will be racing on the heels of top-seeded Laura Roesler (Oregon) and Megan Malasarte (Georgia), who were the only runners to post faster marks this season. Okoro has defeated Georgetown’s Andrea Keklak and Minnesota’s Alena Brooks (twice) this season, each of whom are also in the field.
Cameron Ostrowski used a Big 12 title-winning jump to seal the No. 7 seed entering the championships. Ostrowski cleared a height of 7 feet, 3.75 inches at the conference championships, setting a personal record and moving up to No. 2 on Iowa State’s all-time top-10 indoor list. The Burlington, Ill., native will be looking to upset jumpers from Arizona, Florida State, Mississippi State, Cornell and Penn.
The 2014 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships will be held Mar. 14-15, in Albuquerque, N.M. The event will be competed at the Albuquerque Convention Center.