Okoros Cap Cyclone Careers As First-Team All-Americans
EUGENE, Ore. - Iowa State seniors Ese and Ejiro Okoro took the track Friday, donning the Cardinal and Gold for the final time on Day 3 of the 2014 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships held at Oregon’s Hayward Field. The sister-duo capped their Cyclone careers with first-team All-America honors in their respective events, becoming the first Cyclone sisters to achieve the feat while competing in different events.
Starting in lane 8 of the women’s 800-meter run, Ejiro Okoro ran in the middle of the pack for the opening lap. Ejiro ran on the shoulder of eventual champion Laura Roesler of Oregon as the race reached its final 300 meters. Okoro tailed Roesler, as the two moved through the pack down the back straightaway. Okoro passed two opponents coming out of the final turn and overtook a third down the homestretch to take third overall, crossing the line in 2:03.37.
Ejiro came into the NCAA championships as the No. 14 overall seed, knocking off numerous competitors en route to earning first-team All-America recognition. Okoro’s time of 2:03.37 bests her previous outdoor PR by 0.91 seconds (2:04.28), ranks No. 2 in program history and is the fastest time run in the event by a Cyclone at the national championships. Her third-place finish ties the best finish ever by an Iowa State student-athlete at the NCAA meet, equaling Cyclone great Edith Nakiyingi, who did so twice (1989 and 1991).
This season, Ejiro set three personal outdoor records in the event, culminating in tonight’s race to set the lifetime best.
In the women’s 400-meter hurdles, Ese Okoro took eighth due to a disqualification coming out of the final turn. Okoro was in the mix early, running in fifth place through the first seven hurdles of the race. The eighth hurdle was a struggle, as the Cyclone lost her stride entering the home straightaway. Ese was forced to knock over the eighth hurdle with her hands, disqualifying her from competition.
Ese ends the season as a first-team All-American, having set two personal records in her signature event and holds the third-fastest time among English athletes. The Cyclone hurdler ran sub-57 seconds in the event three times in 2014, clocking a lifetime best of 56.67 earlier this week in the 400H semifinals.
The Okoros will return to the track later this summer, when the duo competes at the British trials with hopes of making the national team.
Iowa State will be back in action tomorrow, as Christina Hillman (shot put), Kelly McCoy (high jump) and Katy Moen (5,000m) are all slated to compete.
Okoros Among Elite Company in ISU History…
Ejiro will go down as one of the top middle-distance runners in program history, ranking at No. 2 on the all-time outdoor list, while also ranking No. 1 on the Iowa State indoor list (2:03.91). Okoro is also a part of four 4x400-meter relay squads, three distance medley squads and three 4x1600 teams that rank inside the program’s all-time top-10.
Ese ends her Cyclone career as the No. 4 400-meter hurdler in program history with the time of 56.67, clocking the time in the preliminaries earlier this week. She is also a member of six of Iowa State’s top-10 4x400-meter relay squads, while ranking No. 10 on the all-time 400m list.
On the 4x400m list, the Okoros ran together as the core of four of the top-10 relay squads.