Hillman Caps Dominant Indoor Slate With National Title
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Iowa State shot putter Christina Hillman outthrew the competition by 10.25 inches en route to capturing the national title at the 2014 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships. Cyclone junior Edward Kemboi ran to a runner-up finish in the men's 800-meter run. Each athlete notched the third All-America showing of their collegiate careers.
Hillman unleashed a personal-best throw of 59 feet, 6.75 inches (18.15m), a distance that is good for the fourth-farthest of the year by an American thrower. Hillman hit the mark on her second throw of competition, while also notching a throw of 58’2.5” on her fifth. Both marks stand ahead of her previous best (58’0.5”).
Hillman’s coach Fletcher Brooks was thrilled with how his pupil performed today.
“I saw an athlete today, who responded to her competition,” Brooks said. “From the technical side, I saw her compete at a level that I’ve never seen before. Auburn’s athlete took the lead from Christina on a huge PR, a throw that was beyond Tina’s beset. From a competitor’s standpoint, she showed a competitiveness that you don’t really know if an athlete has it until those special moments. She came out today and showed that she has that in her.”
The Dover, Del., native notched first-team All-America honors for the third time in her career, joining Lisa Griebel (six-time AA) as the only Cyclones in program history to earn the honor three or more times. Hillman’s performance is good for the 19th-best in the world this season.
With the mark, Hillman improved her personal best by over a foot and a half this evening and notched the 16th scoring throw of over 55 feet for her career. The victory is the first national championship by a Cyclone in the event in program history and the 11th event title of Hillman’s career. The Cyclone hurler finished the indoor season undefeated in collegiate competition. Hillman’s victory is also the 20th Cyclone national title at the NCAA championships.
Hillman was ecstatic with her performance and solidifying her place as the top thrower in the nation.
“This is what I live for, this elite competition,” Hillman said. “Being here competing and being able to do what I know I can do is an amazing feeling. Meets like this are a lot about mental preparation, and I spent two hours preparing, telling myself that I can do this. Today I was the best that I’ve been all year.”
In the men’s 800-meter run, Edward Kemboi notched a second-place finish to secure his third-career first-team All-America recognition. Kemboi crossed the line in 1:48.54 for the 20th sub-1:50 performance of his Cyclone career. Kemboi was boxed in early, but made his way up to the leaders, running in fourth place and moving up to third early on in the race. The Cyclone junior was able to pass Arkansas’ Patrick Rono over the final straightaway to nab the runner-up finish.
The Eldoret, Kenya, native joins Lindus Callum and Joseph Chepsiror as one of three athletes in Cyclone history to attain All-America status three times in their collegiate career. Kemboi finished the race 0.37 seconds behind Mississippi State’s Brandon McBride, who broke the tape in 1:48.17.
Kemboi wraps up the indoor season as one of the nation’s top middle-distance runners, securing three All-Big 12 honors and adding an All-America accolade to his resume. The Iowa State record holder notched four event titles this season and notched the seventh-fastest 800m time in the world at the ISU Classic with a mark of 1:45.98.
*Christina Hillman (SP): 59’6.75” (18.15m)