Cyclones Set For NCAA Championships
AMES, Iowa – Four Iowa State student-athletes are set to compete for a national title this weekend at the 2014 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships. Edward Kemboi (800m), Christina Hillman (shot put), Ejiro Okoro (800m) and Cameron Ostrowski (high jump) will each be competing are ranked in the top-10 of their respective events.
Kemboi comes in ranked No. 1 in the field with a program-record of 1:45.98. Kemboi ran the time at this year’s Iowa State Classic in one of the nation’s most competitive 800m fields. The mark is good for the fastest run in the United States this year and is the seventh-fastest in the world. This season, Kemboi has competed against eight of the 16 runners in the field and has racked up nine victories over the competition. The Bowerman watch-list member has post seven sub-1:47 performances in his career and will look to add to that total this weekend. Kemboi won four races this season and picked up two Big 12 titles at the indoor conference championships.
Hillman has ranked as one of the nation’s top-two shot putters for the entire indoor season, posting a best throw of 57 feet, 5.5 inches. The No. 2-seeded Cyclone is undefeated in collegiate competition this season, with her only finish off the top of the podium coming at the USA Indoor Championships, where she finished sixth. Hillman is the program record holder, a two-time All-American and 2014 Big 12 champion in the event. A top-eight finish at the national championships would make her the second Cyclone in program history to notch three or more first-team All-America honors in the shot put (Lisa Griebel, 6-time All-American).
In the women’s 800-meter run, Okoro enters the championships ranked No. 3 in the field behind Oregon’s Laura Roesler and Georgia’s Megan Malasarte. The Birmingham, England, native has a personal best and program record of 2:03.91, posting the mark at the ISU Classic earlier this season. Okoro earned All-America recognition at last year’s championships, placing seventh in the event, and will look to join Ada Anderson, Maria Akraka and two-time NCAA champion Edith Nakiyingi as the only Cyclones in program history to be named All-American at least twice in their collegiate careers. The Cyclone senior was the top collegiate finisher three times this season at the Bill Bergan Invitational, ISU Classic and Big 12 Championships.
Ostrowski is coming off a career performance at the Big 12 Championships, where he cleared a personal-best height of 7 feet, 3.75 inches en route to capturing the conference title. The Burlington, Ill., native has won three events this season, clearing the 7-foot barrier in each victory. Ostrowski holds the No. 7 seed in the field, and his Big 12-title mark is good for the 12th best American mark this season. With a top-eight showing, Ostrowski would join Iowa State great Brian Tietjens as the only Cyclones to garner two or more All-America accolades.
The NCAA Championships will be held this weekend, March 14-15, in Albuquerque, N.M. ESPN3 will be broadcasting the event live both days, starting at 6:55 CT. The event is hosted by the University of New Mexico and will be held the Albuquerque Convention Center.
2014 Cyclone Notebook
*The Cyclones are rewriting the record books this season, notching 24 spots on Iowa State’s all-time top-10 indoor lists, acheived by 22 different student-athletes.
*This season the Cyclones have set a total of four programs, with three coming from the women’s teams and one from the men’s.
*29 Iowa State student-athletes earned a total of 44 All-Big 12 honors at this year’s indoor conference championships.
*Iowa State won seven events at the Big 12 Indoor Championships, a total that was good for second in the conference (Texas).
*The No. 24 Iowa State women’s team has spent much of the season in the national rankings, reaching as high as No. 18.
*Edward Kemboi, Christina Hillman, Ejiro Okoro and Cameron Ostrowski currently account for 18 spots on Iowa State’s all-time top-10 indoor list, including five program records.
*Kemboi accounted for the fifth-most team points by an individual performer in Big 12 history, picking up 22 at the conference championships.
*Kemboi and Okoro are both program record holders in the 800m. Kemboi’s mark stands at 1:45.98 and is the seventh-fastest time in the world this year. Okoro’s mark is currently the fifth-fastest collegiate time this year. Both marks were set at this year’s ISU Classic.
*Hillman is Iowa State’s record holder in the shot put with a mark of 58 feet, 0.5 inches, setting the mark in a runner-up performance at last year’s NCAA Indoor Championships.
*Ostrowski ranks second in Iowa State indoor history in the high jump. The Burlington, Ill., native cleared a personal-best height of 7’3.75” at the Big 12 Championships.
*Each Hillman, Kemboi, Okoro and Ostrowski have competed at NCAA Championships in their careers at Iowa State.
*The Iowa State women’s distance medley relay team just missed this year’s NCAA Championships after posting the three fastest indoor times in program history, each with a different lineup.
*Kemboi became the first athlete in Big 12 history to win both the 800m and 1,000m titles in the same year, breaking the tape for both races in less than 20 minutes.