Cyclones Set For Big 12 Outdoor Championships
AMES, Iowa – The Iowa State men’s and women’s track and field teams travel to Lubbock, Texas, this weekend to compete in the 2014 Big 12 Outdoor Track and Field Championships. The Cyclones enter the championships with three conference leaders, with numerous student-athletes ranked in the conference’s top-8.
Indoor conference and eventual NCAA champion Christina Hillman will look to defend her title in the shot put. Hillman enters the competition with a season-best throw of 56 feet, 11.50 inches, a mark that ranks sixth nationally and stands over three feet ahead of her next competitor. The Dover, Delaware, native holds a personal best of 59’11.75” in the event and will look to capture her second conference title on Saturday.
Edward Kemboi comes into the championships ranked No. 3 in the NCAA in the 800-meter run with a time of 1:46.14, posting the time earlier this season at the Mt. SAC Relays. Kemboi posted a mark of 1:45.98 this past indoor season and is coming off a runner-up finish at the NCAA indoor championships. The Eldoret, Kenya, native will be chasing his fourth career conference title and third in the 800m.
National No. 4 in the 400-meter hurdles Ese Okoro has put together an impressive season in 2014, notching three victories in four competitions. Okoro is the only athlete in the nation to run sub-57 seconds in the event twice and is also the only to run sub-58 in every race this season, among those competing in more than one race. Okoro posted a career-best at the Tiger Classic, breaking the tape in 56.78 seconds.
Coming off winning the Big 12 indoor title, high jumper Cameron Ostrowski will again challenge for the top spot on the podium. The Burlington, Illinois, native has cleared 7’1” this season and has jumped as high as 7’3.75” in his career. Ostrowski’s top competition will come from Texas Tech’s Jacorian Duffield and Bradley Adkins.
Ejiro Okoro is looking to defend her indoor title in the 800-meter run. Okoro clocked a career-best time of 2:04.47 at the Payton Jordan Invitational earlier this season to rank fourth on Iowa State’s all-time list. She will be pitted against Oklahoma State’s top-seeded Savannah Camacho.
Indoor 5,000-meter champion Samantha Bluske, along with several other Cyclone women will be in the mix in the 5,000m and 10,000m this weekend. Bluske, Crystal Nelson, Katy Moen and Bethanie Brown all rank on Iowa State’s all-time lists in the events. The Iowa State distance crew will look to score big team points in their events this weekend.
Look for Mohamed Hrezi to score team points in the long-distance events, as the Naugatuck, Conn., native scored in both the 3,000m and 5,000m at the indoor championships. Jan Jeuschede and Henry Kelley also look to get on the podium in the shot put and hammer throw, respectively, while triple-jumper Kevin Poster enters the competition with the No. 2 overall seed in the competition. Ryan Sander is coming off a career-best performance in the 110-meter hurdles and currently ranks eighth in the conference. At 51.65 seconds, freshman Derek Jones will also be in the hunt in the 400-meter hurdles.
On the women’s side, Kayla Sanborn (hammer throw), Colleen Riley (3,000m steeplechase), Maggie Gannon (1,500m), Hannah Willms (high jump) and Kelly McCoy (high jump) will look to add to the team race, scoring points in their respective events. Krista Shoeman and Bree Woelber will also be chasing the podium in the 400-meter hurdles and the heptathlon, respectively.
The 2014 Big 12 Outdoor Track and Field Championships will be held at Texas Tech’s Fuller Track, May 16-18. For the championship schedule, Iowa State team notes and Big 12 performance lists, see the links to the right.