AMES, Iowa – The upcoming USA Track and Field Championships will play host to 12 Iowa State student-athletes of past, present and future years. The nation’s premiere track and field event will be held this year in Des Moines, Iowa, June 19-23.
Former Cyclone Lisa Uhl, four-time NCAA champion, placed 13th in the 10,000-meter run at the 2012 Olympics, finishing third among U.S. runners. A cornerstone in the revival of the Iowa State cross country and track and field programs, Uhl is the third-seeded runner with a time of 31:12.80, behind Amy Hastings (31:10.69) and Nike-teammate Shalane Flanagan (31:04.85). Come race day, Uhl hopes to earn herself a place at the top of the podium.
“In distance running, the biggest thing is keeping yourself relaxed,” Uhl said. “Moves are made at the end of the race. I’m going to be playing off of other runners and key off how other people are feeling, trying to conserve all my energy for those last couple of miles.”
Uhl played a large role in Iowa State’s rise into the national spotlight. The Fort Dodge, Iowa, native feels very honored to be a part of the program’s success.
“It makes me feel bigger than myself,” Uhl said. “Betsy [Saina], Meaghan [Nelson] and Dani [Stack] have really continued the trend of the turnaround. It’s cool to see the program that gave so much to me excelling, and I’m very proud to be a part of that.”
Stack and Nelson, recent Iowa State graduates, will also be competing in the 10,000-meter run. Nelson finished 12th in last year’s US Olympic Trials and enters the championships with the eighth best time at 32:14.27. Stack is seeded 13th at 32:51.28.
Stack and Nelson finished 14th and 16th, respectively, at this year’s NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships.
For many of the younger Cyclones, the stage will be a little larger and the lights a little brighter. Uhl left a word of advice if the student-athletes find themselves overwhelmed.
“Many of them have seen the collegiate nationals, so they just need to remember that it’s just like any other race,” Uhl said. “It’s about not freaking out, staying relaxed and treating it like every other day at the track.”
Click the link above for a list of Cyclone student-athletes and the events they will be competing in. Click here for more in-depth information on the championships.