STATE COLLEGE, Pa. - A group of Iowa State men's middle-distance runners traveled to Penn State, Saturday, to compete at the Nittany Lion Challenge. Cyclones Edward Kemboi, Brandon Barnes, Joe Gioielli, Alex Dillenbeck, Jacob Aune and Alec Baldwin took part in the 600m, 800m and 1000m races.
Kemboi started his 2014 campaign in impressive fashion, winning the 800-meter run in an NCAA-leading 1:48.14. The mark is Kemboi's best since running a 1:47.43 at last year's Bill Bergan Invitational.
Iowa State men's distance coach Jeremy Sudbury was pleased with Kemboi's season debut.
"Ed had a nice opener today. He showed he's in great shape after the winter break," Sudbury said. "Overall, he ran a very disciplined race and was able to capitalize on his speed to get the win."
The Eldoret, Kenya, native ran behind the leaders for the majority of the race, keeping them within striking distance. With just under 100 meters to go, Kemboi opened up and closed a 5-meter gap to take the victory. Kemboi finished two tenths of a second ahead of Penn State's Brannon Kidder.
In the 1000-meter run, Alex Dillenbeck notched a personal best, running a 2:25.96 en route to a sixth-place finish. Penn State's Robby Creese won the race in an impressive 2:20.65. Fellow Cyclones Alec Baldwin and transfer Joseph Gioielli also competed, finishing in 2:27.52 and 2:27.33 respectively.
Jacob Aune took home an eighth-place finish in the 600-meter run, crossing the line in 1:22.21.
The event featured talent from No. 6 Penn State, Cornell, Georgetown, Miami (Fla.), Ohio State, Pittsburgh and South Florida.
Next Time Out
Iowa State returns to the track Saturday, Jan. 25, when the Cyclones travel to Boston, Mass. for the David Hemery Valentine Invitational.
Iowa State Results
600-meter run: 1) Brycen Spratling, Pittsburgh, 1:19.06; 8) Jacob Aune, Iowa State, 1:22.21.
800-meter run: 1) Edward Kemboi, Iowa State, 1:48.14; 7) Brandon Barnes, Iowa State, 1:56.02
1000-meter run: 1) Robby Creese, Penn State, 2:20.65; 6) Alex Dillenbeck, Iowa State, 2:25.96; 8) Joseph Gioielli, Iowa State, 2:27.33; 9) Alec Baldwin, Iowa State, 2:27.52