Iowa State shot putter Christina Hillman will get her chance to defend her NCAA Championship in the women’s shot put as she advanced to the final round of the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships Saturday night at Myers Stadium. Hillman will make the trip to Hayward Field in Eugene as the top seed out of the West Region as she won the women’s shot put with a toss of 56-2 3/4, becoming the eighth Cyclone to earn a trip to the final rounds at Oregon.
Courtesy Cyclone Athletics
Hillman, a redshirt junior, wasted no time stamping her authority over the competition, with her first throw of 55-0 3/4 giving her the lead after one round. However, she kept her foot down and moved up to 55-11 on her second throw and then finished with a toss of 56-2 3/4 to earn the top seed in Eugene in a fortnight. There were five throws over 55 feet in the women’s shot competition, Hillman had three of them and the only toss over 56 feet on the evening.
Jhoanmy Luque could not add to her advancement in the women’s long jump from Thursday, as she competed in the triple jump Saturday. The Venezuelan got off to a rough start, as she recorded back-to-back fouls. Her third jump of 41-1 got her on the board, but left her in 19th place and on the outside of the advancing places for the event.
Perez Rotich finished her season on a strong note, recording a personal record in the women’s 1,500-meter run with a 4:23.72. However, the pace of the field was just a little too much for her as the Kenyan went on to finish 20th overall and not advance to Eugene. In the men’s 1,500, it is a similar story for Brian Biekert, as he went on to finished 22nd with a 3:50.57, also not advancing to Eugene.
Erin Hooker closed out the meet for ISU in the women’s 5,000-meter run and for 3,500 meters she was able to hang with the lead pack. However, she was not able to keep up with the lead pace in the final few laps, finishing her race in 16:34.26, 20th overall.
Iowa State will travel to Eugene with eight student-athletes still competing for national titles. On the men’s side, ISU will be represented by Edward Kemboi in the 800-meter run, Jan Jeuschede in the shot put and Taylor Sanderson in the decathlon. The Cyclone women will have Hillman in the shot put, Luque in the long jump, Katy Moen in the 10,000-meter run, Marine Vallet in the high jump and Kendra White in the 400-meter dash.
The 2015 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships begin on Wednesday, June 10. The NCAA has introduced a new format this season, with men’s and women’s competitions being separated and on designated days. Men’s competitions will be on June 10 and 12, with women’s contests on June 11 and 13. Taylor Sanderson and the men’s decathlon will take place June 10-11.