The 2017 Iowa State track and field season came on an end over the weekend at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships. Below, cyclones.com revisits some of the highlights of the past six months of track and field.
Courtesy Cyclones Athletics, click here! Feature photo: Jasmine Staebler-Clayton Ridge-ISU ©Jim Kirby
Iowa State jumper Jhoanmy Luque had a tremendous 2017 season, racking up four All-America honors, three Big 12 championships, a school record and a Venezeulan national record. The indoor season saw her sweep the Big 12 long jump and triple jump conference crowns and be named Big 12 Indoor Women’s Performer of the Year. She would go on to earn a pair of Second Team All-America honors in the horizontal jump events at the NCAA Indoor Championships.
She went even bigger in the outdoor season. Luque took the Big 12 Outdoor Triple Jump title on the final jump of the competition, an all-conditions PR of 45-3 1/2(w). At the NCAA West Preliminaries, Luque marked her qualifying for the NCAA Championships in the long jump with a personal best 21-7 1/4, Iowa State’s new school record and the Venezuelan national record. Then at NCAAs, she used clutch jumps to move up from eighth to fourth in the long jump (fourth round) and triple jump (sixth round) to earn First Team All-America honors in each event.
Jasmine Staebler‘s story is intriguing because it was not a guarantee to happen. She was not a high-profile recruit who made headlines at the high-profile meets run by the shoe companies. She was barely a middle-distance runner, with six of her nine high school state championships at Clayton Ridge requiring the running of one lap or fewer. Her first season as a Cyclone was intriguing, she used her sprinting background to finish races strong, but it was filled with possibility.
In 2017, Staebler took another step towards that possibility. She finished the season with two All-America honors, including a First Team All-America honor in the 800 during the indoor season. She took down ISU’s school record in the indoor 800 and took second at the Big 12 Indoors in the event. Outdoors, she made it to Eugene, Oregon for the first time in her career and missed out on a spot in the 800 final by only 0.06 seconds. The possibilities are endless heading towards 2018.
Ford Breaks Through
In the end, times and marks in track and field are just numbers. However, in the heat of the moment and the pursuit of a next step, they can become something bigger than that. Jalen Ford finished 2016 with a career-best jump of 6-11 1/2, meaning 2017 would be all about making the breakthrough to 7-feet. While there was strong results, fifth at Big 12 Indoors and tied for second at Big 12 Outdoors, the elusive 7-foot clearance was still being searched for.
The time came at the most opportune, the NCAA West Preliminaries in Austin. With a trip to Eugene on the line, Ford got his clearance of 7-0 1/2 to make his first career NCAA Championships. In Eugene, he did not get above 7-feet again, but his clean jumps helped him finish sixth and earn First Team All-America honors.
A Relay to Remember
It did not take long to see ISU had something special in the men’s 4×400. At the Larry Wieczorek Invitational in January, Iowa State won a dramatic battle with in-state rivals Iowa in 3:09.30, at the time it was one of the top marks in the nation. The quartet of newcomers, Eric Fogltanz, Ben Kelly, Roshon Roomes and Jaymes Dennison. As the season went along, the men were just a little short of the goal of going to NCAA Indoors, and needed one last push. That came at Notre Dame.
At the Alex Wilson Invitational in February, the guys did it, shattering the school record at 3:05.61 and earning a trip to College Station for the NCAA Indoor Championships. While it did not end like ISU wanted, Fogltanz pulled up injured on the first leg, and would not be back in 2017, it showed great progress out of a group of newcomers, and potential for what is ahead.
Future of Men’s Distance is Bright
The men’s distance program has great future potential across the board, with many newcomers contributing to that in 2017. At the shorter distances, Jaymes Dennison won a Big 12 indoor title in the 600-yard run, while Roshon Roomes showed tremendous potential at 800-meters, with both being 4×400 contributors, too. At 1,000 indoors and 1,500 outdoors, Zach Black showed he had strong understanding of race strategy and some speed in him. At the Portland Track Festival last weekend, he ran a personal best 3:44.61 at 1,500 to close out his season.
Going back to 3,000 and 5,000, Andrew Jordan had an incredible freshman season, finishing fourth at the Big 12 Championships indoors at each distance, going below 14 minutes outdoors to qualify for NCAA West Prelims and taking fourth in the Big 12 5,000, too. At 10,000, redshirt freshman Thomas Pollard continued to improve has he ran to a Big 12 silver medal and the NCAA West Prelims at 10k.
Allanah McCorkle‘s indoor season ended in disappointment, as she fouled three times in the long jump at Big 12 Indoors. She did not let that hold her back though, as she started her outdoor season with a win in the long jump at Tulsa Duels that got her Big 12 Female Athlete of the Week honors. At Big 12 Outdoors at her old school, Kansas, McCorkle finished fourth in the long jump with an all-conditions personal best of 21-1 1/4(w). She then recorded a legal PR of 20-8 1/2 at NCAA West Prelims to earn her first trip to Eugene, where she finished 13th in the long jump to earn Second Team All-America honors.