The Iowa State indoor track and field season resumes next weekend in Iowa City, and the Cyclone men will be among the teams to watch across the country this winter. On Monday, FloTrack released its first prediction for the 2020 NCAA Indoor Championships, and has the Cyclones tied for fourth with 32 points.
Courtesy Cyclone Athletics, click here! Feature photo: Edwin Kurgat-ISU©Luke Lu cyclones.com 2019
The ISU men’s squad’s prowess has already been demonstrated in a pair of December meets. On Dec. 7 in Boston at the BU Season Opener, NCAA Cross Country champion Edwin Kurgat ran an outstanding 13:24.04 in the men’s 5,000-meters, a mark that set all kinds of records. Kurgat re-set his own school record of 13:34.54 from last season’s Iowa State Classic, took down Kennedy Kithuka’s Big 12 record of 13:25.38 and moved up to No. 10 in NCAA Division I Indoor Track and Field history, running the first sub-13:25 at 5K since 2012.
FloTrack projects Kurgat to win the 5,000m and finish second at 3,000 meters. Kurgat will get his first crack at the 3,000-meter run on Feb. 8 at the Millrose Games in New York City.
Festus Lagat has also been a standout performer in December, and is a key to the Cyclones’ preseason hype. At the BU Season Opener, Lagat claimed wins in the mile and the 1,000-meter run, with the latter seeing him clock a then-personal best 2:23.81. That lasted all of one week, as Lagat sped his way to a 2:20.88 at the Jimmy Grant Invitational in Iowa City, shattering Edward Kemboi’s previous school record and running the fastest 1K in NCAA Division I in over two years.
Not to be out-done, Lagat saw teammates Roshon Roomes and Daniel Nixon also go under the previous school record time, with Roomes clocking in at 2:21.29 and Nixon in 2:21.56. While the 1,000 is not an NCAA Championships event, their efforts are reflected in FloTrack’s 800-meter run projections, which puts Lagat second and Roomes seventh. Lagat took third place in the 800 meters at the NCAA Outdoor Championships last June.
The trio will be crucial to the Cyclones putting up points in the distance medley relay again, which ISU took fifth place in last year at the NCAA Indoor Championships. Lagat and Roomes ran as part of that quartet last season and Nixon will almost certainly play a part this upcoming year.
Iowa State resumes the indoor track and field season next weekend at the Larry Wieczorek Invitational in Iowa City.