It’s not over yet.
The team portion of the indoor season has come to a close for the Cyclones as the Iowa State men’s track and field team hosted the final day of the Big 12 Indoor Championships on Saturday, finishing third in team points, and having a pretty successful day, but the overall season is far from over.
“Coach Smith is always thinking out of the box,” said junior middle-distance runner Dan Curts about his busy couple of days.
Curts ran in the prelims for the 1000-meter run and he anchored the distance medley relay on Friday. Then, he ran in the finals for both the 1000-meter run, and the mile run on Saturday.
Curts finished in second in both events on Saturday, with a 4:05.66 time in the mile and 2:30.47 in the 1000-meter which was only .03 seconds behind sophomore Calvin Miller of Oklahoma.
In the 60-meter hurdles, senior Logan Schneider had one of his most successful runs of the year on Saturday as he finished third with a time of 8.05 seconds, while his teammate Elijah Young placed sixth in the event.
The Cyclones' philosophy for this event was to do what got you here, and Schneider was able to do that and then some with a stellar performance in that event.
While all of this action was happening, junior Wyatt Rhoads was competing in the heptathlon and he was quietly having a great weekend. With just the 1000-meter run to go, Rhoads was in fifth and he needed something big. He got it.
Rhoads ran a blistering 2:45.08 which put him over ten seconds in front of second place Clark Griffith of Texas Tech. He climbed up to a fourth place finish in the heptathlon with that great run.
As Rhoads finished up his heptathlon, the high jump started and a ton of talent was on display against senior Jalen Ford and sophomore Cody Durbin.
“Today was a really good day,” Ford said when discussing his performance.
Ford was able to set his personal record in this event as he finally eclipsed the 7-foot-1 mark. This was something Ford had been working on and he was relieved to finally pass it.
Ford ended up finishing fifth in the event because the rest of the field was loaded with talent.
This was Ford’s best performance of his career and it came on a heightened stage in the last home meet of his collegiate career.
Back on the track, another senior looked to defend his title in the 600-yard dash.
Jaymes Dennison was in the second heat of the 600-yard dash finals and he started the event strong as he jumped out to an early lead, but was soon taken over and fell back a bit. A late surge brought him into second place with a time of 1:09.51. Texas Tech junior Vincent Crisp won the event with a time of 1:08.90.
As the Big 12 Championships continued, the hype started building for the Cyclones as the 3000-meter run was coming up. Edwin Kurgat and Andrew Jordan were slated to run again along with Nathan Rodriguez who had a nice race Friday in the 5000-meter run.
Rodriguez started the race out in front of everyone which turned out to be a strategy from the Cyclones. After much of the race, Rodriguez jumped off the track and accepted a did not finish, which brought the race down to sophomores Edwin Kurgat and Andrew Jordan while talented Oklahoma State senior Hassan Abdi waited to strike.
Abdi took the lead with about two laps remaining, and never gave it up as Kurgat and Jordan came up just short behind him, finishing with times of 8:02.44 and 8:04.89, respectively.
Trailing not too far behind these competitors was Iowa State sophomore Greyson Dolezal who secured an eighth-place finish which earned him a spot on the podium.
“It’s something I’ve been working for all season,” Dolezal said about placing in the Big 12 Championships.
Dolezal has improved quite a bit this season going from a walk-on athlete to a Big 12 Championships medalist.
Dolezal has been an under the radar force this season for the Cyclones and might be someone to keep an eye on as the outdoor season begins.
As a team, Iowa State finished third behind Texas Tech and Texas with 115 points.
Nationals are right around the corner and then the outdoor season will be upon us.
Going forward, Dolezal and the Cyclones will be looking to head coach Martin Smith for leadership.
“Trust his process,” Dolezal said.