The season is now underway for the Iowa State track and field team.
Both men's and women's teams raced in the Hawkeye Challenge in Iowa City, Iowa, while the rest competed at the Nittany Lion Challenge in Pennsylvania. There were a lot of positives to take away from these meets.
The Hawkeye Challenge had both the men’s and women’s weight throw on Friday and the Cyclones dominated in both. The women’s weight throw was first, and Christabel Okeke continued her early season dominance with a convincing win over the field. Tessa Krempel finished third in the event for the Cyclones as well.
On the men’s side, it was pretty similar as Vlad Pavlenko mirrored Okeke’s success with another victory. Cyclone throwers Chris Celona and Brett Peters also placed near the top with second and fourth, respectively.
These were the only two events on Friday, but it looked like a promising start for the Cyclones. The events continued at 10 a.m. this morning and one of the first races was the 1000-meter run.
Dan Curts won his heat and advanced to the finals and finished in first for Iowa State. Iowa State dominated this event as well with two more runners finishing in the top four.
After these events, there was less success to be found for the Cylcones in Iowa City. Essence Henderson competed in the women’s shot put and placed third. Her score was an improvement from her score from December at the Cyclone Duals.
Iowa State also had Zach Timm, a men’s shot putter, who finished third. Timm finished seventh at the Cyclone Duals and he actually had a worse score on Saturday, but he was higher up on the leaderboard.
Cody Durbin tied with Iowa’s Cole Moeller for third place in the men’s high jump. Despite recent success, Jalen Ford did not end up competing in this event.
Overall, the Hawkeye Challenge was an up and down event for the Cyclones. There were a few low finishes and handful of great performances. It's early in the season, so it is hard to gauge how this meet will compare with the ones in coming weeks.
The Cyclones also competed in the Nittany Lion Challenge that started Saturday morning. The Cyclones sent almost exclusively men’s sprinters to this site.
Jaymes Dennison was someone to look out for this weekend as he was competing in both the 400-meter dash and the 4X400-meter relay. Dennison took home second place in the 400-meter dash, finishing behind Kameron Jones of Maryland.
In the men’s 1,000-meter run, Roshon Roomes finished second, only .04 seconds behind Penn State’s Jordan Makins.
After some other less than ideal finishes for the Cyclones, it was time for the 4X400-meter relay. The Cyclones, led by Dennison, could not quite pull off a victory, losing to Penn State.
This race closed the book on a somewhat promising day for the Cyclones. That being said, there was definitely more success in the Hawkeye Challenge.
One thing is for sure -- it’s okay to be excited.