Eric Fogltanz steps up. He waits for the gun to go off and thinks about what it took for him to get here. The injuries he had to overcome. The setbacks he fought through. Relearning the hurdles. It’s all coming together for him now.
Fogltanz and the Cyclone men’s track and field team are competing in the Bryan Clay Invitational in Azusa, California, the Cardinal Classic in Stanford, California, and the Michael Johnson Invitational in Waco, Texas, and for Fogltanz it’s nice to be healthy again.
“I had to relearn the hurdles a bit,” said Fogltanz, who has enjoyed some of his best times of his career this outdoor season despite sitting the majority of the year prior out with numerous leg injuries.
Fogltanz is heading to Stanford to compete in the 400-meter hurdles on Friday and will be the only Iowa State hurdler there.
Fogltanz will not be alone at the Cardinal Classic, however, as he will be accompanied by a few Cyclone athletes including senior Jaymes Dennison and sophomore Roshon Roomes who will be competing together in the 400-meter dash.
Roomes spoke highly of his teammate Dennison and seems to look up to him as a role model and an athlete.
“He motivates us to want to work harder and get to the level that he’s at,” Roomes said. “He’s accomplished a lot of great things."
It’s clear that Dennison has meant a lot to the team as a junior college transfer, and he is leading the way for a talented group of middle distance runners like Roomes.
Being a senior, Dennison does not have many meets left before his collegiate career is over, so he wants to make sure that he leaves his mark on this team. He only has a few weeks left to prove that.
After this weekend, the highly-anticipated Drake Relays are the only thing left before the end of the school year, and postseason track and field, which is weighing a lot on Dennison.
“Coming to the end of this year, I feel like I [have to] do big things,” Dennison said.
Dennison feels like there is a lot of pressure riding on the veterans at the end of this season because they’ve been in this position before and are looked at as leaders. Both Dennison and Roomes have been here.
With so much at stake, the team will be looking to put up big performances this weekend, so they can use that momentum for the coming weeks, as well as to help them qualify for regionals and beyond.
Dennison, Fogltanz and Roomes will be providing veteran leadership and expertise this weekend for the Cardinal Classic, but in Waco and Azusa, some athletes will need to step up and take on a larger role than they usually would.
The Drake Relays are only a week away, and aside from being less than an hour away, they are also one of the biggest track and field events in the nation.
“I’ve never been to that event, so that will be new for me,” Fogltanz said.
As they get closer it’s becoming clear that the Cyclones will be bringing everything they have to that meet.
“Right now, [there’s] a lot of excitement,” Dennison said.