The No. 21 Iowa State women's track and field team has home field advantage as they host the Iowa State Classic this weekend.
The Cyclones are all together for their first home meet of the season. The runners had a week off and are back in action for the classic. The jumpers and throwers are looking to build off strong outings last week to elevate their performances this week in Ames.
Senior leader and eight time All-American Jhoanmy Luque will look to keep her successful campaign going as she competes in the triple and long jump this weekend. Luque placed first in the long jump last weekend with a jump of 20-7 ¼. She placed second in the triple jump with a jump of 42-6 ¾.
“I am happy that I won last weekend in the long jump,” Luque said. “The only thing that I am upset about is placing second. I was leading after my first two jumps but I could not finish.
"In practice this week, I have been working on maintaining my speed throughout my jumps. I want to be able to shoot out of my jump, not just up.”
This week is important for Luque to build up the rankings. She currently sits 10th in the long jump and seventh in the triple jump nationally.
“At the end of the day the only thing that matters is the [Big 12] Indoor Championships,” Luque said. “It is only two weeks away and it will be here in Ames. I like the home field advantage and being able to jump in front of my friends and family always makes it easier for me.”
Coach Andrea Grove-McDonough is fired up to get her team back on the track this week after having two weeks to prepare for competition from all over the nation.
“I am excited to get the team back on the track,” Grove-McDonough said. “The two-week break was nice to get the ladies back to 100 percent. I would like to see the team take advantage of the home field.
"I want them to show the nation how good and how deep this team is. We are rested so it would not surprise me if some of the team set [personal records].”
Two-time All-American Jasmine Staebler has had a strong season in the 800-meter race running herself into third nationally. The junior has gained experience over her freshman and sophomore seasons to help propel her to new heights this year.
“Freshman and sophomore year were when I was learning to race in college,” Staebler said. “The more races I compete in the more I learn how to take my game to the next level. There is a new role for me where I lead in workouts and help the younger runners get to pace.”
Staebler will be competing in the 800-meter with Larkin Chapman, Maggie Davis, Laurel Hoogensen and Erinn Stenman-Fahey. In the Razorback Invitational, Stenman-Fahey took sixth in the 800 invite, running a personal record of 2:06.33, which moved her to No. 7 in Iowa State history. Chapman won the regular 800 with a time of 2:06.18 to move to No. 6 in program history.
“I have a lot of confidence in our team,” said Grove-McDonough. “I am expecting national performances from the whole team this weekend. The key is to always look forward and improve each week.”