The first gun goes off and the season started for the Iowa State men’s and women’s track and field teams. The Cyclones kicked off their first meet on Friday with the Cyclone Duals at Lied Recreation Center. Shaking off the offseason rust, Iowa State looked to have potential in its first event of the year.
“I still have a lot of untapped potential,” junior Wyatt Rhoads said coming off a successful year for the Cyclones and establishing himself as one of their top runners.
Rhoads also stated the importance of “seeing success but knowing there is a lot more out there still.”
This holds true for much of the promising team as the season has just begun. Although the Cyclone Duals only had three teams present, the Cyclones had a couple inspired comebacks and a handful of first place finishes.
Some of the highlights of the meet included a come from behind victory in the women’s 4x400-meter race that was capped off by Jasmine Staebler, a junior distance runner making a huge comeback on the last lap of the race and winning it for Iowa State. It was her second win of the day as she had won the women’s mile race earlier in the day.
On the men’s side of things, Jaymes Dennison also had a strong anchor leg in the 4x400-meter race to secure the first place finish for the Cyclones. Dennison had won earlier that day as well in convincing fashion in the 400-meter.
After winning the 60-meter hurdles, senior Elijah Young, who is one of the team’s best sprinters and hurdlers, talked about his work over the offseason with coach Fletcher Brooks and his goals for the upcoming season.
“I definitely want to run under eight seconds,” Young said when discussing his 60-meter hurdle event in which he posted a time of 8.15 seconds on Friday. “[I] know what I need to work on, and I trust him with that.”
An attainable goal for someone with the experience of Young who could become a leader for this young Cyclones team. This event only showed a glimpse of what can be expected from the Cyclone track and field team this year and in future years.
Junior sprinter and shot-putter Emma Whigham talked about how she prepared for this season with all the offseason work she put in. Whigham said that she is understanding technique and it looks to show soon as she and the Cyclones get more into a rhythm as the season goes on.
The team will look to build on their strong start on Jan. 13 when they compete in the Hawkeye Challenge in Iowa City, Iowa. A hopeful start to the season and what looks like a lot of training could all come together soon and the Cyclones are confident about this upcoming season.
“I’m excited,” Whigham said. "I’m ready, I’m pumped.”