The Iowa State men’s cross-country team is going to the NCAA Cross-Country Championship thanks to an at-large bid coming off a strong performance at the regional meet during the weekend.
The Cyclones finished in fourth place at the regional meet, which was hosted Friday in Iowa City.
Unlike other meets this season, which were 8 kilometers, the regional meet was 10 kilometers. For many running for the Cyclones, it was their first 10K race.
“Our guys didn’t quit and never gave up,” assistant coach Jeremy Sudbury said.
After the 8K checkpoint, the Cyclones were not listed in qualifying position to move on to nationals. That’s when everyone started to make their final push, knowing every spot would affect the teams’ placement.
Leading up to the regional meet, the men had to run as a pack to help each other and finish strong. That wasn’t the case so much for regionals, the exception being runners Kevyn Hoyos and Josef Andrews.
“Besides Jo and Kevyn, most of our other guys ran their own race,” Sudbury said. “Thomas [Pollard], Toby Hardwick and Andrew Jordan and Daniel Curts all ran their own pace.”
Pollard, a freshman, led the way, finishing ninth overall with a time of 30.31. Hoyos, a senior, and Andrews, a sophomore, finished in 19th and 21st place, respectively, with a time separation of two seconds.
Coming into regionals, the team knew it was in a good position to advance, but still had to run a good race. It did what it needed to do, as it has all season.
On Saturday, the Cyclones were officially announced as an at-large team to make it to Nationals.
Iowa State is 1 of 14 schools in the country to have both its men's and women's cross country teams advance to the NCAA DI Championships.— Cyclone Track & XC (@CycloneTrackXC) November 12, 2016
This year’s nationals meet will be Satuday in Terre Haute, Indiana.
“The course is man-made and designed specifically for cross-country, being a wide course,” Sudbury said. “It should be pretty hectic, there’s usually between 5,000 and 10,000 spectators.”
10K will be the length of meets for the rest of the season. With one 10k under their belt, the Cyclones are feeling confident heading to nationals.