The Iowa State men’s cross country team is looking to continue the success they've had this season this weekend in Madison, Wisconsin.
The Cyclones will be competing in the Nuttycombe Wisconsin Invitational on Friday. The race is slated to begin at 12:20 p.m.
Currently the Cyclones are ranked No. 14 in the nation after finishing first in the Hawkeye Invitational and second in the Roy Griak Invitational. Young members have stepped up to help lead the team to success including freshman Thomas Pollard and sophomore Josef Andrews.
Pollard made his debut in their previous meet and ended up leading the team to the finish line.
One other name to watch for the remainder of the season is transfer-senior Kevyn Hoyos. Hoyos was a notable acquisition from Syracuse over the summer and has already contributed to the cyclones by competing in the first two meets.
“Coming off the Griak meet, we went back to work and had a nice training cycle,” wrote assistant coach Jeremy Sudbury. “Our expectation this weekend is to just be consistent in our team's performance and continue to refine our racing skills.”
Running as a pack was the strategy for the previous meet and worked to near perfection, so it wouldn’t be a surprise if they did the same Friday.
“The team strategy is still in discussion, but I’d expect us to run our own race and maximize our performance,” Sudbury wrote.
One thing that the coaches pride themselves in is the focus their athletes have towards success. An ordinary team might get cocky when it comes to national rankings, but this is no ordinary team. Martin Smith has drilled into his runners the importance of putting success in the forefront of their minds.
“No, I don't think we will have a distraction with the rankings,” Sudbury wrote. “We really don't discuss the rankings as a team, and our team goal is simple, qualify for nationals then focus on the outcome there.”
The season is wearing down with only the Big 12 Championship, regional and national meets remaining. Each of these races has even more implication on the seniors, their final chances to inject themselves in cyclone competition.
“The [Madison] meet does not impact Big 12s much, but rather impacts qualifying for nationals,” Sudbury wrote. “The course is fast so it will let us see how the guys handle that kind of race as opposed to the slow race at Griak.”