Iowa State men's cross-country is attempting to make it to the national championship for the first time in seven years.
The team is made up of seasoned veterans as well as young talent this season. Coach Martin Smith and assistant coach Jeremy Sudbury believe that by mixing in older talent with the incoming runners, the Cyclones have the potential to impress this season.
“Coach Smith and I have been trying to recruit and get the right type of guys on campus," Sudbury said. “We believe that we’ve put together a team this year that can be successful.”
One of the additions to the team is graduate transfer Kevyn Hoyos. Hoyos ran for Syracuse before bringing his talent to Ames. His best finish in 2015 was fifth at the John Reif Memorial 8K with a time of 24:54.5.
Andrew Jordan is another young runner the coaching staff is excited about.
“[Jordan] was one of the most recruited kids in the nation last year," Sudbury said. "He did some great things in high school, and we’re excited he’s here.”
Redshirt freshman Thomas Pollard is another standout athlete for the Cyclones. He was a part of two U.S. National teams — including taking part in the U-20 Championships, which were held in Venezuela over the summer.
Pollard finished 16th and set the record for fastest time by an American in the 10,000-meter run.
The men’s team also has depth on its roster.
“Any given day one guy might stand out from the rest,” Sudbury said. “The next guy — a different guy — might step up and lead the team. Having that available depth will really help us.”
Two other runners the coaches will be looking to lead the team are sophomore Dan Curts and Junior Toby Hardwick. Both men have finished in the top-10 of the Big 12 Championships the last two years.
Christian Delago is the lone senior running for the Cyclones.
“Delago has been plagued with ups and downs as an athlete here at ISU,” Sudbury said. “He’s been part of the program and knows the culture well enough to help the young guys succeed.”
The men will get their first chance to run a course Friday at the Hawkeye Early Bird Invitational in Iowa City.