Amy Rudolph Cyclone Invite 2021

Iowa State assistant track and field coach Amy Rudolph talks with members of the Iowa State women's track and field team on Jan 23. (Photo courtesy of Luke Lu/Iowa State Athletics)

Iowa State track and field's outdoor season is officially underway this Saturday as both the men's and women's team head to Drake University for the Blue Oval Open. This is the first meet back for Head Coach Martin Smith and Company after the NCAA Indoor Championships.

Two standout athletes from the indoor season were sophomores Jason Gomez and Wesley Kiptoo. Both runners were able to claim Big 12 Indoor Championships and Kiptoo even went on to become a national champion.

Both Gomez and Kiptoo are sure to make an impact early on in the outdoor season and look to carry their momentum over from the indoor season.

While Saturday marks the first outdoor meet where the entire team is traveling, a few athletes already have one outdoor meet under their belt this season.

On March 6, a group of athletes who only have outdoor eligibility this season went down to Austin, Texas ,for the Longhorn Invitational. 

Iowa State would end the day with four victories, and a dominating performance by two-time All-American Vlad Pavlenko.

The senior from Illinois would take home first place in the men's hammer throw. In addition to a first-place finish, Pavlenko's four throws were the four best among his competitors. 

One of the other Cyclones to take home a win is Senior Abby Caldwell. She would compete in the 3,000-meter steeplechase and finish with a time of 10:19.00. This time also marks a new personal best for Caldwell.

Iowa State seasoned veteran Edwin Kurgat would also suit up for Smith in the Longhorn Invitational.

Kurgat has a laundry list of records, honors and accolades throughout his time in Ames. However, topping the list may be the fact that he is the two-time defending athlete of the year for the Cyclones.

The nine time All-American would go on to run in the 1,500-meter race. Kurgat would go on to finish second with a time of 3:48.48, which is nearly a second off of his personal record.

The Blue Oval Open will kick off on Saturday at 2:00 p.m. with the women's 4x100 relay.

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