The Iowa State cross country teams take on the Cowboy Jamboree in Stillwater, Oklahoma, on Saturday.
Before the season started, the Cyclones were scheduled to run the Gans Creek Classic in Columbia, Missouri, this weekend. However, there were schedule changes and now the Cyclones are off to Stillwater.
At this meet, they will face more teams and will be running on the track that will be used for the NCAA National Championships on March 15.
“We are really looking forward to seeing a lot of the Big 12 schools," Assistant Coach Jeremy Sudbury said. "Predominantly this weekend there are going to be a lot of teams within the conference so it’s kind of a tuneup for the Big 12 Championship."
With this being the second meet of the season, there are opportunities for new records, wins and faces.
“We are looking for, this season, to really develop and grow and see guys improve," Sudbury said. "We are putting a couple more guys in the lineup this weekend that did not run at the last meet, it’ll be their first competition this year."
Individual team progression and goals are crucial for the Cyclone men's squad as they enter the last meet before the Big 12 Championship.
“I’m looking to get a good race time and to work as a group,” junior Wesley Kiptoo said.
With the evolving pandemic and a shortened season, things have changed for cross country, however, the Cyclone women’s goals have not wavered one bit.
“We’ve had to switch around how we do things," Head Coach Amy Rudolph said. "We’ve had to train a little bit more in pods and cycle some practices a little bit differently. The goals and the enthusiasm of the team, none of that has changed."
The women’s squad is preparing to go up against the reigning Big 12 champions, the Oklahoma State Cowboys. With depth in all ages, the women hope to bring their talent to a high level against the reigning champions.
“We have great athletes up front in Cailie [Logue] and Winrose [Chesang], but our freshmen group, along with our fifth year, Larkin Chapman and the new freshmen, they are really the core, the nucleus of our team and they have really put in the effort to raise us to the next level,” Rudolph said.
With practicing at home and putting in the work over quarantine, the team dynamic of the Cyclone women has shown true.
“The cool part about this team is that they’ll take challenges and address them and move forward with them," senior Cailie Logue said. "The team dynamic has been very excited and grateful to be racing again. People have been taking care of each other through those challenges and it’s been very unified in what we are doing."
For Logue this season, who has already won an individual race at the Bob Timmons Classic, it’s about getting the opportunity to race again.
“Enjoying what I’m doing and staying healthy are things that are really important," Logue said. "As a senior, and as I get older, it’s nice to really appreciate what’s going on even more than worrying about being dominant over something."
At the Cowboy Jamboree, the men will race at 8:30 a.m. Saturday and the women’s race will begin at 9:15 a.m. Saturday.