With the indoor track and field regular season in the books for Iowa State, it's time for the postseason to begin in Lubbock, Texas, for the Big 12 Indoor Championships.
This will be the first year this meet will be held since the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S. canceled the event last year.
There are 10 teams competing this weekend, and out of those 10 teams, five of them are ranked. Iowa State is one of those five teams, as the men are currently sitting at the No. 14 spot in the country.
This weekend, the competition will be some of the toughest Iowa State has faced to date. The Texas Longhorns men's team is ranked No. 3 in the nation, and the women sit at No. 4.
One notable positive coming into the Big 12 Championships for the men is their mid-distance team. Over the course of the indoor season, the mid-distance runners have quickly established themselves as one of the best in the nation.
One runner to keep in mind from this elite squad is sophomore transfer Jason Gomez.
For the 1,000-meter run, Gomez currently sits at the No. 3 spot in all-time collegiate history with a time of 2:19.11.
Then, Gomez was a part of the distance medley relay team that not only broke the school record but also put themselves at the No. 8 spot in all-time collegiate history with a time of 9:27.90. Finally, Gomez is ranked No. 2 all-time for Iowa State in the 800-meter dash after his debut race this season, finishing with a time of 1:47.02.
For the women's team, the runner who draws attention is sophomore Katarina Vlahovic.
Vlahovic has been a mark of consistency for Head Coach Martin Smith this indoor season. She currently sits at the No. 23 spot in the nation for the 60-meter hurdles and holds a number of records for the Cyclones.
One notable performance for Vlahovic this indoor season was her pair of races Feb. 5 at the Doc Hale Elite Meet. There, she would tie her personal best in the prelims of the 60-meter hurdles with a time of 8.30.
In the finals, she would set a new personal record while finishing second with a time of 8.27.
This new personal record is also good enough to put her at the No. 4 spot all-time for Iowa State.
In the previous Big 12 Indoor Championships, the women's team for the Cyclones set a new scoring record with 180.33 points en route to a comfortable first-place finish. The women have also won six out of the last seven Big 12 Indoor Championships.
The meet is set to kick off Friday at the Sports Performance Center in Lubbock, Texas. Events will begin with the pentathlon and the heptathlon.