The Iowa State track and field squad opened the NCAA Outdoor Championships on Wednesday, with the men's team competing first in Eugene, Oregon. The Cyclones started things off with nine athletes competing in six events at Hayward Field.
Senior Vlad Pavlenko put the first points on the board for Iowa State, as he ended his Cyclone career by finishing fourth in the hammer throw final. Pavlenko, who broke the school record earlier this season, first won his flight with a best throw of 71.12 meters on his first attempt to qualify for the final. Over the next three throws, he was unable to best that initial mark, scratching on his fourth throw before producing marks of 68.69 and 68.77 meters on his last two attempts.
Fellow senior Scott Fuchs rounded out the field events by competing in the javelin throw. The Roselle, Illinois, native has done the best throwing of his career during this postseason, having posted the No. 2 mark in Iowa State history at 72.11 meters in the Big 12 Championships. He ended his collegiate career with Second Team All-American honors after having thrown a best mark of 70.91 meters on his first throw to finish ninth.
On the track, senior Festus Lagat qualified for Friday's 800-meter final by finishing second in heat two. The Eldoret, Kenya, native guaranteed himself one last race in his collegiate career, finishing behind Lipscomb senior Shane Streich in a time of 1:47.28. He last finished third in the 2019 800-meter final, breaking the school record with a time of 1:45.05. Sophomore Jason Gomez also ran in heat two but did not finish, while junior Alex Lomong earned Second Team All-American honors with a sixth-place finish in heat one with a time of 1:48.52.
In the men's 10,000-meter final, sophomore Wesley Kiptoo and senior Edwin Kurgat contested a race that saw 10 runners run under the previous meet record of 28:01.30 by Suleiman Nyambui of Texas El Paso in 1979.
While Kurgat hung toward the middle of the pack in the beginning, Kiptoo once again sprang toward the front of the field, clocking an opening lap of 63.05 seconds. He held the top spot with his front-running tactics until approximately the halfway mark, as Hofstra junior Alex Masai passed him for the lead. Kiptoo soon fell back to fifth as a few more runners from the initial chase pack overtook him, eventually finishing 11th and just missing the meet record with a time of 28:03.65 as Tulsa senior Patrick Dever won in 27:41.87. Kurgat did not finish the race, ending his collegiate career as a nine-time All-American and NCAA cross country champion in 2019.
Seniors David Too and Eric Fogltanz also bade farewell to their Iowa State careers, as both failed to qualify for the finals in their respective events. Too finished 11th in heat one with a time of 8:42.70, while Fogltanz ended as a six-time All-American at Iowa State by picking up Second Team honors in the 400-meter hurdles with a fourth-place finish in heat one with a time of 50.48 seconds.
Iowa State will be back on the track, as junior Cailie Logue will run in the women's 10,000-meter final at 8:08 p.m. Central Standard Time on Thursday.