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ISU’s Nelson strong fourth in NCAA 10k

DES MOINES, Iowa – After earning All-America honors for the third time in the 2011-2012 season, Iowa State distance runner Meaghan Nelson, who finished fourth in Thursday’s NCAA 10,000-meter run at Drake Stadium, is already looking ahead.

“I’m looking forward to cross country,” Nelson said. “I will run with (teammate) Betsy (Saina) next year. I enjoy the team aspect of the sport and I think we are going to have a good team.”

Whoa. First things first. Nelson ran with the leaders throughout the race the 10,000-meter race Thursday night as the pack of frontrunners got smaller and smaller. She finished with a time of 32:47.43 as Natosha Rogers of Texas A&M won the battle in 32:41.63.

Many of Nelson’s family and teammates were in the stands, watching this woman who had a unassuming prep career, do what she never dreamed of doing as a high schooler running on Drake’s blue track.

“The 10,000-meter run is a very tactical race and so you can never be sure of exactly how your opponents are doing. The pace varied tonight. But I am happy with the result.”

Iowa State head coach Corey Ihmels said initial strategy was for Nelson to let the race come to her.

“It started out exactly the way we needed it, a quick pace,” Ihmels said. “But Rogers moved to the front and slowed it down. A faster pace would have aided Meaghan at the end. But what a great season Meaghan has had and what a special story she is.”

Nelson will compete in the U.S. Olympic Trials later this month in Eugene, Ore.

Iowa State high jumper Cameron Ostrowski cleared 7-0 ∏ to place 19th as a freshman.

IOWA STATE RESULTS

Men’s High Jump
1. Eric Kynard, Kansas State, 7-8; 19. CAMERON OSTROWSKI, IOWA STATE, 7-0 ∏

Women’s 10,000-meters
1. Natosha Rogers, Texas A&M; 4. MEAGHAN NELSON, IOWA STATE, 32:47.43

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