AMES, Iowa – Betsy Saina did something Sunday at the Big 12 Indoor Track and Field Championships that no Iowa State men’s or women’s track and field track athlete, even its Olympians, had ever done dating back to 1908. The simply spectacular two-time NCAA champion won the mile and the 3,000-meter run on the Harry Hoak Track in the Lied Center to complement the 5,000-meter crown she claimed Friday. Saina is the first Cyclone to claim a trio of individual event crowns at a conference competition.
Saina was the meet’s top woman’s point scorer with 30 points as Iowa State made a run at the conference team title. Getting an across-the-board effort the Cyclones fell just short of a team championship. Kansas won with 150.5 points. Texas was second with 148 points. Iowa State was third with 142 points. Texas won the men’s team title with 135 points. The Cyclones were eighth with 61 points.
“It is bittersweet for us to come so close to winning the team championship, but when you look at the results, there really weren’t many areas where we could have come up with more points,” head coach Corey Ihmels said. “Betsy was amazing. When you consider all the great track and field athletes that have competed at Iowa State, she stands alone.”
Saina, who now owns seven conference titles, won the mile in 4:44.68 and the 3,000-meter run in 9:14.45. All-American Iowa Stater Meaghan Nelson placed second (9:17.70) and Samantha Bluske seventh (9:30.46) in the 3,000-meter run. Iowa State’s Dani Stack finished sixth in the mile with a 4:55.75 effort as the Cyclones flexed their distance muscles but also demonstrated an across-the-board effort.
“This has just been a really great overall weekend to be honest,” Saina said. “The whole goal for the weekend was to score the points for the Cyclones. I got 30 points and it is just a crazy feeling. I wasn’t trying to get certain times in any of my races and it helped me to take it easy. It was just running and having fun for me.”
Iowa State’s Ese Okoro won the 600-yard run in 1:20.28, the third-fastest time in Iowa State history. Her teammate Krista Shoeman was the runner-up in 1:21.60. Teammate Donnise Powell also placed fourth (1:22.59) and Dana Christensen fifth (1:22.91) for the home team.
“I am so grateful for the honor,” Okoro said. “We put a lot of emphasis on this event as a team, and all four of us were able to make the finals. My teammates all did amazing and it is great to be able to share spots on the podium with them.”
Iowa State sophomore Christina Hillman placed second in the shot put with a throw of 57-09.50, good for an Iowa State school record. Danielle Frere placed sixth with 52-05.50 and Hayli Bozarth in seventh with 51-10.00.
Senior Ejiro Okoro placed second in the 800-meter run with 2:06.59. With that time she holds the second-fastest effort in Iowa State history indoors.
Cyclone Maggie Gannon placed second in the 1,000-meter run with her 2:47.60 showing a personal best time in the event. Teammates Perez Rotich placed sixth (2:51.82) and Colleen Riley seventh (2:52.40). The women’s 4×400-meter relay team finished fifth with 3:39.07.
Nick Efkamp led the men’s side, winning the 400-meter run, clocking in at 46.25. The victory made the Madrid native the No. 2 performer all-time for Iowa State indoors.
“You never think in high school that you are going to be a Big 12 champion,” Efkamp said. “I knew I had to be the first to get to the cut. It was real smooth.”
Efkamp finished fifth in the 200-meter dash (21.24).
Iowa State sprinter Ian Warner placed second in the 60-meter dash with a 6.68 clocking. It was a personal best time for the Canadian Olympian.
“It may have looked like I didn’t start off well, but I actually did the right process, which has helped me finish better,” Warner said. “It’s what I’ve been working on a lot on at practice. I was extremely happy with the whole race.”
Cyclones Ryan Sander and Troy Walls set personal best times in the 60-meter hurdles. Sander placed third with 7.83, Walls placed eighth with 8.17. Jan Jeuschede posted a mark of 59-04.00 in the shot put for fourth place.
Iowa State’s Ethan Wilkins earned fourth-place in the heptathlon with 5,359 points. His teammate Taylor Sanderson earned sixth with 5,076 points.
Cyclone Troy Walls earned sixth in the high jump, clearing 6-09.75. Iowa Stater Kevin Poster placed seventh in the triple jump (46-11.50).
The Iowa State track and field team hosts the NCAA qualifier meet at the Lied Recreation Center Saturday. Results will be posted at the conclusion of the meet on cyclones.com.
Iowa State Results:
Team Point Totals: 1) Kansas, 150.50; 2) Texas, 148; 3) IOWA STATE, 142; 4) Baylor, 72; 5) Oklahoma State, 48; 6) Texas Tech, 43.50; 7) Kansas State, 41; 8) Oklahoma, 38.50; 9) TCU, 37; 10) West Virginia, 20.50.
Mile Run: 1) Betsy Saina, IOWA STATE, 4:44.68; 6) Dani Stack, IOWA STATE, 4:55.75.
600-yard run: 1) Ese Okoro, IOWA STATE, 1:20.28; 2) Krista Shoeman, IOWA STATE, 1:21.60; 4) Donnise Powell, IOWA STATE, 1:22.59; 5) Dana Christensen, IOWA STATE, 1:22.91.
1,000-meter run: 1) Mariah Kelly, Baylor, 2:46.87; 2) Maggie Gannon, IOWA STATE, 2:47.60; 6) Perez Rotich, IOWA STATE, 2:51.82; 7) Colleen Riley, IOWA STATE, 2:52.40.
3,000-meter run: 1) Betsy Saina, IOWA STATE, 9:14.45; 2) Meaghan Nelson, IOWA STATE, 9:17.70; 7) Samantha Bluske, IOWA STATE, 9:30.46; 9) Crystal Nelson, IOWA STATE, 9:40.03; 11) Katy Moen, IOWA STATE, 9:45.97; 19) Perez Rotich, IOWA STATE, 9:51.06; 22) Morgan Casey, IOWA STATE, 9:52.42.
4×400: 1) Texas, 3:33.54; 5) IOWA STATE, 3:39.07.
Shot Put: 1) Tia Brooks, Oklahoma, 60-09.25; 2) Christina Hillman, IOWA STATE, 57-09.50; 6) Danielle Frere, IOWA STATE, 52-05.50; 7) Hayli Bozarth, IOWA STATE, 51-10.00.
Team Point Totals: 1) Texas, 135; 2) Oklahoma, 108.50; 3) Kansas State, 96; 4) Baylor, 79; 5) Texas Tech, 76; 6) Kansas, 74.50; 7) Oklahoma State, 73; 8) IOWA STATE, 61; 9) TCU, 38.
Heptathlon Total Points: 1) Johannes Hock, Texas, 5858; 4) Ethan Wilkins, IOWA STATE, 5359; 6) Taylor Sanderson, IOWA STATE, 5076; 9) Matt Harmeyer, IOWA STATE, 4287.
60-meter hurdles: 1) Keiron Stewart, Texas, 7.72; 3) Ryan Sander, IOWA STATE, 7.83; 8) Troy Walls, IOWA STATE, 8.17.
60-meter dash: 1) Charles Silmon, TCU, 6.66; 2) Ian Warner, IOWA STATE, 6.68.
Mile Run: 1) Patrick Casey, Oklahoma, 4:00.81; 8) Rico Loy, IOWA STATE, 4:06.97
400-meter run: 1) Nick Efkamp, IOWA STATE, 46.25.
800-meter run: 1) Nick Rivera, Texas Tech, 1:52.53; 6) Alec Baldwin, IOWA STATE, 1:54.00; 8) Edward Kemboi, IOWA STATE, 1:55.43.
200-meter dash: 1) Blake Heriot, Baylor, 20.77; 5) Nick Efkamp, IOWA STATE, 21.24.
3,000-meter run: 1) Kennedy Kithuka, Texas Tech, 7:53.72; 12) Falko Zauber, IOWA STATE, 8:11.36; 26) Rico Loy, IOWA STATE, 8:29.20; 27) Stephen Saylor, IOWA STATE, 8:29.35; 33) Brian Llamas, IOWA STATE, 8:54.57.
4×400: 1) Baylor: 3:07.91; 8) IOWA STATE, 3:18.30.
High Jump: 1) Erik Kynard, Kansas State, 7-07.00; 6) Troy Walls, IOWA STATE, 6-09.75.
Shot Put: 1) Hayden Baillio, Texas, 64-05.00; 4) Jan Jeuschede, IOWA STATE, 59-04.00.
Triple jump: 1) Felix Obi, Baylor, 53-01.00; 7) Kevin Poster, IOWA STATE, 46-11.50.