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ISU track: Kemboi advances in 800 meters

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Iowa State’s Cameron Ostrowski and Ejiro Okoro each earned the second All-America of their careers this evening at the 2014 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships. Ostrowski placed 13th in the men’s high jump, while Okoro placed ninth in the women’s 800-meter run. Edward Kemboi advanced to tomorrow’s final in the men’s 800-meter run.

Okoro made a strong push over the final 200 meters of the women’s 800-meter prelim, passing a pair of runners ahead of her for a fourth-place finish in 2:07.93. The Birmingham, England native’s time was just off of qualifying for the finals but was good enough to earn second-team All-America recognition. Okoro joins Ada Anderson, Maria Akraka and Edith Nakiyingi as the only Cyclones to attain All-America status at least twice in their careers. Okoro placed seventh at last year’s championships.

Okoro’s coach Andrea Grove- McDonough was pleased with how she performed under the given circumstances, tweaking her knee in practice earlier this week.

“At this time of year, you just want to get to the starting line healthy, but we weren’t able to do that,” Grove-McDonough said. “We were happy with how strong she was the class that she showed. Ej performed well tonight, and it’s too bad she couldn’t make the final. This just gives us more motivation for the outdoor season, in getting her on the podium where she belongs.”

Entering the outdoor season, the Cyclone senior will look to add a third All-America accolade to her resume as one of the top 800-meter runners in program history.

Ostrowski cleared a height of 6 feet, 10.75 inches (2.10m) in tonight’s action to make the garner second-team All-America accolades. The Burlington, Ill., native joins John Kingery (1927), Dwayne Feeken (1946), Brian Tietjens (1983-1985) and Darwin Vande Hoef (1990) as the only Cyclones in program history to attain All-American status in the event. Ostrowski has a bright outlook entering the outdoor season, having jumped equal or better than tonight’s performance in each showing this indoor season. Florida State’s James Harris took the event victory, clearing 7’7.25”.

In the men’s 800m, Kemboi placed first in his heat with a time of 1:48.37. The time was the fastest qualifying mark in the field, as the Eldoret, Kenya, native defended his top seed entering tomorrow’s final. Kemboi ran in fourth for the first half of the race, picking off the leaders as the race progressed. Kemboi added to his career total of sub-1:50 performances, bringing his number up to 19 with the showing. The performance also secures the Cyclone junior’s third-career first-team All-America honor.

The Cyclones will return to the track tomorrow as Edward Kemboi and Christina Hillman (shot put) will look to take home a national championship in their respective events. ESPN3 will be carrying a live stream of the action beginning at 6:50 p.m. CT.

Iowa State Results
High Jump (M): 1) James Harris, Florida State, 7’7.25”; 13) Cameron Ostrowski, Iowa State, 6’10.75”.
800m (W): 1) Edward Kemboi, Iowa State, 1:48.37.
800m (M): 1) Savannah Camacho, Oklahoma State, 2:06.17; 9) Ejiro Okoro, Iowa State, 2:07.93

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