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College Cross Country: Iowa State’s Kiptoo wins Midwest Region Title, leads team to NCAA Championships

IOWA CITY – Wesley Kiptoo asserted his credentials as one of the favorites for next week’s NCAA Cross Country Championships individual title, picking up a commanding victory at the NCAA Cross Country Championship Midwest Regional at the Ashton Cross Country Course. Kiptoo led the Cyclones to second place in the team standings and an automatic qualifying spot for the NCAA Cross Country Championships at Florida State next Saturday.

Kiptoo won in 30:17.81, six seconds ahead of his closest competitor and over 35 seconds better than the previous 10K course record set 16 years ago. He was one of five Cyclones to earn All-Midwest Region honors, joined by Thomas Pollard (10th), Gable Sieperda (12th), Ryan Ford (14th) and Timothy Sindt (20th).

Kiptoo did not go out to his usual break-neck pace, sitting in the pack for the first quarter of the race. For Big 12 fans, a familiar list appeared at the 3K check-point, with Kiptoo ahead of Oklahoma State rival Isai Rodriguez. Kiptoo laid down the hammer after the halfway point, with the field within one second of him at the 5K check, but then ahead by 10 seconds at the 6.5K checkpoint, putting the result beyond doubt.

Kiptoo eased home in first in 30:17.81, taking off 35 seconds of the previous Ashton Cross Country Course 10K record which was set in 2005. His final winning margin was four seconds over Illinois’ Jonathan Davis.

The rest of the Iowa State contingent held tough as a group and were able to stay among the second-lead pack when the big-pack broke up between the 3.5K and 5K checkpoints, with all five ISU scorers finishing in the top-20 on the day.

Thomas Pollard earned his third career All-Midwest Region nod with his 10th place effort in 30:28.00. The remainder of the ISU scoring contingent all earned first career All-Midwest Region honors, Gable Sieperda taking 12th in 30:29.85, Ryan Ford getting 14th in 30:31.89 and Timothy Sindt taking 20th in 30:47.69.

Up Next
The No. 4 men will compete at the 2021 NCAA Cross Country Championships next Saturday in Tallahassee, Florida. Coverage will begin at 9 a.m. Central on ESPNU.

Team Standings
1. Oklahoma State – 43; 2. Iowa State – 57; 3. Tulsa – 65; 4. Minnesota – 120; 5. Illinois – 210

Individual Standings
1. Wesley Kiptoo, Iowa State – 30:17.81; 10. Thomas Pollard, Iowa State – 30:28.00; 12. Gable Siperda, Iowa State – 30:29.85; 14. Ryan Ford, Iowa State – 30:31.89; 20. Timothy Sindt, Iowa State – 30:47.69; 36. Chad Johnson, Iowa State – 31:21.17; 38. Ezekiel Rop, Iowa State – 31:24.48

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