Courtesy: ISU Athletic Communications
DES MOINES, Iowa – The Iowa State women’s 4 x 1600-meter relay made history Thursday in Drake Stadium. The Cyclone foursome of Maggie Gannon, Dani Stack, Crystal Nelson and Ej Okoro became the first Iowa Staters to win the event at the Drake Relays. The Iowa State men’s 4 x 1,600-meter relay finished third.
“Our ladies did a great job,” Iowa State head coach Corey Ihmels said. “They ran the race perfectly as planned. I enjoyed seeing them get to enjoy being Drake Relays champions.”
The Iowa State women won in 19.16.69, the second-fastest clocking in school history. Minnesota was second in 19:23.25 and Loyola third in 19:31.85. Gannon said that it was time that a program that has won the last two Big 12 Conference cross country team titles stepped up in the longest relay in collegiate track and field.
“Our coaches have asked us and we have said ourselves ‘why have we not won this relay,’” Gannon said.
Stack pushed Iowa State into a lead it never relinquished. Nelson held the lead and Okoro, an NCAA All-American, finished strong.
“This was something I really wanted to do since my freshman year, get a Drake flag,” Stack, herself an All-American, said. “This year, running with my teammates, it is even better than being an All-American.”
Nelson was the lone freshman on the quartet.
“I was so nervous, I didn’t want to let these ladies down,” Nelson said. “Coach told me to stay relaxed. I’m more comfortable at 5,000-meters but coach told me to run confidently. I am so proud of our team.”
The men’s team of Alec Baldwin of Spirit Lake, Edwin Serem, Jacob Aune of Fairfax and Mohamed Hrezi finished in 16:56.29. Notre Dame won the race in 16:42.89. Minnesota was second in 16:45.51.
4x1600-meter relay: 1) IOWA STATE, 19:16.69;
4x1600-meter relay: 1) Notre Dame, 16:42.89; 2) Minnesota, 16:45.51; 3) IOWA STATE, 16:56.29