Iowa State senior David Rotich set a goal for the Cyclone National Track and Field Qualifier: to run a sub-four minute mile.
He did just that, winning the mile race with a time of
3:59.50. The time is a new school record and Rotich is the fourth Cyclone in
history to run under four minutes during the indoor season.
"We talked about the race and how the key would be to not
get too excited because the pace would be there to go under four," said head
men's distance coach Corey Ihmels.
Rotich stuck to the plan and paced himself throughout the
"The rabbit set a good pace and I was patient until the
last 150 meters," Rotich said. "I just kicked it in at the end and it worked out
His time is currently the sixth-fastest in the nation.
"He's worked really hard over the past couple of years
and it was exciting to see it come to fruition today," Ihmels said. "He ran the
time he wanted to and he erased me completely from the record books. It's really
Ihmels set the mile record in 1997 at 3:59.70 and Rotich
broke Ihmels' 1,000-meter record at the Big 12 Championships last weekend.
The top seven runners in the mile met the provisional
qualifying standard and Rotich's time was just off the NCAA automatic qualifying
standard of 3:59.00.
He was competing against several of the top athletes in
"I was racing one of the fastest guys in the nation
(Christian Smith, Kansas State) and he set a great pace to make sure the race
was fast enough," Rotich said. "It felt great to come down to the line and win."
A native of Kenya, Rotich will have some special fans in
the stands when he competes in the NCAA Championships in Fayetteville, Ark.,
"My mom and dad have never seen me run," Rotich said.
"They'll be there to watch me run at nationals."
"He'll go to nationals to try and win; not just be an
All-American and that's what you want to see," said men's head coach Steve Lynn.
Senior Tony Douglas earned a second-place
finish in the long jump but tweaked a hamstring on his second run.
"He probably could have been an All-American indoors,"
Lynn said. "We're just not going to take that chance. It's his senior year and
he wants to be a Big 12 champion, a Drake Relays champion and an All-American.
If he's hurt, that's not going to happen."
"He had a great indoor season," said jumps coach
Ron McEachran. "I'm pleased with
him and he's going to jump really well outdoors."
Across the board, the Cyclones set personal-records and
season bests. Junior Dan Taylor clocked a personal-best
time of 4:08.29 in the mile.
The men's 4x400-meter relay team consisting of Eric Parker, James Robinson, Tony Stanfield and Elijah Braimah ran their best time
of the season with a 3:13.06 clocking. Braimah also recorded a personal-best
400-meter time of 47.76.
Kellen Burl tied his personal-best
of 8.06 in the preliminary race of the 60-meter hurdles.
"We're going to carry this momentum over to the outdoor
season," Lynn said. "We'll have several guys qualify for the regional meet early
in the season."
Ada Anderson turned in her
second-best time of the season in the 800 meters (2:06.44). She clocked her best
time at the Iowa State Classic (2:05.92) and currently has the eighth-fastest
time in the nation.
After competing in the prelims and semis, hurdler
Rebecca Williams finished fifth in
the 60-meter hurdles with her best time of the day, 8.48.
April Fabert recorded a personal
best in the high jump with a mark of 5-7 ¼. She took third in the event.
Jummy Alowonle leaped a second-mark
of the season in the long jump (19-3 ¼) to place third.
Athletes on the bubble will find out on Monday if they
get to make the trip to Fayetteville for the NCAA Championships. Watch for all
the Iowa State information at www.cyclones.com.