Wednesday, July 24, 2013

NCAA XC Top 31 Countdown: Men's #30- Iowa State

Editor's note: For the next month, The Wood Report will be counting down projected team finishes in this year's NCAA Cross Country Championships in Terre Haute, IN.

Iowa State
Head Coach: Martin Smith (1st Season)
2012 National Finish: N/A

Key Returners from 2012
  • Mohamed Hrezi (Sr., 3:45, 13:59, 29:25)
  • Edward Kemboi (Jr., 1:46.06, 3:46.30)
  • Faulko Zauber (Sr., 3:47.78)
  • Alex Dillenbeck (Jr., 3:47, no. 2 at Big 12s)
Impact Recruits/Transfers
  • Jason Thomas (Fr., 4:10, 73rd NXN Nats, Iowa XC State Champ)

Season Preview

After eleven years in Ames, former head coach Corey Ihmels took the position of Head Track and Field Coach at Boise State on June 14, 2013. The Iowa State athletic department took zero time to find a replacement and did a fantastic job of doing so. Martin Smith (formerly at Oklahoma and Oregon) is now at the helm and will look to lead the Cyclones back to Terre Haute. Everywhere Smith has gone he has found success, at Oklahoma and Oregon and will do the same thing with Iowa State. 

An eighth place finish at the Midwest Regional in 2012 does not necessarily scream a team that is ready to qualify for nationals the next season. The difference comes from Coach Smith. He did a fantastic job turning milers into cross country runners at Oklahoma and should find the same success at Iowa State.

These milers include: Mohamed Hrezi, Edward Kemboi, Faulko Zauber,  and Edwin Serem. Hrezi is a 800m runner turned distance guy and now has proven range after a 5th place finish at the Big 12 10000m and a trip to Austin for the West Regional in the 5000m. Kemboi is a well-known 800m runner, but has proven to be OK over the longer distances, this is where Smith will help him find the range. Zauber and Serem appear to be the darkhorses for this program. Both having good wheels, but never having proved the range, if they can put the miles in this summer and turn themselves into cross country runners this group looks prepared to make a statement in 2013. 

Jason Thomas, a local kid from Dowling Catholic High School, is a solid recruit that can make a difference. Thomas comes from a good high school program that qualified for NXN in '12. He has good wheels (4:10 1600m PR) and could prove to be a difference maker in their top five if his post-season cross country experience from high school can translate into post-season experience at the college level. Charlie Joslin-Allen of Great Britain is a very experienced cross country runner having placed in the top 25 at the UK National Championships this past spring. 

With Oklahoma losing a huge chunk of their core runners the door seems to be open for Iowa State and Oklahoma's former coach Martin Smith to steal a spot in the top three in the regional and have enough points to find themselves in Terre Haute. 

1 comment:

  1. Joslin Allen is no longer going to Iowa State (internationals told not to come).