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DES MOINES - Iowa's two largest universities each took home Hy-Vee Cups Saturday at the Drake Relays.
The Iowa State men won the Hy-Vee Cup by finishing first in the 3,200-meter relay and the distance medley relay. They also finished fourth in the sprint medley relay and fifth in the 1,600-meter relay. The Cyclones totaled 29 team points. The Iowa men finished second with 23 points.
The Iowa women won the Hy-Vee Cup with 26 team points by winning the sprint medley relay and finishing second in both the 1,600-meter relay and the 3,200-meter relay. The Iowa State women finished fifth with 11 team points.
In the distance medley relay Saturday, like the 3,200-meter relay Friday night, Iowa State needed an outstanding kick from Festus Lagat.
Lagat was at least 30 meters behind Illinois' Irwin Loud when he got the baton to begin the 1,600-meter leg of the race on a rainy Saturday afternoon.
'That was tough,” Lagat said. 'He was far away from me and I just had to keep my mind right because I needed to make sure I still had enough to kick.”
Even though he had ground to make up, his teammates were confident in his abilities. Lagat, along with Missouri's Thomas George and Wichita State's Zack Penrod slowly made up the distance between themselves and Loud.
'The three of us knew by the second lap that he was close enough to catch him,” said Cebastian Gentil, who ran the 800 leg. 'Then with 200 left, they were in a pack of four and we believe in Festus. We knew he was going to get him.
'Right when he passed him we got excited because that was the moment of truth that we won Drake. We had a lot of faith in him for sure.”
Iowa State finished with a time of 9:48.63 thanks to Lagat's outstanding 200-meter kick. Missouri finished second in 9:49.51.
Edwin Kurgat, who ran the opening 1,200 meters, was also on the 3,200-meter relay team that won Friday night. In fact, three of the four that ran in the distance medley ran in the 3,200-meter relay the day before. The only runner who wasn't on Friday night's team was Charlie Johnson. Instead, the 3,200-meter relay team had Roshon Roomes, who ran in the sprint medley relay on Saturday.
'This was so important for us after running well last night,” Kurgat said. 'This was another way to show that we're a great team.”
The Iowa women's sprint medley didn't have to make the comeback the Iowa State men did. Iowa was in second after the first lap and was in first the next two laps.
The Hawkeyes got good carries from each of their four runners and finished in 3:54.18. Illinois took second with a time of 3:55.79.
Iowa added another individual champion in discus thrower Reno Tuufuli.
Tuufuli's best throw was his first throw of 193 feet, 2 inches. Second place went to Kentucky's Charles Lenford, whose best throw was 192 feet, 2 inches.
This is Tuufuli's third first-place finish at the Drake Relays and second discus win. His other flag came last year in the shot put.
'I really wanted to win this flag because I got second last year after winning it the year before,” Tuufuli said. 'I needed to get it back.”
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