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Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
DES MOINES — It was overcast for much of the day Friday at the Drake Relays.
But just before the Iowa State men’s 3,200-meter relay team was set to race, the sun came out.
“We practice in the rain, sleet and snow, so as soon as the sun came out, which was about four minutes before our race, we knew we had to perform,” Iowa State’s Daniel Nixon said. “We had our sights set on the record.”
The Cyclones have amassed some of the top 800-meter runners in the nation and even before the race began, there was talk of the team toppling a 36-year-old Drake Relays record.
The Cyclones set the pace and never looked back.
Jason Gomez opened the race with a time of 1:48.66 and Nixon ran the second leg in 1:48.52. Roshon Roomes, the NCAA indoor record holder in the 600 meters, ran a split of 1:47.88. Festus Lagat, a four-time All American, anchored the Cyclones with a time of 1:47.51.
Add the times together and Iowa State ran the 3,200-meter relay in 7:12.47, setting a Drake Relays record. The previous record was set by Nebraska in 1985 (7:14.89).
“Going after the record was inspiration for us,” Gomez said. “We knew we had a chance and it was my job to get us out fast.”
The second-place team was Bradley, which finished in 7:21.91.
“Three of us are seniors,” Roomes said of himself, Nixon and Lagat. “We wanted to get this done. This is, in all likelihood, my last Drake Relays and I wanted to make it special. Now it’s up to Gomez to keep it going.”
The 3,200-meter relay was Roomes’ second Drake Relays title of the afternoon. Roomes was a part of Iowa State’s winning sprint medley relay team, anchoring the 800-meter leg for that relay, which finished the 1,600 meters in 3:22.06.
The other members of the team were Gage Clay, a middle distance runner, Joven Nelson, a 400-meter hurdler, and Eric Fogltanz, an All-America 400-meter hurdler. Clay and Nelson ran the first two 200-meter legs and Fogltanz ran the 400.
It was Iowa State’s second-ever Drake Relays sprint medley relay title — the other was in 2018.
“We’re known as a mid-distance and long-distance school,” Roomes said. “We wanted to prove that we can do the sprints as well.”
Former Linn-Mar hurdler Trent Davis had a good Friday back on the blue oval running for North Dakota State.
Davis finished fifth in the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 53.38. In the 110-meter hurdles, Davis qualified third with a time of 14.55. That final will be run on Saturday at 3:26 p.m.