Story by Austin Cannon
The Iowa State classic was the stage for senior Brogan Austin to set a new Drake indoor record in the 5,000 meters.
Austin, who finished ninth, ran the race in 13 minutes, 59.71 seconds. It was .017 of a second quicker than Jason Lehmkuhle’s 2000 record-setting time.
The pacesetter, the “rabbit,” gave Austin a good pace to work with.
“We had a guy take the race out at a 14-flat pace, which is a pretty good click for us. So when you can sit on somebody for a race, for the majority of it, it saves a lot of energy and you can better mentally prepare for the last bit where you have to push,” Austin said.
Austin settled in for 4,900 meters, but had to really work for the last 100.
“I was going about 16 seconds for every 100 meters, and so it was 100 meters to go and I saw I there was 15 seconds left (un)til it was 14 (minutes) flat, and I wanted to break 14, so I really had to dig deep and go under 15 (seconds),” Austin said.
He was able to do it, although he didn’t think he did.
“I knew what the school record was, but I honestly didn’t think I had gotten it. I was pretty disappointed that I couldn’t run a second faster,” Austin said. “It was just a relief because that’s what I’ve been trying to do all year long, get one school record.”
The finish wasn’t free of suspense, though.
During the race, Austin stepped on the inside of the track, an offense that could lead to disqualification.
“Someone threw up a yellow flag and went and reported it to the booth, and I thought I was disqualified,” Austin said.
Luckily for Austin, the flag was for someone else.
“Apparently, somebody stepped off the track, dropped out of the race, at the same time that I had stepped on the inside of the track, so that got cleared up.”
It was stacked field, featuring runners from Wisconsin, Villanova, Texas and Northern Arizona.
‘They kind of revamped their meet. They poured in a lot of money and tried to bring in a lot of good athletes this year,” Austin said. “It’s one of the top meets in the nation, so a lot of competitive guys and fast guys.”
Austin finished a little over half a second behind Illinois State’s John Mascari, the 2013 Missouri Valley Cross Country champion.
Also earning Top-10 finishes for Drake in Ames were senior Danyelle Cole, who finished sixth in the 60 meters; Erica Bestul, ninth in the 1,000 meters; Rob McCann, seventh in the 3,000 meters; Ryan Cook, fifth in the high jump; and Johnathan Osifuye, 10th in the triple jump.
Austin and the rest of the Drake track and field team head to the Iowa Classic on Friday in their final meet before the MVC Indoor Championship on Feb. 28.