Iowa State’s Edwin Kurgat, left, and Wesley Kiptoo, congratulate each otters after placing in the top four of the Invitational Men’s 5,000 meters at the Oregon Relays at Hayward Field. Photo credit: © Chris Pietsch/The Register-Guard via Imagn Content Services, LLC
The following is a press release from Iowa State Athletic Communications.
AMES, Iowa – After his unprecedented performance at the Big 12 Outdoor Track & Field Championships last weekend, Wesley Kiptoo has been named the USTFCCCA NCAA Division I National Athlete of the Week. This is the third time Kiptoo has earned National Athlete of the Week as a Cyclone, the first two coming during the cross country season. This is his seventh USTFCCCA National Athlete of the Week award including his time at Colby Junior College.
At the Big 12 Championships, Kiptoo became the first male student-athlete to win three individual conference titles in the same weekend, earning the Championships High Point Award in the process. What made Kiptoo’s triple impressive was that it took place in the three longest races: the 3,000m steeplechase, the 5,000m run and 10,000m run and all in record breaking fashion. Kiptoo is believed to be the first men’s student-athlete to win those three conference championships at the same conference championships since Ole Miss’ Barnabas Kirui did so at the 2007 SEC Outdoor Championships.
All three of Kiptoo’s wins came in meet-record times, with two of Kansas State’s R.V. Christian Track Records going down and one of the oldest ISU school records being taken down. He started his run on Friday night with a dominant wire-to-wire win in the 10,000m, claiming the title in 28:22.98 and leading an ISU 1-2-3-4 in the event.
Saturday saw Kiptoo make his ISU debut in the steeplechase, and once again he went wire-to-wire in a Championships, Facility and School Record time of 8:31.82 and 14 seconds ahead of his closest competitor. Kiptoo’s mark took down Iowa State’s 25-year old school record of 8:32.01 from the 1996 NCAA Track & Field Championships, and is also the No. 2 time in the event this year in NCAA Division I.
In the rain on Sunday in the 5,000m, Kiptoo had his first non-wire-to-wire win of the weekend, but he was able to shake off his closest competitor in the first mile and pulled away to another Championships and Facility record of 13:29.92 to complete his triple.
Kiptoo’s efforts helped lead the Iowa State men to a second-place finish at the Big 12 Outdoor Championships, tying the program’s highest team finish outdoors in the Big 12 Era. ISU’s 144 team points is the most scored by a non-winning men’s team at the Big 12 Outdoor Championships.
Qualifiers for the NCAA West Preliminaries will be announced on Thursday, with the meet taking place May 26-29 at Texas A&M, with Kiptoo and other student-athletes competing for the chance to run at the 2021 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships in Eugene, Oregon June 9-12.