Iowa State Cyclones cross country

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Iowa State Cyclones
Iowa State Cyclones logo.svg
Founded 1859
University Iowa State
Conference Big 12
Location Ames, IA
Head Coach Martin Smith (1st year)
Course ISU Cross Country Course
Nickname Cyclones
Colors Cardinal and Gold[1]
Men's National Championships
1989, 1994
Women's National Championships
1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1981
Men's NCAA Appearances
1958, 1959, 1966, 1974, 1976, 1977, 1980, 1981, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1997, 1998, 2007, 2008, 2009
Women's NCAA Appearances
1982, 1983, 1985, 1990, 1995, 1996, 2009
Men's Conference Champions
1911, 1913, 1914, 1915, 1916, 1917, 1919, 1920, 1921, 1922, 1923, 1926, 1930, 1931, 1974, 1981, 1983, 1984, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1993, 1994
Women's Conference Champions
1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979 ,1981, 1983, 1990, 2011, 2012, 2013

Iowa State Cyclones Cross Country is an athletic team representing the Cyclones of Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa. Originally, the men’s and women’s teams were considered separate; but, beginning in the 2007 season, the two teams were combined and are now considered as one at the university.


Men's team[edit]

The Iowa State men’s cross country team made their first appearance as a team at the National Cross country meet in 1952. Between 1952 and 1987, Iowa State produced ten different individual All-Americans, many of them receiving the honors more than once.

In both 1987 and 1988, the men’s team won the Big Eight Conference titles. In 1989, the team led by John Nuttall and Jonah Koech won their third consecutive Big Eight Conference championship and continued to the national meet with high hopes. At the NCAA Division 1 National Meet, Nuttall captured the individual crown, followed in second by his teammate Koech. The 1989 Iowa State Cyclone team won their first national championship with the second best team score in the previous 25 years.

For the next two years, Iowa State was the runner-up at the national meet. In 1994, the team, led by Ian Robinson, was once again Big Eight Conference Champions and was expected to contend for the national title. Although the meet was held on the home course of the defending champions, Arkansas, Iowa State captured the national title for the first time since 1989.

Women's team[edit]

The Iowa State women’s cross-country team began in 1975. The same year the program was organized, the team, led by Peg Neppel-Darrah (who placed 2nd), won the US Track and Field National Cross Country Championship. For the next four years, the team won the national championships, and by 1979 had also won a Big Eight Conference title and many regional championships.

In 1981, the women’s team, led by conference champion Dorothe Rasmussen, won the Big Eight Conference championship once again. Rasmussen won the 1981 AIAW National Championship Meet, and was accompanied by the rest of the team members, as they all became team champions.

In 1985, the Iowa State women’s team surprised the nation when they became the NCAA Division 1 Runners-Up at the National Meet. As the airplane was traveling back to Ames, it crashed near Des Moines due to wing ice accumulation. Seven Iowa State runners and faculty died in the crash.

Current team[edit]

Martin Smith was hired in 2013 to replace Corey Ihmels as the new Director of Track & Field / Cross Country. Martin has 35 years of collegiate coaching experience with 5 national championships, 25 conference championships, and nearly 300 All-Americans under his guidance. Martin was hired from Oklahoma, where he led the men's cross country team to their highest finish ever at the 2012 NCAA XC National Championships. Prior to Oklahoma, Smith coached at Oregon where he coached 65 All-Americans. From 1983 - 1998, Smith coached at Wisconsin, where he led the men's cross country team to national championships in 1985 and 1988. Smith coached at Virginia from 1980 - 1983, where he led the women to three national championships (indoor track in 1981 and cross country in 1981 and 1982).

In the 2007 season, the Iowa State men had the best finish at the Big 12 Conference Championship in ten years, and the women had their highest since 2000. The women were also ranked regionally for the first time since 2000, and then men qualified for the national meet for the first time since 1997. The men have since qualified for the 2008 and 2009 championships, and the women's team qualified for the 2009 championships. 2009 was the first time that both teams qualified for the NCAAs since 1995.[2]



Titles Type Year
National Championships[3]
2 Men's NCAA Team Champions 1989, 1994
2 Total
Conference Championships[3][4]
25 Big Eight Conference Men's Team Champion 1911, 1913, 1914, 1915, 1916, 1917, 1919, 1920, 1921, 1922, 1923, 1926, 1930, 1931, 1974, 1981, 1983, 1984, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1993, 1994
3 Big Ten Conference Men's Team Champion 1911, 1919, 1920[5]
0 Big 12 Conference Men's Team Champion
28 Total


Titles Type Year
National Championships[3]
5 Women's AIAW Team Champions 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1981
2 Women's USF Team Champions 1973, 1974
7 Total
Conference Championships[3][6]
8 Big Eight Conference Women's Team Champion 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1981, 1983, 1990
3 Big 12 Conference Women's Team Champion 2011, 2012, 2013
11 Total

Record by year[edit]


Previous coaching staff[edit]

Corey Ihmels[edit]

Corey Ihmels served as ISU's Director of Track and Field and Cross Country from 2007 - 2013. As a runner in high school, he was a 13-time state champion in North Dakota. He ran for Iowa State, where he broke four-minutes in the mile, and was a Big 12 Conference Champion in both the mile and 1,000 meter run. He began coaching at Iowa State as Head Men’s Cross Country Coach from 2001 to 2006. He was hired as Head Director of Track and Field/Cross Country at Iowa State in 2007.

Blake Boldon[edit]

Blake Boldon was the Recruiting Coordinator and Assistant Coach for Iowa State. He competed for Missouri State as a collegiate runner, and was a five-time Missouri Valley Conference Champion. He now competes for the company Saucony. Boldon is a former volunteer assistant for the Iowa State cross-country team, and was hired as Recruiting Coordinator and Assistant Coach in 2007.

Other coaches[edit]

Travis Hartke, a graduate of North Central College, and Michelle Ihmels served as Volunteer Assistant Coaches.

ISU Cross Country Course[edit]

In October 1995, the ISU Cross Country Course was dedicated and opened. This facility was the original dream of Iowa State Men’s Cross Country Coach Bill Bergan. It was the host of the 2000 NCAA Division 1 Cross Country Championships and was the first course in the United States to be specifically and used and tailored for cross-country racing.

See also[edit]