Iowa State’s Lisa Koll Runs 15:29.65 at Classic
AMES, Iowa – Note to all NCAA Division I women’s collegiate track distance runners: Lisa Koll is back. The Iowa State senior became the second-fastest American collegiate performer ever on any indoor track in the 5,000-meter run Saturday. The seven-time All-American and Fort Dodge native won the race in 15:29.65 at the Iowa State Classic on the Lied Recreation Facility 300-meter track. Only Jenny Barringer of Colorado has run faster as an American collegiate runner, with a 15:01.70 effort in 2009.
Koll set an American Collegiate record in the 10,000-meters in April 2008. She ran away with that event at the 2008 NCAA Championship in Des Moines in June. But Koll suffered through an injury-plagued 2009 season. That struggle made Saturday’s effort sweeter.
"It feels amazing, it makes last year worth it,” Koll said Saturday. “There were so many times last year when I questioned if it was even worth (competing). I was hurt and couldn’t run and I thought I could never run again as well as I did before. So to finally have that breakthrough race and have it be here in front of everyone and be able to be excited and celebrate it, it just means so much to me. It makes everything worth it, everything I went through in the past year.”
Koll broke her own Lied Center, ISU Classic and school record of 15:52.37, set in 2008. Beverly Ramos of Kansas State was second Saturday in 16:17.44. Iowa State’s Betsy Saina finished eighth in 16:40.49.
Koll ran like she does at her best, clocking progressively faster splits throughout the race, building for the finish. Her performance was like clockwork. She and ISU head coach Corey Ihmels had set a goal time of 15:28.
“Lisa has great rhythm as a runner,” Ihmels said. “She has a great handle on just how fast she is running and so she is able to steadily pick up the pace. That is what she did today.”
Koll and Iowa State play host to the Big 12 Indoor Track and Field Championships, Feb. 26-27 at the Lied Center.
“I told (Lisa) after the race that today was great and she ran tremendously,” Ihmels said. “We know that we’ve got to move on to bigger things and keep doing what we are doing to reach her goals at the end of the year.”