ISU’s Andrea Toppin Rising to Meet Expectations

Andrea Toppin Iowa State
(2nd from right)

There were 37 students in Andrea Toppin’s graduating class at Ventura High School.  She developed a penchant for running even though her school didn’t have enough runners to be a scoring cross country team after her freshman season. She is still running, now as a member of Iowa State’s cross country team and distance unit.

Toppin finished seventh among 102 runners over 5,000 meters Saturday in the Iowa State Classic on the Iowa State Cross Country. Iowa State’s women’s cross country teams placed five runners among the top eight finishers to win the meet. Toppin was Iowa State’s third finisher.

Toppin was the runner-up at the Bulldog Classic, a 4,000-meter race Sept. 4 in Des Moines. She won Iowa prep titles in the 1,500 meters and 3,000 meters as a senior in 2010. Her dedication to running developed gradually.

“I didn’t really get into serious mileage until I came to college,” Toppin said. “My senior year of high school was when I started to really look at mileage and bump it up.  Throughout high school I would run like 15 miles a week and then my senior year I started to do 35 miles.”

Toppin has talent but knows first-hand that it takes more than that in NCAA Division I competition. That was one of the first lessons of collegiate cross country and track and field.

“Talent will not win in college,” Toppin said.  “You need to put hard work in right away.  I don’t care if you are a high school national champion, you have to put hard work in.  That’s what (Olympian and former Iowa State NCAA champion) Lisa Koll (Uhl), Ft. Dodge, did and that’s why she was successful.  (Cyclone All-American) Meaghan Nelson, CR Xavier, does it and so does (Cyclone All-American) Dani (Stack).”

The success of Koll-Uhl, Nelson and Stack under head coach Corey Ihmels after relatively unheralded prep careers, has attracted the attention of runners across the country.

Toppin is all in.

“I am currently running 70 miles a week,” Toppin said. “I want to make an impact. This morning I got up at like 5:10 a.m. and ran at like 5:20 a.m. because I have class at 8 a.m. I usually run with my teammates.”

The goal?

“The team is very deep this year,” Toppin said. “I want to run in every meet. I want to be on the line at (the NCAA meet).”

Courtesy: ISU Athletics Communications




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