Last week, The Stride Report received a tip that Iowa State superstar Wesley Kiptoo was exploring options to turn pro, something that was mentioned on this episode of the Blue Oval Podcast (28:38).
Despite The Stride Report being unable to officially confirm Kiptoo's professional ambitions, an announcement from NAZ Elite came on Friday morning, validating our initial suspicions.
This is a massive development for the NCAA. One of the nation's most talented long distance runners was expected to be a potential title contender in the 10,000 meters this spring.
On the grass, Kiptoo has emerged as the best of the best, finishing 3rd at NCAA D1 XC Championships in March of 2021 and later finishing runner-up in that same meet this past fall.
On the track, few men have been able to flex the aerobic dominance that Kiptoo has. The Iowa State superstar has run times of 4:01 (mile), 7:43 (3k), 13:14 (5k), 27:37 (10k unattached) and 8:31 (3k steeplechase).
Kiptoo also won the indoor 5k national title in March of 2021, running 13:23 which, at the time, was a meet record. This past winter, Abdi Nur and three others went under that 13:23 mark to set a new meet record.
Few people in the NCAA have ever questioned Kiptoo's aerobic dominance and raw talent. However, Kiptoo's unconventional front-running method has produced a wide variety of results on the national stage.
His aggressive pacing won him a 5k national title and ultimately put him in the top-three at his first D1 cross country national meet. However, he has also faltered out of All-American position four times in his last two national meets on the track.
Kiptoo will now be joining a Hoka-sponsored training group that has seen some recent turnover in terms of their roster. This long distance megastar will, in theory, fit seamlessly into the endurance-centric identity of NAZ Elite. Kiptoo will also be teaming up with former Hofstra runner and fellow collegiate pace-pusher, Alex Masai, in the process.