Storming her way into history

Chris Steele
Kaci Storm has had her career jump started by a return to the heptathlon. A 2012 Geneseo graduate, Storm’s performance in the heptathlon at the Jim Click Shootout was the fifth best in Iowa State school history.

Kaci Storm just needed to hit the refresh button on her career.

The past few seasons with the Cyclones women’s track program, Storm was stuck in limbo.

Coaching regime changes during her sophomore season had her focusing primarily on hurdles and sprints.

Still, nobody could find where she fit best as they tried to unlock her raw-natural talent.

Entering this season, newly hired Cyclones assistant track coach Dan Steele saw it was time for a reboot.

“The idea was to put me in everything and see what happened,” Storm said.

The answer seems simple in hindsight.

The result was a return to the heptathlon which combines seven different events (high jump, 100-meter hurdles, shot put, 200-meter dash, long jump, javelin and 800-meter run).

In her first heptathlon competition since her freshman season, the senior record the fifth-highest score in Iowa State school history (4,856).

In the Jim Click Shootout Multis hosted by the University of Arizona in Tucson, Ariz., Storm eclipsed her previous best in the heptathlon by 618 points.

“I think the never ending challenges that comes along with it fits my personality,” Storm said.

A Geneseo native, Storm set personal bests in the shot put, javelin, 800 and 200.

Her javelin throw was her best by 11 feet with a toss of 113’5”, and Storm finished the 800 dash in 2:26.7 for another PR.

A 3x4 varsity-letter winner at Geneseo High School (track, basketball and volleyball), Storm said no matter what the sport, her roles and positions changed often during the course of her career.

She views the heptathlon as a kind of metaphor for life.

One event doesn’t define an outcome, it’s all about developing all around as a whole person which matters the most.

“During high school you want to be the best athlete you can be,” Storm said. “I think that’s the same goal with the heptathlon. It’s not about a specific event. Like a lot of sports, it’s about bettering yourself as a whole.”

She doesn’t just live by those words on the track either.

A materials engineering major, Storm was an Academic All-Big 12

Second Team member in 2015 and wants to work in the bio medical industry helping people after college.

In his first season with the Cyclones, Steele couldn’t get over Storm not being used as a multi-event athlete.

Recognized nationally as one of best multi-event coaches in the nation, Steele started preparing Storm for a return at the start of the semester.

Storm began mixing in events she would be unfamiliar or uncomfortable with to get repetition as a multi-event athlete.

The result was a career rebirth which has made her feel revitalized in her final season with the Cyclones.

“I made me a little sad,” said Storm of competing in just the sprints and hurdles the past few seasons. “I loved the challenge of learning new events and trying to master them all. This change made me more excited about track again.

“While I love hurdling and sprinting, this is what I really wanted to do. It’s been a lot of fun, and I’ve enjoyed every second of it.”