15 NCAA Div. III individual championships
PELLA — Central College finished sixth in the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association’s Al Carius Division III Men’s Program of the Year Award standings.
It’s the highest finish in school history.
The standings are based on the school’s finish at the NCAA Division III cross country, indoor track and field, and outdoor track and field championships. In order to be eligible, a team must qualify for each of the three championships and points are based on team finishes (i.e., 1 point for first place, 2 points for second place) with the lowest total score determining the winner.
Central finished 12th at the NCAA cross country championships last November, ninth in the indoor track and field championships in March and 22nd at the outdoor track and field championships in May, giving the Dutch 46.5 points. Wis.-La Crosse, which took the indoor and outdoor track and field championships after finishing fourth in cross country, was first overall with six points, followed by North Central (Ill.) with 14 and Wis.-Eau Claire with 15. Central was the only Iowa school in the top 10.
Joe Dunham is Central’s head coach for all three squads. He piloted Central to its first league title ever in men’s cross country last fall as well as the program’s third indoor track and field crown in the past four years.
“This is certainly the product of a lot of hard work by our athletes and by our assistant coaches,” Dunham said. “It’s a great honor and we’re excited about hopefully continuing our success in the future. We want to continue to get better and we want to compete at the national level in all three sports—indoor and outdoor track and cross country. And we want to get our women’s program up to that level as well. That’s a big challenge for us that we’re taking on.”