2016 NCAA Div. III tournament qualifier
PELLA—Central College men’s basketball forward Colby Taylor (freshman, Creston) was named Iowa Conference male athlete of the week after helping the team to its 17th league title, while Dutch track and field runners Eli Horton (junior, Runnells, Southeast Polk HS) and Abi Davis (sophomore, Des Moines, Dowling Catholic HS) swept the track events awards.
Taylor, Dutch crowned champions—Taylor posted career highs with 24 points and 12 rebounds in Wednesday’s 81-78 overtime victory at Luther, clinching the program’s 17th title outright and the No. 1 seed in the conference tournament. The 6-foot-6 freshman chipped in two assists, two steals and one blocked shot and connected on Central’s lone overtime 3-pointer.
Saturday, in an 86-83 overtime loss to Wartburg, Taylor posted 22 points on 8-of-13 shooting, including 6-of-11 from behind the 3-point arc, and nine rebounds. He added five assists, two blocked shots and one steal in more than 39 minutes.
Taylor averaged 23.0 points and 10.5 rebounds in 39.0 minutes for the week. It’s his first career league honor.
The top-seeded Dutch, who received a first-round league tournament bye, return to P.H. Kuyper Gymnasium for Thursday’s league semifinal at 7 p.m.
Horton, Davis outrun Division I competitors—Horton made it five consecutive track events honors for the Dutch after winning the 3,000-meter run at Saturday’s Iowa Invitational. Horton broke the school record, which was set by Austin O’Brien (senior, Bettendorf, Pleasant Valley HS) at the season-opening Dutch Athletics Classic Jan. 25, en route to a first-place finish in 8:21.94.
The time, which ranks first in the conference and ninth nationally, bested runners from Bradley, Drake, Iowa and Western Illinois.
Horton previously held this school record in 2012. It’s his second career indoor track honor, both coming this season, and sixth track honor overall.
Davis finished runner-up in the 200-meter dash at Saturday’s Iowa Invitational and led the Dutch 4x400-meter relay team to a runner-up finish as well. Davis finished 0.03 seconds behind Iowa’s Taylor Lynch in 25.60, the fastest time in the conference and eighth nationally.
Davis was also part of Central’s top 4x400 relay team with Elin Phipps (sophomore, Boone), Taylor Beckman (junior, Panora, Panorama HS) and Camie Kibbee (junior, Mason City), which finished less than two seconds behind Western Illinois’ squad in 4:04.35.
It’s Davis’ first honor since transferring to Central.
The Dutch take their marks for the Iowa Conference indoor championships Friday and Saturday at Decorah.