13 NCAA Div. III individual championships
PELLA—The Central College men’s track and field team enters the Iowa Conference indoor championship ranked No. 12 in the most recent U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Division III indoor national poll.
The Dutch climbed as high as No. 9 Jan. 29 and were most recently No. 10. Central has been ranked in the top 16 in every poll this season.
The Dutch competed at the Iowa Invitational Saturday and the distance runners set the pace once again. Eli Horton (junior, Runnells, Southeast Polk HS) reclaimed the school record in the 3,000-meter run from teammate Austin O’Brien (senior, Bettendorf, Pleasant Valley HS) with a first-place finish in 8:21.94. O’Brien, who finished runner-up less than eight seconds later, broke Horton’s 2012 record at the season-opening Dutch Athletics Classic. Cole Decker (sophomore, Des Moines, Dowling Catholic HS) and Isaac Steffensmeier (freshman, St. Paul, Fort Madison HS) placed fourth and eighth, respectively.
Drew Jackson (junior, Johnston) and Jamie Vander Veer (junior, Knoxville) finished first and second in the 800-meter run. Jackson ran the best 800 by a Dutch runner this year in 1:56.16, while Vander Veer ran a personal-best 1:56.34.
Wis.-La Crosse, the 2013 indoor national champion, remained the top-ranked team. North Central (Ill.), Wis.-Oshkosh, Wis.-Eau Claire and Mount Union (Ohio) are Nos. 2-5, respectively. Haverford (Pa.), MIT (Mass.), Wis.-Whitewater, Tufts (Mass.) and SUNY Cortland (N.Y.) complete the top 10. Wartburg remains the only other league school in the top 25, climbing four spots to No. 13.
The Dutch take their marks for the Iowa Conference championships Friday and Saturday at Decorah. Last season at Dubuque the Dutch men won the title by two points (186-184) over Wartburg.